The budget session of the parliament
The Hindu says why the budget session of the parliament will be high on theatrics and low on actual face offs:
Indeed, while the Opposition and some of the UPA allies will continue to put the government on the mat as often as they can through the session, the possibility of any of them de-stabilising the government looks unlikely, despite the fact that several Chief Ministers have united to oppose the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC).
Barring the Trinamool Congress, a UPA ally with 19 MPs, and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), a part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), no party is keen to precipitate a mid-term election. For, if the Congress fared poorly in the recent round of Assembly elections, so did the 114-member strong BJP: its numbers fell both in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, and even if it lost Uttarakhand narrowly, it only won Goa.
Similarly, the 24-member strong Left parties have no intention of de-stabilising the government: they would prefer to test their strength in next year’s panchayat polls in West Bengal, let the rumblings in the Trinamool Parliamentary Party become a roar, and Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee’s honeymoon to end before trying their luck at the hustings again.
This line of argument is borne out by the following report from TOI:
At a meeting on Monday, BJP brass told finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Bansal that substantial issues could be discussed ahead of the post-recess Budget session. BJP has no intention of disrupting Parliament.
The meeting came about after Mukherjee interacted with BJP leaders L K Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley last week over financial bills where it was felt the presence of former finance minister Yashwant Sinha was also needed as some bills were before the standing committee headed by him.
The government’s outreach is part of its effort to ensure Parliament functions smoothly and it has BJP’s support over key bills like Pension Funds Regulatory and Development Authority and banking reform. These are areas that BJP has agreed to support in the past but the government is also aware that the main opposition is not averse to teaming up with regional players.
The spoliers could be regional parties; there is already buzz about a third front. But, according to DC political managers of the UPA are being careful:
While there appears to be no immediate threat to the government at the Centre, UPA managers indicated on the opening day of the Budget session on Monday that Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad had been requested to talk to the Samajwadi Party on the issue of its support to the government.
Although the SP is an outside supporter of the UPA, the ruling coalition wants closer coordination with the party that will govern Uttar Pradesh, and is not wary of making it a part of the government at the Centre.
The Congress is also said to be opening channels of communication with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which received a drubbing in the recent UP polls. The Centre plans to seek the support of the two regional parties in pushing through crucial Bills.
A viable third front would be really big news, but nothing seems to be moving in that direction; yet.