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Government, Opposition play battle of wits in Parliament

New Delhi,Iftikhar Gilani: Centre is keeping its option open to reissue three of the six Ordinances if the opposition scuttles passage of their related Bills


Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge speaks during the Budget Session PTI
Opposition Tactics

The two select committees are headed by ruling BJP members Bhupender Yadav and Anil Madhav Dave

Congress and Left members have asked the Rajya Sabha chairman to extend the deadline for reports up to April end as otherwise they will be flouting the well laid-down procedure and rules.

Rules say, select committee have to invite suggestions and hear expert evidence and representatives of special interest affected by the legislation.

Government Options

The Ordinances lapsing on April 5

Since no Ordinance can be issued when Parliament is in session the government may prorogue the session next Friday and reconvene a new session from April 20 to May 8, as remainder of the budget session.

Re-promulgation of the Ordinances will enable the government to carry on the decisions while letting the select committees take own time to give their reports

After a brief pause of bonhomie that saw passage of insurance bill on Thursday, opposition and government are once again set for a showdown on the land acquisition nill to come up in the Rajya Sabha, next week.

Congress leaders here said, despite their helping hand to the government for raising foreign equity in insurance sector from 26 to 49 per cent, the opposition continues to be united to force the government to refer the land acquisition bill too to another select committee. Two other bills the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill and Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill have been already sent to select committees.

Indications are that the Opposition will also prevent the select committees give their reports within a week, as agreed.

To further embarrass the government, the opposition which had given assurance that two committees will finish off their job within one week, there are now second thoughts to prolong their proceedings. Citing rules, the leaders now say, regulations require a select committee to invite suggestions from experts and public and give them hearing before reverting back to the House with its report. The two committees met on Thursday and again on Friday, but they have not yet approved notice to be issued by the Rajya Sabha secretariat inviting suggestions nor have they come to any opinion on how to proceed, giving jitters to government.

Outnumbered by the opposition in Raya Sabha and the way select committees were out to delay the proceedings, the government is keeping its option open to reissue three of the six Ordinances if the opposition scuttles passage of their related Bills in the Rajya Sabha next week before Parliament goes into a month’s recess. Since no Ordinance can be issued when Parliament is in session, the strategists in government also looking at the option of proroguing the session next Friday and reconvene a new session on the same dates of April 20 to May 8 when the remainder of the budget session was to continue.

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