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Budget session to resume on Thursday

The second phase of Parliament budget session will raise issues like human trafficking, the OBC quota and two rupee coins.

delhi Updated: Apr 25, 2007 13:03 IST

The second phase of Parliament's budget session beginning on Thursday is expected to be tumultuous, with a range of issues like the human trafficking case involving a BJP MP and the OBC quota set to make it a volatile affair.

Being held in the midst of crucial assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, the session is likely to witness fireworks on a number of other issues as well, like the rise in prices, internal security and Kashmir.

Already demands for action against errant parliamentarians, including BJP MP Babubhai Katara, have gained ground with parties becoming sensitive towards their acts seen as a shocking illustration of increasing criminalisation of politics.

The current Lok Sabha has already witnessed the expulsion of ten members in the cash-for-query scandal.

The stage for the month-long session, which will conclude on May 22, is expected to be set at the meeting of Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee with leaders of different political parties at which the Katara issue is bound to figure.

The Katara affair and the controversial BJP CD will come in handy for the Congress and Left parties to corner the saffron party, which has given enough indications that it will make things hot for the government on several matters.

Left parties, key outside supporters of the UPA coalition, have stepped up pressure, telling the government not to take their support for granted if it failed to change its policies.

The BJP has said it will seek an explanation from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the wake of Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri's statement that a settlement on the Kashmir issue was on the cards.

BJP deputy leader VK Malhotra has said his party considered Kasuri's statement a "very serious matter".

The party has sought a debate in Parliament on the "cross" motif on new Rs 2 coins, saying it resembles the Christian religious symbol.

The opposition has already given notices for discussions on several issues, including price rise, suicides by farmers, internal security and the Ottavio Quattrocchi affair.

The first part of the session witnessed disruption of Parliament on several issues and even Railway Minister Lalu Prasad's presentation of the railway budget was drowned in the din.

This time too, the opposition is expected to again rake up the Quattrocchi issue in the light of developments in Argentina where courts are seized with India's demand for the Italian businessman's extradition for his alleged role in the Bofors scam.

Malhotra alleged the government was planning to have the financial business, including the Finance Bill, approved by May three and said the opposition was against such rushing through of business.

First Published: Apr 25, 2007 12:48 IST