PUDUCHERRY: The Budget session of the Territorial Assembly which will begin with the customary address of the Lieutenant Governor Ajay Kumar Singh on Monday is expected to be short and stormy.
The session is unlikely to be held for more than 11 days in sharp contrast to 21 or 23 days it takes generally. The reason being the Opposition is gearing up to take on the government on several fronts and the ruling party too is facing attempts of revolt from its own MLAs.
Chief Minister N Rangasamy, who holds the finance portfolio, will present the annual budget on September 11 during the session. This year, already, the vote on account was passed for the first six months and the budget will be presented to cover up the expenditure of the remaining six months . This has been cited as the reason by the government sources for planning a shorter duration.
For the first time in the 13th session, the Assembly will function with its full strength of 33 members. For the newly appointed three nominated MLAs, it will be their first entry in the Assembly.
The session is expected to see the Opposition taking on the ruling AINRC on various pressing issues like the alleged irregularities in the free rice scheme; law and order issues such as minor girls being pushed into prostitution, which led to the suspension of eight policemen; alleged hushing up of kidnapping and murder cases; failure of the government to revive the textile mills, non-payment of salaries, financial crunch and deficient revenue mobilisation issues; and of course Statehood.
Many ruling party MLAs have, on several occasions, opposed the government on including an MLA going on fast, while another locking up his office, some expressing their grievance to media on appointments, while most of them are bickering on the lack of employment opportunities for the constituency people, when party men who have been appointed chairmen of various PSUs are able to get employment for their supporters in their PSUs. The Chief Minister is trying hard to keep his MLAs together and this has been a strong reason behind the appointment of nominated MLAs, say political observers.
The functioning of All India NR Congress as well as the Congress MLAs will also be interesting in the backdrop of heat and dust with some MLAs from both the sides contemplating to shift loyalties.