Day 2 of Budget session: Battle lines to be drawn between Oppn-BJP | union-budget | Hindustan Times
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Day 2 of Budget session: Battle lines to be drawn between Oppn-BJP

union budget Updated: Feb 24, 2016 11:02 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji

President Pranab Mukherjee rides a traditional horse-drawn carriage from Parliament House to Rashtrapati Bhawan on Tuesday. The President’s address marks the first day of the session. The ruling BJP is hoping to get key bills passed this session amid a raging debate over JNU and Hyderabad university.(Hindustan Times)

Today’s business:

1. Debate on JNU, Rohith Vemula controversies in Rajya Sabha from 2pm

2. Discussion on President’s speech from 12 noon in Lok Sabha

3. National waterways bill and carriage by air bill to be passed in Rajya Sabha

After a peaceful first day when the President read out his speech, the Parliament’s Budget session may see both decibels and tempers rising on Wednesday when the current JNU controversy and Dalit student suicide come up for discussion in the Rajya Sabha.

The furore over the sedition charges on some Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students and the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula in the University of Hyderabad sparked a fierce political slugfest on campuses and elsewhere between the ruling side and the Opposition.

As many as 31 MPs have joined the Opposition-sponsored motion raised by Communist Party of India (Maoist) general secretary, Sitaram Yechury “to raise a discussion on the situation arising in the Central institutions of higher education with specific reference to Jawaharlal Nehru University and University of Hyderabad”.

Read more: Debate rages over how to discuss JNU row in Parliament

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) too, has made it clear that it’s in no mood to concede ground to the Opposition on these raging issues. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah have instructed party leaders to aggressively counter rivals on the controversies. The BJP is likely to raise charges of anti-national activities against the JNU students and their supporters as its counter. Prime Minister Modi also asked party MPs to “be ready with facts and details” during the debate.

Read more: BJP planning aggressive stand to face oppn in Parliament over JNU, HCU

In the lower house, the discussion on the motion to thank the President formally for his speech will start, and the Opposition has indicated it will not miss the opportunity to fire ammunition at the ruling dispensation.

“The President’s speech does not mention any key issues that are affecting the nation. Be it the JNU controversy, the reservation-related agitation in different states — everything is missing,” Yechury charged.

The government, however, is hoping that despite the fierce arguments, the house will be able to pass key bills including the long-pending Goods and Service Tax bill and the real estate bill.