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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Dec 2014

Budget session opens today, Rajya Sabha big test for PM Modi

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 07, 2014
First Published: 00:42 IST(7/7/2014) | Last Updated: 09:21 IST(7/7/2014)

The first test Narendra Modi government would face in the budget session starting Monday would be in Rajya Sabha – where non-NDA allies are in majority – as presentation of first two budgets of the NDA government would be highlight of over a month-long session. 

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Although not much legislative business is slated for the session as of now, the National Democratic Alliance government may face challenges in getting its lawmaking agenda approved in the upper house without help of the Congress and other parties.

Before that Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan may have to take a call on whether the Congress would get leader of Opposition status in the lower house, which the grand old party has been eyeing for some time.

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The party has left the final decision on whether it would approach the court on the matter to its president Sonia Gandhi, but in the lower house Congress would play hardball. The ruling BJP, on the other hand, will not hand over the status easily to the Congress, citing precedent.

The first big Parliament session for Modi may start on a heated note, since opposition parties have a number of issues to target the government with. The list includes the recent controversy over the government rejecting the name of former solicitor general Gopal Subramanium for appointment as a judge of the apex court, and the rape case controversy surrounding Union minister Nihalchand.

The issue of price rise in the wake of increase in rail fare and fuel rates is also expected to dominate the first few days, as the Opposition would like to score some brownie points since the BJP had accused the UPA of not doing enough to check rising inflation.

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Apart from Congress, Trinamool Congress has also made it clear that it was keen to raise the price hike and rail fares issues.

But, the government will have a big achievement to showcase at the start of the session – ensuring safe return of 46 nurses from terror-bound Iraq. External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj is expected to make a statement in this regard in both Houses of Parliament on the first day of the session.

While presentation of the Railway Budget is scheduled for July 8, the economic survey will be released the next day and Union Budget 2014-2015 will be presented on July 10. The session ends on August 14.

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