Going into Parliament's Budget session within a fortnight of the poll decimation of the Congress in the city of Delhi, the party is yet to finalise a detailed agenda.
Congress legislature party members say the plethora of ordinances the government will need to ratify would be the priority, especially the one on land, which their party is opposing. The Left parties and the Janata Dal predict the session will be "stormy," with opposition parties rallying to oppose the land ordinance.
The winter session of Parliament had seen the Congress and other opposition parties stall the Rajya Sabha over the issue of "religious conversion'. The Congress maintains the coming session will see a repeat of the "combative but constructive opposition".
Opposition parties are also planning on joining forces with the protests of 'kisan sanghs' and farmer bodies to be held here in the opening week of the Budget session. Fuelling the Congress and opposition agenda are the recent series of attacks on churches, with the latest one on a Christian-run school; the issue will be raised in the session.
A Congress senior said their legislature party would meet next week to finalise its strategy, including floor coordination with others. Among the many ordinances, the Congress is unlikely to take an adverse stand on the insurance Bill, since it has been reassured after the select committee report. However, the party has already directed its state units to create awareness among farmers and villagers on the adverse impacts of the government's ordinance-amended land law.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Prakash Karat told Business Standard: "The land ordinance will be the foremost on our agenda; we will oppose it. We are also opposed to the coal ordinance and the Congress should be on the same page with us on objecting to coal blocks now being open to private parties. The insurance bill is obviously on our agenda as well.' Karat said the CPI and CPM-affiliated Kisan Sanghs will be taking part in the broader platform of organisations getting together to oppose the land ordinance.
K C Tyagi of the JD(U) was vitriolic in his attack on the government. "From Parliament Street to Parliament House, we will demonstrate. There can be no compromise on anti-people issues as the land ordinance. The church attacks spearheaded by extremist outfits will not be tolerated and we will for sure raise the issue," he said.
Says a Congress leader, "In the Lok Sabha, they (ruling party) can manage with their numbers. Let them come to the Rajya Sabha; we will see (to) them."