The Punjab assembly’s budget session beginning on Tuesday is likely to be a stormy affair with the Congress set to put the Parkash Singh Badal administration on the mat on several key issues, including the agrarian crisis, and even reservation for Jats.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) patron and chief minister Badal had summoned a joint meeting of SAD-BJP legislature parties to discuss threadbare the issues and prepare the strategy to face the onslaught of Congress.
Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Charanjit Singh Channi on Monday proposed a detailed discussion on the issue of providing reservation to Jats in the budget session. He said the Congress would approach the speaker for special discussion on this sensitive issue “before the situation gets out of hand, as in neighbouring Haryana”.
The CLP leader said besides discussing and debating steps to make farming profitable for small farmers, the issue of reservation should also be discussed as the two were closely interlinked. “The reservation issue had arisen mainly because of rising unemployment and farming turning unprofitable,” he said.
He added that the present quota scheme could not be disturbed and modalities should be worked out after evolving consensus.
The Congress will also corner the government on the issue of alleged lawlessness and drug menace in the state.
Meanwhile, the Akalis and BJP members are all set to present the work done in different departments on the development front, a party spokesman said.
The budget session will commence with the address of governor Kaptan Singh Solanki. The discussions on governor’s address will take place for two days on March 11 and 14. The budget will be presented on March 15, an official spokesman said.
The discussion on budget will take place on March 16 and
18. The session will conclude on March 22.
With Assembly elections due early next year, this budget will be the current government’s last.