On the eve of Budget session, opposition parties on Monday signalled that demonetisation issue, which led to a virtual washout of the last session, would again heat up Parliament even as they vent their unhappiness over early presentation of Budget in the midst of poll season.
During an all-party meeting on Monday called by the government, opposition parties led by Congress and CPI(M) demanded discussion on demonetisation and said they will again raise the issue as it has severely impacted the public.
The most vocal critique of demonetisation, Trinamool Congress, skipped the meeting and said its MPs will not be present in Parliament on first two days of Budget Session as part of their protest against the note ban.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that he has asked the government to avoid any announcement or concession in the Union Budget which impacts level playing field in upcoming assembly elections.
Citing the UPA’s 2012 decision to postpone the Union Budget that time due to assembly elections, Azad said, “The Government should not have advanced the Budget Session, especially when state assembly elections are coming up.”
Azad also said that government should call another all-party meeting before the next phase of Budget session.
Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said that they have demanded a discussion on demonetisation as it has been pending from last session.
Making similar demand, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said that in the meeting they told the government that there should be discussion on demonetisation for two days “as it has severely impacted the people across India, who have suffered due to this irrational move”.
Yechury also said that presentation of budget on February 1 is “non-scientific” as it will not take into consideration the statistical data of third quarter which comes only in mid-February.
In Kolkata, TMC chief whip in the Lok Sabha Kalyan Banerjee said party MPs will not attend Parliament on the first two days of the session beginning on Tuesday, when the President’s address and Budget will be presented.
“Trinamool MPs will not be present in Parliament on the first two days of the Budget Session in protest against demonetisation which was implemented without taking Parliament into confidence,” he told reporters after the TMC parliamentary party meeting chaired by party supremo Mamata Banerjee.