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Budget Session: Oppn set to corner UPA even as row over Shinde ends


Sumit Pande, Pallavi Ghosh, CNN-IBN
Feb 21, 2013 at 08:21am IST

New Delhi: A day ahead of the Budget Session of Parliament begins, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Wednesday issued a regret statement for his Hindu terror remark. Many are seeing this as a climbdown by the government and a victory of sorts for the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Shinde had as the Jaipur conclave of the Congress said, "Training camps of both BJP and RSS are promoting Hindu terrorism. Whether it is Samjhauta blast or Mecca Masjid blast or Malegaon blast, they plant bombs and blame it on the minorities."

ALSO SEE Shinde expresses regret over his remark, says did not want to link terror with religion

The impasse over this statement by him has finally been resolved with Shinde's regret statement, "My statement given in Jaipur last month (January) has created a misunderstanding. It has been understood to mean that I was linking terrorism to a particular religion and was accusing certain political organisations of being involved in organising terror camps."

This statement from Shinde came after the BJP upped the ante on Wednesday with the party organising a massive protest in Delhi. Congress's climbdown on the Hindu terror remark also comes in the wake of the government's need to pass key legislations in the Budget Session including some important social and economic bills.

With some key allies lending outside support like the Samajwadi Party deciding to oppose bills on violence against women and food security, the government was not willing to risk a direct confrontation with the main opposition party.

The Budget Session will begin on Thursday with the Presidential address to the joint session, followed by the Rail and General Budget next week. The government is getting set to counter the Opposition's attack on many fronts.

"It's not in our hands, we want the political parties to be on our side. The Parliamentary Affairs Minister is dealing with them. The Prime Minister has said that we are ready for a discussion. Parliament is meant for discussion, there is no need for not allowing the House to run," Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said.

The government has listed around 71 bills to be introduced and passed in this Buget session. Some of the important bills include Bill of Sexual Violence against women, Bill on Land Acquisition, Food Security Bill, Lokpal Bill and Bill to make provision for quota in promotions for SC, ST.

There are some specific issues that are likely to be raised in the session. The Samajwadi Party is opposed to the Lokpal Bill and does not want quota in promotions bill being pushed by the BSP. The BSP will support the government if the quota bill is passed.

The BJP is set to raise the AgustaWestland chopper deal issue on February 22. The Left Front is also likely to attack the government over price rise, subsidy cut on diesel, LPG, FEMA amendment and chopper deal. Allegations against Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson PJ Kurien will also be an issue for the Left parties.

It now remains to be seen whether the government will be able to counter the Opposition's attack on other fronts after having ended the deadlock over Shinde's Hindu terror remark.

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