Will parliament conduct its legislative business?

July 31st, 2011 - 4:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, July 31 (IANS) With 71 bills in the pipeline and a host of pressing issues engaging the nation’s attention, all eyes will be on the month-long monsoon session of parliament that begins Monday.

The government has said it plans to introduce 34 key bills and take up 37 for passing, hoping the legislative business of parliament will not be disrupted like previous sessions on one flimsy pretext or another.

Though the Lokpal bill is slated for introduction Wednesday, there is little chance of its being passed by the Aug 15 deadline set by Gandhian Anna Hazare. This is because it would have to be referrred to a select committee to enable political parties across the spectrum state their views on the measure. On its part, the government has said it hopes this process would be completed in August itself so that the bill is passed before the parliament session ends September 8.

However, Hazare’s decision to go on another fast from Aug 16 may impact parliament’s functioning.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister P.K. Bansal has called upon all the parties to ensure a smooth session, but Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha S.S. Ahluwalia has given enough signals of the storm ahead.

He said the party would seek a discussion on price rise and corruption under clauses which entail voting.

Jailed former communication minister A. Raja’s attempt in a trial court to shift the blame in the spectrum allocation case to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P. Chidambaram can also lead to a sticky situation.

With both the Congress and the BJP tained by major corruption charges, the exit of Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa will give the Congress enough fodder to counter the opposition offensive on corruption.

Political analyst Baalji Sharma feels that the monsoon session will test the strength and unity of the UPA, which is trying to recover from the corruption scandals.

“The focus will be particularly on Manmohan Singh, who arrives in the house with a new, reshuffled team of ministers,” Sharma told IANS.

Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj has said the BJP will raise the issue of internal security, especially the Mumbai blasts and the Maoist violence.

The introduction of two other key bills — on land acquisition and food security — is still uncertain as the government is in the process of eliciting public response on their drafts.

The passage of the women’s reservation bill in the Lok Sabha is also uncertain as a consensus has not been reached on the landmark legislation, which was passed in March 2010 by the Rajya Sabha

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