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New Delhi, February 21, 2010
The Budget Session of Parliament that will begin here tomorrow is all set to be a stormy affair with the Opposition gearing up to attack the Government on the the rise in the prices of food articles and on its proposal to hold talks with Pakistan later this month.
The session will begin with the customary address by the President to the joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament tomorrow.
The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, the Left and other parties have demanded a discussion on the issue of price rise on the very next day, even before the two Houses take up the motion of thanks to the President for her address. They have also indicated that they would not allow the Houses to function normally if their demand were not accepted.
The Government today said they were prepared for a discussion on prices and was even willing to take it up first, though it would be correct to adopt the motion of thanks to the President first.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said a final decision on this would be taken at the meeting of the Business Advisory Committee tomorrow morning.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has also said that the Government was prepared to discuss all issues in Parliament.
The Railway Budget for 2009-10 will be presented to Parliament on February 24, the Economic Survey on February 25 and the General Budget for 2009-10 on February 26.
There will be a recess from March 16 to April 12 during which the Standing Committees of Parliament will consider the dmeands for grants of various ministries. The session is scheduled to end on May 7.
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar had convened a meeting wth the leaders of all the parties yesterday to ensure smooth functioning of the House during the session.
Apart from the prices, the two other major issues that the Opposition will be the increasing Maoist violence in different states in recent times, the Pune blast in which 15 people have died and the Government's decision to hold talks at the Foreign Secretary-level with Pakistan.
The BJP, for one, has wondered why the Government decided to reverse its stand and go for talks with Pakistan and, after the Pune blast, has urged the Government to reconsider the move.
The Government will use the opportunity to explain its reasons for the decision to offer to hold talks with Pakistan. It will also talk about the need for concerted action by all the states concerned against the Naxalites.
The Opposition parties are also like to raise the issue of the recent hike in prices of urea, which they feel would be against the interests of farmers.