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A stormy winter session ahead

india Updated: Nov 18, 2009 01:09 IST
Saroj Nagi

Adjournment motions on price rise and a debate on the Maoist violence are expected during the month-long winter session of Parliament, which gets underway on November 19.

The first two sessions of new Lok Sabha were fairly sedate. But the upcoming session, the opening day of which coincides with the 93rd birth anniversary of late prime minister Indira Gandhi, will be a test of Speaker Meira Kumar’s ability to manage the House. The Left, BJP and Samajwadi Party (SP) will try to gain lost ground after their recent poll defeats in West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh by cornering the government.

Besides price rise and the Naxal issues, growing unemployment, problems of cane growers, spectrum allocation controversy, the Madhu Koda case and strain in ties with China will be handy ammunition for the Opposition.

On many of these issues, the Opposition, despite lack of floor coordination, is likely to speak in one voice.

But the ruling Congress has enough in its arsenal to take it on. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s attack on SP MLA for taking oath in Hindi, Shiv Sena Bal Thackeray’s attack on Sachin Tendulkar for his “Mumbai for all’’ remarks and the Left Front’s alleged highhandedness in Bengal.

And if the government tables the Liberhan Commission report on Babri mosque demolition, the House will be in turmoil. Perhaps for this reason, there is speculation that the report may be tabled during the last days of the session.
The Trinamool Congress and the CPM will take on each other over the latter’s demands for President’s Rule in West Bengal, and the developments in Lalgarh — the scene of an anti-Maoist operation. The CPM and the Left parties meet on Wednesday to finalise strategy.

The Speaker is unfazed. “I’m looking forward to heated discussions and a stormy session. I welcome it. Otherwise it will be boring,’’ she had said last week.

Farmers’ protests

Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Ajit Singh said on Tuesday lakhs of farmers would converge in Delhi on November 19 to block Parliament to protest the Centre’s new ordinance, passed on October 21, on sugarcane pricing. The move to introduce fair and remunerative price (FRP) has sparked tensions, as the FRP is lower than the state advised prices fixed by state governments earlier to determine what sugar mills pay farmers to buy their produce.

Adjournment motion

The BJP will bring an adjournment motion in the Lok Sabha against the Centre's new sugar pricing policy on the first day of the session.

Senior party leaders, who met at LK Advani’s home, termed the new policy as anti-farmers and decided to oppose the Sugarcane (Control) Amendment Order, 2009.

(With inputs from Vikas Pathak, Shekhar Iyer)