The month-long winter session of Parliament opens on Thursday with the DMK, the Congress’s alliance partner at the Centre, threatening to join the opposition ranks in demanding a hike in sugarcane prices.
“May be this is an issue on which we should join hands with the opposition as it concerns farmers,’’ party spokesman and MP T.K.S. Elangovan said.
The DMK will, however, finalise its strategy on Thursday after consulting its MPs.
The opposition parties plant to give notices for bringing adjournment motions on Thursday on cane prices and the spiralling prices of essential commodities.
Outside Parliament, a dharna by thousands of cane farmers protesting against the ordinance on cane pricing is likely to add to the government’s woes.
The government’s new Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) for sugarcane at Rs 129.84 a quintal (100 kg) to be paid by sugar factories, has kicked off a row.
Most sugar-producing states offer a state advisory price for cane, which now has to be higher than the centre’s FRP.
However, the Centre said the difference between the FRP and state price will have to be borne by state governments, rather than factories. Most states are unwilling to share this burden.
At stake is the move to give a legislative cover to the ordinance, particularly in the Rajya Sabha where the UPA lacks a majority. “We will defeat this bill,’’ warned Rashtriya Lok Dal’s Ajit Singh.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister P. K. Bansal was hopeful of reaching out to the Opposition. “We’ll talk to them... We are confident they will cooperate.’’
An adjournment motion, if admitted, is taken up and voted on the same day. If it is carried, it spells a huge embarrassment for the government.
Sparks would also fly if the government brings the banking and insurance bills blocked by the Left earlier. They do not, however, figure in the list of 81 bills— including 62 new bills — which Bansal released to the media on Wednesday.