Second half of Budget Session begins today: BJP to brave Opposition in Parliament over PNB scam, Karti's arrest

Amid the outrage over the Nirav Modi scam and Karti Chidambaram's arrest in the INX Media case, the NDA government is possibly staring at a stormy second half of Budget Session which begins from Monday. The first part of the budget session was held from 29 January to 9 February, while second half of the session will come to a close on 9 April.

The session begins two days after the election results in the northeast were announced that saw the BJP winning in Tripura and improving its performance in Nagaland and Meghalaya.

The BJP is expected to be in high spirits to take on a combative opposition that has been seeking to pin down the government over the Rs. 12,600 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam involving diamantaire Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi. According to the report, the deadlock between the government and the Opposition may continue if Prime Minister Narendra Modi does not agree to explain how Nirav escaped India after duping Punjab National Bank of over Rs 12,000 crores.

The Congress is also likely to denounce the government over the arrest of former Union finance minister P Chidambaram's son Karti by the CBI in the INX Media alleged bribery case. The Congress has termed the CBI action "political vendetta".

The Opposition is also likely to corner the government over the tussle between Prasar Bharti and the Information and Broadcasting ministry.

It is likely to raise issues concerning farmers, the Rafale deal, Staff Selection Commission "job scam", loss of life and property due to ceasefire violations on the LoC and increase in cost of petroleum products.

Meanwhile, YSRCP MPs from Andhra Pradesh are likely to hold a dharna against the Centre in the Parliament premises. The party is also expected to initiate a no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha on 21 March, reported Livemint.

The government, on the other hand, will continue to push its economic and social agenda in both the Houses of Parliament.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The passage of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, which seeks confiscation of assets of absconding fraudsters and loan defaulters, and the triple talaq bill will be high on the government's agenda.

The bill to target economic offenders was approved by the government following the escape of diamond merchant Nirav Modi and other accused in the over Rs 12,700-crore Punjab National Bank scam.

The triple talaq bill, which seeks jail term for Muslim men practising instant divorce, is another contentious issue.

The BJP has made it clear that it will seek its passage in Parliament despite a strong Opposition to it from parties like the Congress and the Left among others.

The passage of the OBC bill, which envisages constitutional status for the OBC commission, is another item on the government's agenda.

Parliament will also take up a discussion on the Union budget, which was tabled in the first half of the session, and pass it.

According to Doordarshan, the government will table The Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, 2017, and The Specific Relief (Amendment) Bill, 2017, on Thursday. On 6 March, The Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2017 will be tabled, the report said. In the Rajya Sabha, the government is likely to table The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2017, and The State Banks (Repeal and Amendment) Bill, 2017 on Thursday.

While the Opposition is expected to target the government over financial scams in the recent past, the BJP is likely to pin the blame on the Congress-led UPA regime.  The BJP has already claimed that the PNB scam had begun when the UPA was in power and its government has acted with alacrity after the fraud came out in the open.

The party, energised by the win in Tripura and impressive performance in Nagaland and Meghalaya elections, is likely to be aggressive in Parliament and rake up scams that happened on the Congress watch to pin it down, party sources said.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Mar 05, 2018 09:34:32 IST

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