The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said on Wednesday it was hopeful that Parliament’s winter session beginning Thursday will be constructive and that the opposition will help pass crucial bills.
“We hope the winter session will be a constructive, progressive and fulfilling one. We hope the opposition will support us on issues of development,” minister of state for parliamentary affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.
The session is set to be stormy with Opposition parties closing ranks to target government on issues including ‘intolerance’ even as the ruling dispensation, which is keen to pass the GST bill, expressed its readiness to discuss all issues.
Naqvi said the bills pending to be passed in Parliament do not belong to any one particular party. “These bills are for reforms in the country and for the development of all,” he said.
His remarks came ahead of the National Democratic Alliance’s strategy meeting at the residence of M Venkaiah Naidu, Union minister for urban development and parliamentary affairs, later in the day.
BJP parliamentary party executive and NDA constituents will also meet at the Prime Minister’s residence followed by an all-party meeting called by the Speaker.
The government will push for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Real Estate Regulation bills in the winter session.
“We are talking to everyone. We will work with cooperation, communication and coordination with the opposition. We played the role of a constructive opposition when we were in the opposition. They should do the same.”
For his part, Naidu said: “Thirty-eight legislative items including seven new bills for introduction will come up in Parliament in winter session.”
The opposition attack is set to gain momentum from next Monday when the government brings its legislative agenda on the table after a two-day special sitting to discuss Constitution and its maker BR Ambedkar on his 125th birth anniversary.
Amid indications of a tough session , senior ministers huddled on Tuesday to chalk out the strategy and work out floor coordination plans.
NDA ministers discussed legislative proposals to be brought before consideration of both the Houses of Parliament.
The ministers also discussed recent incidents like the Dadri tragedy - where a Muslim man was lynched over rumours of eating beef -- and rationalist MM Kalburgi’s killing, among other issues.
Parties like the Congress, JDU and the CPI-M made their intent clear, deciding to give notices for debate on the issue of intolerance and attacking the government on the key reform measure of GST.
Government is likely to take the line in Parliament that the Centre and BJP have nothing to do with these incidents and put the ball in the court of the states.
Government managers are also expected to say that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already responded to the matters.
The view in the government is that there was no reason for it to be defensive in these matters but at the same time it should be ready to discuss them if the Opposition insists for the same.