NEW DELHI: The Opposition Thursday made it clear to the government at an all-party meeting here that it will not allow passage of any contentious bills in the Budget Session of Parliament that started with President Ram Nath Kovind's address to a joint sitting of both the houses.
The opposition parties have said they will await the response of the government on whether it would take up the contentious bills during the brief Budget Session and are in a "wait and watch" mode on how the government moved forward in taking the opposition together.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed to the opposition parties during the all-party meeting in Parliament Library building that his government will present an interim budget, much to the relief of many among the opposition who feared that government will present a "full-fledged" budget Friday.
The leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said the prime minister informed the Opposition that there will be an interim budget.
The Congress and other opposition leaders had earlier hit out at the government over its proposal of presenting a "full" budget, saying it is against convention and precedent and would not allow it to happen.
Azad also said the Opposition has asked the government to take up only non-controversial bills for passage in Parliament in the Budget Session.
The budget will be presented in the Lok Sabha Friday.
"It is a short session. Most of the time will be utilised in the debate on the president's address to the joint sitting of both the houses, leaving only three-four days for taking up other issues," he said.
Azad said the government would like to push those bills, which on the strength of its numbers in the Lok Sabha, got it passed.
"But, we have told the government that it should not push contentious bills," he said He also suggested that it will be difficult for Parliament to function if the government pushes for contentious bills.
"We should push only those bills which are not controversial. And on which there is consensus. Or it will be difficult for the Parliament to function," the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha told reporters after the all-party meeting.
The Congress leader said the Opposition would like to raise issues like unemployment, price rise, farmers distress and women's safety during the Budget Session.
Echoing similar views, Trinamool Congress leader Derek O'Brien said the government should not take up controversial bills during the session.
He alleged that the government has found an "ally" in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) ahead of the Lok Sabha polls as it was "misusing" it for targeting opposition leaders.
O'Brien also termed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill as a "very dangerous bill" and said the government would be responsible if it brings such a bill for passage.
He said since the government has listed 45 bills in such a short period of time, leaving only a few minutes for each bill.
"It seems the government is not serious about running the Parliament," he said.
The TMC leader also attacked the government, alleging "misuse" of the CBI, which it said has now become its "ally".
He said the government is misusing the probe agencies against its political opponents.
O'Brien also said that his party would raise the issue of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and would hold a meeting of all opposition parties Friday to discuss the issue.
CPI leader D Raja asked the government not to bring any contentious issues, including the triple talaq bill and the citizenship amendment bill.
He said keeping in view the sentiment of the people of the Northeast, where there is unrest due to this bill, the government should withdraw this bill and send the triple talaq bill to a select committee.
Sources said RJD leader Mira Bharti reportedly told the meeting about the misuse of probe agencies like the CBI against political opponents by the government.
She also raised at the meeting the issue of CBI cases registered against BSP chief Mayawati.
NCP leader Supriya Sule and CPI-M leader Mohammad Salim were also among those present at the meeting.