Stormy Punjab budget session on cards

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Chandigarh, Mar 7: Punjab Assembly's budget session beginning tomorrow is likely to be a stormy affair with Congress set to put Parkash Singh Badal administration on the mat on several key issues, including agrarian crisis, alleged lawlessness, reservation for Jats even as the ruling alliance is geared up to highlight its development initiatives.

SAD patron and leader of House Parkash Singh Badal had summoned a joint meeting of SAD-BJP legilsature parties here tomorrow to discuss threadbare the issues and prepare the strategy to face the onsalught of Congress.


Punjab Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Charanjit Singh Channi today proposed a detailed discussion on the issue of providing reservation to Jats in the budget session.

He said Congress would approach the Speaker for special discussion on this sensitive issue before the situation gets out of hand, as in neighboring Haryana.

Channi said the agrarian crisis in the state had been deepening over the years and the same was getting reflected in increasing incidences of suicide by distressed farmers, especially in the Malwa belt.

He said farming had become unsustainable for small and marginal farmers. The CLP leader said besides discussing and debating steps to make farming profitable for small farmers, the issue of reservation should also be discussed as the two were closely interlinked.

The reservation issue had arisen mainly because of rising unemployment and farming turning unprofitable. He said the present quota scheme could not be disturbed and modalities should be worked out after evolving consensus.

Congress will also corner the government on the issue of alleged lawlessness and drug menace in the state. Meanwhile, Akalis and BJP members are all set to present the work done in different departments on the development front, a party spokesman said.

The budget session will commence here tomorrow with the address of Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki. The discussions on Governor's address will take place for two days on March 11 and 14.

The budget will be presented on March 15, an official spokesman said. The discussion on budget will take place on March 16 and 18. The session will conclude on March 22. With Assembly elections due early next year, this budget will be the current government's last.


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