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Parliament budget session likely to end tomorrow as protests continue

The tumultuous budget session of Parliament might conclude on Tuesday or Wednesday as there’s no end in sight for daily protests and disruptions, people familiar with the matter said. After the budget session resumed on March 13 following a month-long recess,the government has been able to pass only the Finance Bill and the Demand for Grants and introduce the Inter-Services Organisations Bill.

A senior parliamentary official said the Lok Sabha needs to sit on Tuesday to pass the amendment to the Finance Bill that finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman brought in the Upper House on Monday. The Upper House has returned the amended finance bill to the Lower House.

The session is scheduled to end on April 6.

“The session is expected to end on Tuesday or Wednesday. There are clear signals that the session won’t run after Ram Navami,” said a senior official.

On Monday, leaders of 16 opposition parties, mostly dressed in black in a rare show of unity, continued their demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) on the Adani issue and protested against the disqualification of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in Parliament.

Opposition unity got a fillip with the Trinamool Congress, the second largest opposition outfit in Parliament, joining the anti-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demonstrations after a long time. However, Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena skipped the protests, objecting to Gandhi’s comment that he won’t apologise for his comments in London as he was not Savarkar.

“Today, by wearing black, we want to show Modi ji is ending democracy in this country one by one. Firstly, the autonomous bodies were abolished. Then they formed their government everywhere by intimidating those who won the elections under the law. Thirdly, they are using ED (Enforcement Directorate) and CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) against those who do not bow down. They also question authenticity of everything in Parliament,” Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said.

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