M A I N   N E W S

Turbulence looms as crucial monsoon session begins
K V Prasad/TNS

New Delhi, August 4
An air of expectancy hangs over the monsoon session of Parliament beginning its four-week sittings from tomorrow, indicating the turbulence of the previous sessions.

With a majority of parties in the Opposition declaring support to the Food Security Bill, replacing the ordinance promulgated last month, Parliamentary managers of the UPA can hope for its easy passage although both the BJP and the Left are keen on amendments to make it a law ensuring foodgrains to 70 per cent of the population at subsidised rates.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has already said that among the five Bills to replace ordinances, food security is high on the agenda. Yet, in a late development, the Samajwadi Party indicated it would vote against the measure in retaliation to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi taking up the case of UP cadre IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal.

The Congress managers would have to mind its own backyard too with MPs from Andhra Pradesh threatening to quit protesting the separate Telengana decision, especially since the UPA coalition numbers are delicately poised after exit of allies leaving the Nationalist Congress Party with nine MPs as the largest partner.

On its part, the BJP today criticised the Congress stating that even after nine years, the decision created tension in several parts unlike the smooth manner in which the Vajpayee Government carved out Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand through consensus.

Adding to the woes is the proposed move by some MPs insisting that the government undo the Supreme Court decision to strike down reservation to faculty in super-speciality departments in AIIMS

Parliament is scheduled to sit for 16 days and the Opposition BJP and Left have expressed reservations over available time to legislate on 40-odd Bills. These include Land Acquisition, Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority, Direct Taxes Code, Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority, Piracy Bill, National Accreditation Regulatory Authority for Higher Educational Institutions, the Judicial Standards and Accountability, Companies Bill and those dealing with graft besides supplementary demands for grants.

While both the BJP and the Left are keen to discuss the economic situation and fall of the rupee, the BJP wants the government to respond to the stand-off between the CBI and the IB following the Ishrat Jahan encounter case which it feels can cast a shadow on national security.

Heavy agenda

  • Parliament is scheduled to sit for 16 days and the Opposition BJP and the Left have expressed reservations over available time to legislate on 40-odd Bills
  • These include the Food Security Bill, those related to reforms in the insurance and pension sectors, and an amendment to the RTI Act to keep political parties out of its ambit
  • The Opposition wants debates on the Land Acquisition Bill, the state of the economy, rampant corruption in the mid-day meal scheme, floods in Uttarakhand, the ongoing tussle between the CBI and the IB in the Ishrat Jahan shootout case and Chinese intrusions into the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir





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