Budget session of Parliament begins today

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has called a meeting of House leaders of all political parties on Sunday, on the eve of Parliament's Budget Session during which the government and the opposition are likely to clash over a host of issues, including the triple talaq bill. The government sought the cooperation to ensure the success of the Budget session. "The way they have passed GST unanimously, we request them to pass this too unanimously", Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said while addressing the media after the all-party meeting in Parliament House on Sunday. Kumar said the "government will do everything to ensure passage of the triple talaq bill in the session". "We should think about the well-being of rural India, farmers, Dalits, tribal communities and labourers", says PM Modi ahead of the start of the Budget Session.

The opposition also hit out at the government for curtailing the number of sittings of the Budget Session.

The Muslim Women's (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 related to triple talaq, the Codes of Wages Bill, 2017, Rights of Children to Free and Compulsory Education, 2017 are among the important bills that will be tabled for discussion and passage.

He said though there should be no politics on the issue as it relates to the rights of Muslim women, the Bill could not be passed.

Asked if the bill would come up during the first part of the session, he replied in the affirmative, adding that it was listed in the business of the House.

Spain launches new bid to arrest exiled Carles Puigdemont
Speaking in Brussels, Spain's foreign minister, Alfonso Dastis, said: "Mr Puigdemont is subject to a process in Spain". Puigdemont is to take part in a debate on Catalonia at the University of Copenhagen later today.

President Kovind said that the Government is keen on reducing economic disparity.

Meanwhile, the Opposition is planning to raise concerns on rising incidents of rape, the alleged "attack" on constitutional institutions apart from the plight of traders.

RJD leader Jaiprakash Narain Yadav said the opposition wanted the government to speak in Parliament on issues of public importance such as communal and gender violence. The session would conclude on April 6.

Opposition leaders are meeting on Monday to plan their joint strategy for the Budget session.

  • Megan Austin