As the government prepares to face the opposition in Parliament, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today exuded confidence that the UPA has “all the numbers” that are needed to tackle issues.
“I think pressure is part of parliamentary life. We are willing to discuss and debate all issues on the floor of Parliament,” he said ahead of the start of the Budget Session.
“I am confident that we have all the numbers that are needed,” the Prime Minister asserted.
Dr. Singh appealed to all political parties to work together in the spirit of cooperation and meet the enormous challenges and opportunities that the country faces.
The Budget session portends a tough time for the government against the backdrop of reverses the Congress suffered at the Assembly elections and the possibility of issues like federalism bringing unlikely forces together.
The Congress heading the UPA may not be in a position to take even the allies for granted with a key coalition constituent Trinamool making it clear it was against a cut in fertiliser subsidy and rise in petroleum prices. Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee has also joined non-Congress chief ministers in opposing the proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC).
With Congress under pressure in the wake of its debacle in the Assembly polls, Opposition leaders have hinted that the session would see floor coordination between allies of Congress, its supporting parties and the opposition on the issue of federalism.
The Prime Minister and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi face an unenviable task in the three-month long session which will commence with President Pratibha Patil’s customary address to the joint sitting of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.