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Budget session starts today, United Opp boycotts Prez address in support of farmers

With the boycott, the Budget Session is set to be stormy as both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha come for a joint sitting for the President’s address

Friday January 29, 2021 11:12 AM, ummid.com with inputs from Agencies

Budget Session

New Delhi: The Budget Session of Parliament commences on Friday and business of both the Houses began with President Ram Nath Kovind's address at 11 a.m. amidst the boycott call given by as many as 19 opposition parties.

With the boycott, the Budget Session is set to be stormy as both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha come for a joint sitting for the President’s address.

Announcing the decision to boycott the President's address, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad on Thursday said:

"The only issue of the boycott is farm laws and 16 parties have decided to jointly boycott the Address".

"India's farmers have been collectively fighting against the three farm laws, arbitrarily imposed by the BJP government that threatens the future of the Indian Agriculture which sustains over 60 per cent of India's population and the livelihood of crores of farmers, sharecroppers and farm labour.

"Lakhs of farmers have been agitating at the gates of the National Capital of Delhi braving biting cold and heavy rain for the last 64 days for their rights and justice. Over 155 farmers have lost their lives. The Government remains unmoved and has responded with water cannons, tear gas and lathi-charges," the joint statement shared to media by Ghulam Nabi Azad said.

The statement added:

"Every effort has been made to discredit a legitimate mass movement through a government sponsored disinformation campaign. The protest and the agitation has been largely peaceful."

The President's Address to Joint Session

Following tradition, the President will address the joint sitting of Parliament at the Central Hall. The speech highlights the government's plan and policy vision for the next financial year.

The president's speech also highlights the work carried out by the government in the past years.

Last year as well, President Kovind had addressed the joint sitting of Parliament from the Central Hall.

The two Houses will meet later separately for the tabling of the President's Address. The Economic Survey will also be tabled in both Houses in this 30-minute sitting after paying obituary references.

The first part of the Budget Session is scheduled to conclude on February 15 while the second part will commence on March 8 and is expected to end on April 8.

Given the Covid-19 outbreak, Parliament will sit in two shifts. The morning session is dedicated to the Rajya Sabha while the Lok Sabha will sit in the evening.

The Rajya Sabha will sit from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., while the Lok Sabha will sit from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Zero Hour and Question Hour will be held.

All Covid protocols will be followed during this session on the same lines as the Monsoon Session last year.

Union Budget on Feb 1

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Union Budget at 11 a.m. on February 1.

The Lok Sabha shall hold 12 sittings and during the second phase of the session, there will be 21 sittings of the House. Question Hour, Zero Hour will also be held during this session.

This is the second time in a row when the opposition is staying away from the Presidential address. Last year, the opposition parties, barring the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), had staged their own programme in front of the Ambedkar statue, reading from the constitution and preamble in support of those opposing the citizenship law.

This time however BSP as well as AAP too have announced to boycott the president's address in solidarity with the farmers.


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