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Katara episode may rock Parliament

The session, being held in the midst of crucial assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, is also likely to witness fireworks on a number of issues.

delhi Updated: Apr 24, 2007 01:38 IST

The human trafficking case involving BJP MP Babubhai Katara is expected to loom large over the second phase of Parliament's budget session beginning April 26 amidst demands that other MPs linked to the matter be shown the door.

The session, being held in the midst of crucial assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, is also likely to witness fireworks on a number of issues.

Demands for action against MPs including Katara could come up at a meeting Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee will have with leaders of various political parties on the eve of the session, setting the stage for the month-long sitting scheduled to conclude on May 22.

There are issues galore for the opposition and treasury benches with the Congress and BJP stocking enough ammunition to score points against each other.

The Katara affair and the controversial BJP CD issue will come in handy for the Congress and Left parties to corner the saffron party, which has given enough indications that it will make matters hot for the government on several matters.

Left parties, key outside supporters of the UPA coalition, have stepped up pressure, telling the government not to take their support for granted if it failed to change its policies.

BJP has said that it will seek an explanation from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the wake of Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri's statement that a settlement on the Kashmir issue was on the cards.

BJP deputy leader VK Malhotra has said his party considered Kasuri's statement a "very serious matter".

The opposition has already given notices for discussions on several issues, including price rise, suicides by farmers, internal security and the Quattrocchi affair.

The second part of the session is unlikely to be any different from the first one, which saw disruption of Parliament on several issues and even Railway Minister Lalu Prasad's presentation of the railway budget being drowned in the din.

The opposition is expected to again rake up the Quattrocchi issue in the light of developments in Argentina where courts are seized with India's demand for his extradition.

Another issue the opposition will raise is the symbol of the "cross" on new two rupee coins as it goes against the secular ethos of the country, Malhotra said.

Malhotra alleged the government was planning to have the financial business including the Finance Bill approved by May three and said the opposition was against such rushing through of business.