NEW DELHI: The government will present only an interim budget on February 1, Prime Minister Narendra Modi clarified at an all-party meeting on Thursday, and urged the opposition leaders to ensure a disruption-free session and do some serious work.
“PM Narendra Modi has told us the government will present an interim budget on Friday,” Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said after the meeting, held on day one of the Budget session.
The opposition has been expressing concern that the government intended to present a full budget and use the occasion to announce some new welfare measures in a bid to influence the voters in the national elections in April-May.
Azad said the opposition asked the government to avoid taking up any controversial legislations like the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which has sparked protests across the Northeast, and the triple talaq Bill. The government has listed 44 Bills for passing.
“We should take up only those Bills which are not controversial and on which there is total unanimity,” said Azad, warning that Parliament may not run smoothly if the government tried to push contentious Bills. Trinamool Congress MPs Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Derek O’Brien, too, cautioned the Centre over the issue. The TMC leaders wondered why the government wanted to take up 44 Bills knowing little time would be left before the session ends on February 13.