Budget Session 2024: Ahead of the Budget Session in the Parliament on Wednesday, the suspensions of all opposition MPs will be revoked, said Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi on Tuesday. Joshi said he spoke to the Speakers of both Houses and requested them on the behalf of the government, to which they agreed.
“All (suspensions) will be revoked. I have spoken with the (Lok Sabha) Speaker and (Rajya Sabha) Chairman, I have also requested them on behalf of the government…This is the jurisdiction of the Speaker and the Chairman. So, we have requested both of them to speak with the concerned privileged committees, revoke the suspension and give them the opportunity to come to the House. Both of them agreed,” he told reporters after an all-party meeting.
When asked if the suspended MPs will come to the House from tomorrow, the Union Minister replied, “Yes”. At least 146 opposition leaders were suspended during the Winter Session of the Parliament for disrupting House proceedings, after they demanded a debate on the security breach that occurred on December 13. The cases of 14 MPs – 11 from Rajya Sabha and three from Lok Saba – was referred to the privilege committees.
All-party meeting at Parliament
An all-party meeting was chaired earlier today by Joshi at the Parliament Library building before the Budget Session. The session will commence with an address by President Droupadi Murmu on Wednesday and subject to the exigencies of government business, the session may conclude on February 9.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is scheduled to present the budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 on February 1. This budget is considered ‘interim’ as the government is facing a general election in April-May, making it the final budget of the Narendra Modi government’s second term.
According to a press release, the Union Budget for 2023–24 will be presented in a paperless format. All 14 Union Budget documents, including the Annual Financial Statement, Demand for Grants, Finance Bill, etc., as mandated by the Constitution, will be accessible through the “Union Budget Mobile App.”
The initiative aims to provide Members of Parliament (MPs) and the general public with hassle-free access to budget documents using a user-friendly digital platform. The mobile app is bilingual (English and Hindi) and can be downloaded on both Android and iOS platforms.
Suspension of Opposition MPs
A total of 146 MPs from opposition parties – 100 from Lok Sabha and 46 from Rajya Sabha – were suspended from the Parliament for disrupting House proceedings over the security breach in December, when two men identified as Sagar Sharma and Manoranjan D jumped into the Lok Sabha chamber from the public gallery during Zero Hour, released yellow gas from canisters and shouted slogans before they were overpowered by the MPs.
The suspension drew sharp criticism from the Congress and other parties which accused the BJP government of trying to bulldoze key legislations in an “Opposition-less” Parliament. A political row also broke out after Trinamool Congress leader Kalyan Banerjee derisively mimicked Vice President and Rajya Sabha chairperson Jagdeep Dhankhar during the Opposition’s protest on the stairs of Parliament against the MPs’ suspension.
(with inputs from agencies)