Budget Session: Caste Census, China, Governors top Opposition demands

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, January 30: Opposition presented a bouquet of issues in the all-party meeting on Monday ahead of the Budget session of Parliament, beginning from Tuesday. While Congress leaders were busy with the concluding ceremony of ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, other Opposition parties presented demands, which are part of their campaigns on their respective turfs.

The Janata Dal (United) called for a nationwide caste census, while the Trinamool Congress demanded discussion in Parliament over the role of Governors in states. The Opposition parties sounded out that they want discussion on the issue of the alleged Chinese transgressions in eastern Ladakh. Opposition parties are made it clear that they want discussion on the issue of the ongoing corporate governance issue with Adani Group of companies.

Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi told reporters that the government has listened to the demands of the Opposition for discussion on issues brought before the all-party meeting. “We hope that Opposition parties will extend cooperation in the smooth functioning of the Budget session of Parliament,” said Joshi. Deputy leader in Lok Sabha Rajnath Singh attended the meeting. Opposition leaders Sharad Pawar (NCP), Farooq Abdullah (NC), Sanjay Singh (AAP) attended the meeting.

The mood of the Opposition parties looked clear that they would not be unrelenting in stepping up pressure on the government. The Winter session of Parliament had also plunged into pandemonium on Congress’ attack on government over standoff with China. On a day the all-party meeting was held, Congress made it clear that the party will stay on course on Chinese aggressions, as communication head of the party Jairam Ramesh issued a slew of statements on the issue.

Ramesh also hit out at Union Minister for Foreign Affairs S Jaishankar for alluding that Congress leaders had met the Chinese ambassadors a few years ago. Hitting out at Jaishankar, Ramesh said that the foreign minister had also been meeting the Republican leaders when he was an ambassador. The BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya too tweeted a number of photographs of Rahul Gandhi with Chinese ambassador. With the BJP and Congress sparring over China, there are all likelihood that the Budget session of Parliament may also witness similar pandemonium, and the government could seek to get approvals for the budgetary exercise in the din as had been seen on previous occasions.

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