New Delhi: Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar has called for an all-party meet on Wednesday to urge all political parties to allow Parliament to proceed as planned during the Budget session starting on February 21. Meira said she would appeal to everyone to allow Parliament to function smoothly amid apprehensions that Opposition could cause disruptions over chopper scam and other issues. "I am not presuming anything," she said when asked whether she was apprehending disruptions in the Budget session. "I will appeal to parties to let the House run. I will appeal to members not to resort to the lung power," said Meira.
Asked whether she was hopeful that the parties would heed her appeal, the Speaker remarked, "I live on feeble ray of hope." Her comments assume significance as the session is expected to be stormy with BJP and Left parties gearing up to target the government over the alleged scam involving procurement of 12 helicopters from AgustaWestland.
The BJP has been insisting that the government needs to answer as to who was the beneficiary in the Rs 362 crore kickbacks. The main opposition party wants court-monitored probe into the
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said the government is ready to discuss the issue. The BJP is also preparing to target Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde for his "Hindu terror" remark.
The Left and the Right have been aggressive on a host of issues including the chopper deal. Other issues include corruption and inflation besides other economic matters with central trade unions, including Congress-affiliated INTUC, already giving a strike call on February 20-21 against the government's "inaction" on the issue of price rise and alleged violation of labour laws.
The Budget Session begins with the Address of President Pranab Mukherjee to the joint sitting of Parliament. The Railway Budget will be presented on February 26 and economic survey will be tabled the next day. Finance Minister P Chidambaram will present the General Budget on February 28.
With Additional Inputs from PTI