The crucial Budget session of Parliament is set to begin on Tuesday on a stormy note as Jawaharlal Nehru University row and Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula's suicide case will rock the House. Three hitherto unknown University students – Rohith Vemula, Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid are expected to bring Parliament to a halt when the lawmakers meet to discuss the annual Budget and other things.
After a complete washout of the Monsoon and Winter session, the opposition is up in arms to corner the government in Parliament. The Narendra Modi government is trying hard to bargain with the opposition to get important Goods and Service Tax Bill and Real Estate Bill passed in the session.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi hit out at the government accusing it of crushing the voice of students and civil society. Left parties, too, want a discussion on JNU row and Rohith Vemula's suicide issue.
The opposition may also raise the issue of Pakistan sponsored terrorists attack on Indian Air Force base at Pathankot in Punjab and imposition of Presdient's Rule in Arunachal Pradesh. The ongoing Jat agitation for reservation in government jobs in Haryana is also likely to be raised by the opposition.
After President Pranab Mukherjee's address to both the Houses on Tuesday, the government will present Railway Budget and the General Budget on February 25 and February 29 respectively. The global economy which is facing a sluggish growth is throwing challenges at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. His only saviour is all-time low prices of crude oil.
While the focus should have been on the state of economy that will be articulated through Rail and General Budgets, it's the state of polity that will be at the heart of this session. For Congress, it's a chance to reignite the secularism debate. The session will to be dominated by the repurcussions of actions of these young men.
The government has a heavy legislative agenda to push through in this session. A list of 74 items of business has been compiled by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs on the basis of responses received from various ministries and departments which, according to sources, contain 62 legislative items and 12 financial items.
It was decided to give 26 items 'top priority' as the ministries wanted them to be introduced and passed in the Budget session itself.
A total of 16 bills, including the GST Bill, Lokpal (Amendment) Bill, Factories (Amendment) Bill and the Anti-Hijacking Bill are pending in Parliament -- five in Lok Sabha and 11 in Rajya Sabha.
The government will also push for the passage of a bill to replace the ordinance to amend the Enemy Property Act, which was promulgated on January 8.
An ordinance lapses 42 days/6 weeks from the day a session begins unless a bill to replace it is cleared by Parliament.
The ordinance amends the 47-year-old Enemy Property Act to allow custodians to continue to retain control over such properties.
The first part of Budget session will end on March 16 and the second part will be convened from April 25 to May 13.