Updated: January 30, 2021 12:44:08 am
On the first day of what is expected to be a tumultuous Budget Session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday called for debate and discussion on all issues that concern the people of India, keeping democratic values in mind.
“The coming decade is significant for India’s progress. We have to remember the vision and dreams of the greats who fought for our nation’s freedom. And, therefore, a golden opportunity has come before the nation to fast fulfill the dreams seen by the freedom fighters. There should be proper utilisation of this decade and, therefore, there should be discussions and presentation of different views this session for meaningful results keeping in mind this entire decade,” Modi said ahead of the beginning of the House session.
The Prime Minister’s remarks come amidst tension at the Delhi borders where farmers unions are continuing their agitation against the contentious farm laws. Seventeen Opposition parties boycotted the President’s address on Friday in solidarity with the farmers.
Slamming the opposition for boycotting the customary presidential address, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad termed it as “unfortunate”. He said as the symbol constitutional head of the country, the President is above political differences. He trained guns on the Congress, alleging that its “arrogance” is the “real problem”. He said the BJP never boycotted a presidential address to Parliament despite many “scams” during the Congress-led UPA government.
Union minister Prakash Javadekar also slammed the Congress, alleging that its existence over the past 5-6 years is based on a “false narrative” that the Modi government is against constitutional institution and values. The presidential address was briefly disturbed by Congress MP from Punjab Ravneet Singh Bittu, who raised slogans like Jai Jawan Jai Kisan in the central hall. Follow Parliament Budget Session 2021 Live Updates here
While addressing reporters, Prime Minister Modi also said the Union Budget, which is to be presented on Monday, should be seen as part of the series of economic packages, which he described as mini Budgets. “It’s the Budget Session. Perhaps, for the first time in the history of India it happened that the Finance Minister had to come out with different packages. There were in fact four to five mini budgets in 2020. So this Budget also will be seen as a part of that series of Budget,” he said.
In the session that is scheduled to conclude on April 8, with a recess from February 15 to March 8, the opposition is expected to target the government on a range of issues including farmers protests, economic slowdown and the WhatsApp leaks of news anchor Arnab Goswami.
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