Almost all the non-NDA parties, barring the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), on Thursday decided to boycott the Presidential address on the opening day of the Budget Session of Parliament on January 29.
The opposition parties came to this decision in protest against the enactment of three farm laws by the Centre. The laws were passed in September notwithstanding the protest by opposition parties in Rajya Sabha over the conduct of voice vote by the deputy chairman Harivansh.
Though the opposition deplored the violence on Republic Day on January 26 they equally held the Union government responsible for whatever had happened on that day.
This is the second successive year that the opposition parties, save BSP, have decided to boycott President Ramnath Kovind’s address to the joint session of both the Houses. Last year the opposition parties did the same in protest against the enactment of Citizenship Amendment Act in December 2019.
The parties which would boycott the speech are Congress, DMK, Nationalist Congress Party, Shiv Sena, MDMK, Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, CPI, CPM, Kerala Congress, PDP, National Conference, Trinamool Congress, Revolutionary Socialist Party, All India United Democratic Front and Indian Union Muslim League.
The response of the BSP did not come as a surprise as since the last Lok Sabha election debacle the party has been adopting soft approach towards the ruling combination at the Centre. The BSP contested the last Lok Sabha poll in alliance with the Samajwadi Party and won 10 seats against five by the latter.
The opposition parties are of the view that though the approach adopted by some leaders of the farmers’ movement cannot be condoned the larger cause of farmers cannot be left just because of the misdeeds of some.