Biju Janata Dal
Biju Janata Dal

BJD demands 12 hour-debate on Motion of Thanks to Prez address, 8 hours for Budget

Agency News

New Delhi, Jan 31: The crucial Budget session of Parliament gets underway on Thursday with the customary address from the President Ram Nath Kovind.

Biju Janata Dal from Odisha has demanded that there should at least 12 hours allocated for debate on Motion of Thanks to President's address and about eight hours for general discussion on the Budget.

The demand for such time distribution was put forward by BJD Parliamentary party leader Bhartruhari Mahtab at the all party meeting convened by the Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan here on Wednesday.

However, the final decision about time allocation for the debates will have to be decided by the Business Advisory Committee, sources said. Mr Mahtab also had requested the Speaker to ensure that his previous notice on a general discussion under Rule 193 on Natural Calamities should be taken up during the Session - which would end on February 13.

The all-party meeting failed to arrive at a consensus for smooth transaction of business as most regional parties suggested that they would raise their respective issues.

At the meeting, AIADMK leader P Venugopal said his party will raise the issue of Cauvery basin, a matter flagged off by his party colleagues in both Houses during the Winter Session of Parliament.

Similarly, TDP leader Narasimham Thota said demands related to the Special Category status for Andhra Pradesh will be also raised.

"We will raise our issues. All promises made by the Modi government should be fulfilled," he said.

Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay threatened to raise the bogey of EVMs faultline and also alleged challenge to the federal structure of the constitution. "Our party is also concerned about attack being made at the federal structure of the constitution.

It is a trend these days BJP chief Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are visiting every state and attacking the elected state governments," Mr Bandyopadhyay said.The real anti-climax episode - albeit for a brief discussion - came when Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel said, "There is nothing called interim Budget or Vote on Account".

Sources, however, maintained "Thankfully, Congress floor leader Mallikarjun Kharge countered this".

"Mr Kharge sought to make it clear that if the government comes with a full fledged budget, then the Congress party will oppose it," a source said. He also told Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, "Madam, if we oppose, then you should not get angry".

Piyush Goyal, who was given the responsibility of Finance portfolio as Arun Jaitley is abroad on medical ground, will present the Budget on February 1, Friday. There have been a minor row over whether the government - on the eve of general elections - can present a full fledged Budget.

Official sources on Wednesday said it will be an 'interim budget' but Mr Vijay Goel's remarks at the all party meeting was baffling for many.

Earlier in the day, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had said that there was "nothing unconstitutional" about presenting a full fledged budget. Sources said at the all party meeting convened by Speaker for Lok Sabha floor leaders, she urged the members to ensure that the 'last session' of the present House should be a "memorable one".

Members assured her their cooperation and many said they would be keen to sit even beyond 1800 hours for completion of business. (UNI)