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Parliament’s winter session begins today

New Delhi: Parliament’s winter session starting Monday is expected to witness much heat as the Opposition looks to corner the Union government over issues like economic slowdown and situation in Kashmir while the Modi dispensation seeks to push through the contentious citizenship (amendment) bill, a key part of the BJP’s ideological agenda.

After the BJP-led NDA left the Opposition stunned in the last session by winning over independent regional parties, especially in Rajya Sabha where treasury benches lacked majority, and wooing a number

of rival leaders to get a host of bills passed, the Congress-led grouping has some reasons to feel emboldened over recent political developments.

Its better than expected show in the recent assembly polls, BJP’s break in ties with Shiv Sena and reports of economic slowdown have put wind in the sails of opposition parties.

The 18 Sena MPs in Lok Sabha and three in Rajya Sabha have now been allotted seats in the Opposition rows over the recent development in Maharashtra: the Sena is in talks with the Congress-NCP alliance to form government in Maharashtra.

Despite the setback, numbers favour the treasury benches with the BJP appearing determined to get Parliament’s approval on its legislative agenda that was stonewalled in the Modi government’s first term when opposition outnumbered it in the Upper House.

 The Supreme Court verdict in the Ayodhya case favouring a Ram temple at the disputed site has also come has a boost to the saffron ranks.

The government has listed citizenship (amendment) bill, a key BJP plank which is aimed at granting nationality to non-Muslim immigrants from neighbouring countries, for passage in this session.

The government also plans to seek Parliament’s nod to two crucial ordinances. An ordinance reducing corporate tax rate for new and domestic manufacturing companies to arrest slowdown in the economy and boost growth was issued in September to give effect to amendments in the Income Tax Act, 1961 and Finance Act, 2019.

The second ordinance, also issued in September, banned sale, manufacture and storage of e-cigarettes and similar products.

This is the second Parliament session of the BJP-led NDA government which returned to power with a greater mandate in the recent Lok Sabha elections.

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