New Delhi :
The Budget session of Parliament is all set for a stormy start today with major opposition parties planning to corner the government on JNU and other issue as Congress President Sonia Gandhi accused it of launching a planned attack on freedom of expression and right to differ.
Indications of a tumultuous beginning of the session emerged at the all-party meetings convened by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu with the Opposition accusing the government of “setting the agenda for disruption”.
Also at a meeting of the Congress Working Committee, Gandhi put the onus on the government for the smooth functioning of Parliament.
She declared her intent to rope in “like-minded parties” to target the ruling dispensation on issues like the JNU row, dalit scholar Rohit Vemula’s suicide in Hyderabad University and Pathankot terror attack.
On its part, the government assured opposition leaders that they will not find it wanting in ensuring discussion on any issue of concern.
“The government is as much concerned about these issues as any other party and we are more than keen for a detailed discussion on all of them,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Naidu said.
After her meeting with leaders, which was also attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mahajan hoped that the House will run smoothly and all issues to be discussed will be decided tomorrow at a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee.
The first showdown between the ruling and the opposition benches is expected in Rajya Sabha on February 24, the first working day of the session when the JNU issue could come up for discussion.
While the opposition has closed ranks to corner the government on it, BJP feels it stands to gain by turning the debate into one between “patriots and anti-nationals,” as a party leader said.