M A I N   N E W S

Stormy winter session of Parliament likely
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 30
The truncated winter session of Parliament, which commences on Tuesday, is expected to be stormy with the Congress-led Opposition flexing its muscles to pin the government on a host of issues, including that of former Union Minister Dilip Singh Judeo caught on tape accepting bribe in a hotel in the Capital.

The winter session of Parliament, which usually commences by late-November, has been curtailed this year in view of the Assembly elections in five states — Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Mizoram. While Mizoram went to the polls on November 20, the battle of the ballot in the remaining four states will take place on December 1.

The winter session will conclude on December 23. A number of important issues are expected to come up for discussion, including the current thaw in Indo-Pak relations and recent peace overtures made by both Islamabad and New Delhi to normalise relations between the two nuclear neighbours.

In addition, the results of the Assembly elections is also likely to find manifestation in Parliament, as both the BJP and the Congress are expected to leave no stone unturned in drawing political mileage.

The government may find itself on the back foot on a number of contentious issues, including the reported observation of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) about interference of Central ministers on public sector undertakings coming under their administrative jurisdiction.

Moreover, the demolition of the Babri Masjid is also likely to figure prominently in Parliament. Recent indications suggest that Samajwadi Party leader and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav could find himself on the wrong side of the political spectrum in Parliament among Opposition members.

The CPM has already aired its anger against Mulayam Singh Yadav for his government’s second counter-affidavit in the Babri Masjid demolition case in the Supreme Court, saying that it has belied all hopes.

Stating that even filing of the second affidavit had not rectified the damage caused by the first one, the CPM said one would have liked to believe that the first counter-affidavit was an act of mischief by the UP counsel in the Supreme Court.

Furthermore, the recent violence in Assam against people from Bihar and its subsequent fallout in other parts of the country and the stamp paper scam are also expected to rock Parliament.

A number of Bills, including the politically contentious Women’s Reservation Bill is also expected to figure during the proceedings.

The redrafted Lok Pal Bill would be tabled during the winter session. The Bill, if and when enacted, could go a long way in cleansing the country’s politics of corruption at high places. Several economic Bills were still pending before Parliament at the end of the earlier session. These included the Industrial Development Bank of India (Repeal) Bill, 2003. The Bill seeks to turn the IDBI into a full-fledged bank from being a financial institution.

There was also the Financial Companies Bill, which seeks to regulate the working of financial companies in the country. The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2003, the SICA Bill, which deals with sick industrial units, the Banking Regulations (Amendment) Bill and the Securities Regulations Bill were other pieces of legislation pending before Parliament.

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