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Brace yourselves BJP, Budget Session is coming: Money Bill issue united Opposition against govt

Catch Team | Updated on: 11 February 2017, 5:45 IST

The government should brace itself for yet another stormy Parliament session considering that a united Opposition is planning to raise objections over its decision to introduce the demonetisation ordinance as a Money Bill.

The Budget Session of the Parliament, beginning 31 January, will have the government introducing a legislation to replace the ordinance issued to legalise the note ban move.

The Congress party has accused the BJP government of not adhering to the principles of democracy by not allowing a discussion in the Rajya Sabha.

A Money Bill can only be introduced in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha can only give suggestions. There can be no voting or discussion on a Money Bill in the Upper House and the Bill will be deemed passed within 14 days of being introduced. It is the sole prerogative of the Lok Sabha whether it accepts these suggestions or not.

Matter of debate

Earlier on Friday, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal lashed out at the BJP and said that the ruling party fears to discuss matters in the Rajya Sabha as it will be defeated.

Speaking to reporters, Sibal said, "If this government believes in any element of accountability or transparency, they should allow it (the Bill) to be discussed in the Rajya Sabha and voted upon. The reason why they will not allow that to happen is because they know that it will be defeated. This is again another failure of Bharatiya Janata Party when it talks about democracy and adherence to principle."

Sibal went on to claim that the BJP talks about principles and yet decides to not debate the issue in the upper house of the Parliament.

"People are unhappy, they (BJP) know that across the political spectrum, the parties are unhappy, they know that their own ministers are unhappy, they know their own rank and file is unhappy, they know that the people of India are unhappy, but they will not allow discussion to take place in Rajya Sabha," he said.

Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sibal went on to add that such a move shows the mindset of this government and the prime minister in particular.

Poll issues

Moreover, the Opposition has also raised objections on the government's decision to present the budget before the crucial Assembly elections in five states including UP and Punjab.

UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had written to the prime minister stating that the budget be postponed so that Uttar Pradesh is not deprived of the sops announced in the budget.

The Election Commission (EC)had earlier announced that the budget should not have any specific schemes for the states that go to poll beginning 1 February.

Reports suggest that some Opposition parties are planning to write to presiding officers raising objections to the budget presentation and even the introduction of demonetisation ordinance as Money Bill.

Under these circumstances, the government should expect a stormy Budget Session with the Opposition raising the demerits of demonetisation and how the prime minister has been avoiding attending a discussion on the issue.

"It is a political crime to bring this legislation as MoneyBill. What is the harm in having a discussion in the Rajya Sabha? In fact, I must point out that these ordinances have substantially increased during this government's rule as compared to previous governments. All 14 opposition parties will oppose such a move," said KC Tyagi of Janata Dal (United).

Edited by Jhinuk Sen

First published: 29 January 2017, 10:40 IST