The Budget session of Parliament beginning on Friday in the shadow of assembly polls in three states is expected to generate a lot of heat and dust and the Congress-led UPA coalition is likely to come under severe pressure from the Left allies and attack from the BJP-led Opposition.
The three-month long session is expected to be tough for the Manmohan Singh Government in the backdrop of the BJP-led NDA giving ample hints to put the coalition in the dock on a variety of issues including the dismissal of Goa Government and the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service.
What may worry the Government the most would be the strident stance of the Left parties on a host of economic issues with virtually daily reminders that the support of the 61-member Left formation is crucial for UPA's survival.
The shape of things to come in Bihar and Jharkhand after the poll verdict on February 27 is also expected to have a bearing on the health of the UPA coalition, which would be completing one year in office in May.
A redeeming feature for the Prime Minister was the recent Supreme Court judgement on the issue of 'tainted' ministers, a matter that had rocked Parliament in the Monsoon Session last year.
The session, scheduled to conclude on May 13, may witness a real tightrope walk for Finance Minister P Chidambaram, who will present his Budget for 2005-06 on February 28 as he would have to keep the restive Left in good humour while ensuring at the same time that the economic reforms were carried forward.