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Winter session begins today, UPA to push for Lokpal, women's bill

December 05, 2013 08:59 IST

The winter session that begins on Thursday is likely to be a stormy with the Opposition stacking up a lot of ammunition to attack the government and it could be visible from day one.

The outcome of the assembly polls in five states -- Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Mizoram -- will set the tone for the winter session though the government has listed a heavy legislative agenda and opposition is demanding extension of the 12-day sitting.

The government plans to push bills like the Lokpal Bill and Women's Reservation Bill, which have been passed by one House and now await the other House's nod.

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democrartic Alliance said on Wednesday that it will strongly demand that the Telangana Bill be brought in the winter session and press for debates on issues like internal security, violence against women and subversion of constitutional bodies like the Joint Parliamentary Committee on 2G scam.

"The NDA wants that the Telangana Bill should be brought in this session of Parliament. However, we feel that the inclusion of two new districts in the proposed Telangana state is not ethical," Deputy Leader of BJP in Rajya Sabha Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters after a meeting of NDA floor leaders in both Houses.

The NDA is against the inclusion of Kurnool and Ananthpur in Telangana state.

However, much will depend on the results of the assembly elections to five states that will be declared on December 8. The BJP victory in three or more states is likely to make the opposition more aggressive on the government. But Prasad downplayed the issue.

"Since this will effectively be the last session of this Lok Sabha in which legislative work can be done, we want the House to function. We also expect that since the government has listed several Bills for passage, it will cooperate. Of late we have seen that Congress members themselves have been disrupting the House," he said.

He was referring to the Congress members from Telangana and the Seema-Andhra regions of Andhra Pradesh who have protested in both Houses for and against formation of the new state.

Prasad emphasised that the opposition wants that the Lokpal Bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha earlier, be brought for discussion and passage in Rajya Sabha in this session. "The select committee of Rajya Sabha has already approved the amended Bill," he said.

The BJP is keen on a debate on price rise, especially that of vegetables, in the recent days. It may move an adjournment motion along with the Left in the Lok Sabha on the issue.

"There has been a spurt in the activities of Indian Mujahideen which is a cause for concern. Now it is also attacking political rallies as was seen in the Patna rally blast. We want a discussion on internal security with a focus on rallies being the new target," Prasad said.

The NDA is also miffed at the manner in which the JPC report on 2G spectrum scam was finalised. "We want a debate on the way JPC Chairperson P C Chacko compromised the

parliamentary process in the preparation of the report," Prasad said.

The BJP will raise the issue of plight of sugarcane growers of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka who have not got their due. "Deputy Leader of BJP in Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde will move a Calling Attention Motion on the matter," he said.

"The growing aggression of Pakistan and China is also a matter of concern. The manner in which China had reacted when President Pranab Mukherjee visited Arunachal Pradesh recently needs to be discussed," Prasad said.