Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla on Friday hosted an all-party meeting of the floor leaders of various parties to start the Budget Session of the Parliament, where the Opposition asked the government to hold a discussion of the farm reform laws and the India-China border stand-off.
The customary meeting was attended by parliamentary affairs minister Prahlad Joshi and MoS Arjun Ram Meghwal, and the floor leaders of Congress, DMK, YSR Congress, BSP, TDP, TRS, BJD, Apna Dal and AIMIM, among others. But there were no representatives from Trinamool Congress and Samajwadi Party at the meeting, which was followed by a meeting of the business advisory committee.
The opposition leaders expressed concern over the issue of farmers’ protest, partcularly across the NCR region, and the resistance of the government to withdraw the reform laws. The Congress pushed for a discussion on the repeal of the laws, while TR Baalu from the DMK asked for a discussion on border standoff with China in Ladakh.
Speaking to News18 after the meeting, National conference leader Farooq Abdullah said: “We want a discussion on various matters, and we hope the government will give us time.” Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary, said, “We will want to discuss the issue of farm reforms, all opposition parties are on the same page.”
Parliamentary affairs minister Prahlad Joshi told the opposition that the government was ready for a discussion on all issues. However in the first part of the budget session, it was only possible to have a discussion on the motion of thanks to the Presidential Address and discussion on the Union Budget, for which 10 hours was allocated.
As per the business advisory committee of the Lok Sabha, reply to the motion of thanks on the President’s speech would be held on February 2, 3 and 5, and the PM will reply on February 5. Discussion on the budget in the lower house would take place on February 8, 9 and 10, and the finance ministers will reply February 11.
The Budget Session of Parliament got underway on January 29, with the Union Budget to be presented on February 1, and the session will go on till February 15.