The Budget Session of Parliament is set to begin today with the Opposition vowing to strongly raise issues like corruption and inflation. The government has expressed readiness to discuss all issues and order any kind of probe into the chopper scam.
However, a possible confrontation between government and the BJP over Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde's "saffron terror" remark was averted on the eve of the session as he expressed his regret and issued a clarification on Wednesday.
Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj had demanded that Shinde withdraw his comments and tender an apology, failing which the party would boycott him.
The three-month long session will begin with the customary address by President Pranab Mukherjee to the joint sitting of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.
The session has a heavy legislative agenda, including getting Parliament nod to three ordinances, introduction of as many as 16 bills, consideration and passage of 35 bills.
The Railway Budget will be presented on February 26, the Economic Survey the next day and the General Budget on February 28.
NDA, which held a strategy session in Delhi last evening, said it wanted Parliament to function smoothly and would make all efforts in this regard.
NDA convenor Sharad Yadav listed these issues as the helicopter scam, other corruption cases, inflation, farmers' plight due to drought in Maharashtra and hailstorm in Madhya Pradesh and ordinance on stronger anti-rape laws.
The main opposition's aggressive posturing came even after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other ministers said the government was ready for discussion on any issue and hoped all parties will join hands to find productive, constructive solutions to the formidable challenges facing the nation.