Government Lists 39 Bills, Braces for Big Fight in Parliament
The next session of Parliament beginning on Wednesday is expected to be a stormy affair with the Opposition determined to corner the Congress over the alleged helicopter scam and anti-Sikh riots, apart from other issues, even as the government is all set to push its pet legislations, including six anti-graft and Telangana statehood bills.
Battle lines were clearly drawn two days ahead of the extended Winter session with a war of words breaking out between the government and Opposition during the all-party meeting convened on Monday by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath.
Whistleblowers’ Protection Bill, Judicial Accountability Bill, Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, Citizens Charter Bill, The Electronic Delivery of Services Bill, The Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials and Public Procurement Bill are some of the bills that Rahul Gandhi is reportedly keen to push and that these bills are pending in Parliament.
With the government listing 39 bills the main opposition BJP wondered why it should support the Congress leader’s agenda. Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said, “Looks like your leader’s (Rahul Gandhi’s) agenda. Why should we follow your leader’s wishes?”
Nath sought the cooperation of all political parties to pass the crucial anti-corruption bills. Maintaining that it has no objection to helping it pass any of the bills, the BJP wanted to know if the House will be allowed to run by the Congress’ own members and others.
Swaraj said, “The last two sessions were sacrificed to chaos over Telangana. If the government can assure us that the House will function peacefully, we have no problem in passing the anti-corruption and other bills.”
Finance Minister Chidambaram said vote-on-account budget papers are being prepared and printed and so he needs time and may try to present it in Parliament on February 17. Members from Tamil Nadu — DM. Thambi Durai — asked what initiative the government has taken to pass the anti-graft bills.