New Delhi : In 16 working days of a short monsoon session of Parliament, the government hopes to push 44 bills, including five ordinances.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has requested all parties to help pass the “most important” ordinance on food security, but the Samajwadi Party, which offers crucial external support to his government, has said it will oppose it.
The SP’s Naresh Aggarwal said, “We will corner the government, will oppose them. And as Netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav) has said, we will also vote against the food bill in its present form.”
The party’s opposition has been exacerbated by Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s letter to the Prime Minister asking for Durga Shakti Nagpal, the bureaucrat who has been suspended by the Samajwadi Party-led UP government, to be treated fairly.
A defiant Akhilesh Yadav government has responded to the Centre’s demand for a detailed report on Ms Nagpal’s suspension with a sharp two-page letter prefacing a copy of a 10-page chargesheet that it has filed against the IAS officer.
The government is, however, wearing its brave face as the session begins. Minister V Narayanasamy said he expected the SP to come around. “We will try to convince SP….a majority of the political parties are on board,” he said.
The Rs. 1.25 lakh crore welfare scheme to give cheap food to nearly 70 per cent of the population has been planned as a centre-piece of the Congress’s plan to win a third term in power in the general elections now months away. The government has been criticised for making it law through an Ordinance after it failed to get Parliament to debate and pass it in the last session. Now the Ordinance needs to be approved by both Houses or it will lapse.
The BJP has promised full cooperation to pass important legislation, but has also lined up issues like the sliding rupee to attack the government with.
The Opposition disrupted the last few Parlaiment sessions over several scams. Asked whether Parliament would work on the first day of the monsoon session, the BJP’s Ravi Shankar Prasad said wryly, “Ask the Congress friends from Andhra Pradesh.” Trouble is expected from Congressmen who are upset at the announcement last week that a new Telangana state will be created.(NDTV)