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Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019

Ahead of Parliament’s winter session, leaders attend all-party meeting to thrash agenda

This is the second all-party meeting after Saturday when political leaders discussed issues they wished to debate on during the Parliament session. Saturday’s meeting was also attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

india Updated: Nov 17, 2019 13:59 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Political leaders are attending an all-party meeting called by Union parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi on Sunday,
Political leaders are attending an all-party meeting called by Union parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi on Sunday,(Amal KS/HT PHOTO)
         

Several political leaders are attending an all-party meeting called by Union parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi on Sunday, a day ahead of the winter session of Parliament scheduled to be held from November 18 to December 13.

Union home minister Amit Shah and Union ministers Thawarchand Gehlot and Arjun Ram Meghwal arrived for the meeting at the Parliament Library Building in Delhi.

So did the Bahujan Samal Party’s (BSP) lawmaker Satish Chandra Mishra, Trinamool Congress’ Derek O’Brien and Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Lok Janshakti Party’s Chirag Paswan and Congress’ member of Parliament Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.

Watch | Leaders attend all-party meeting ahead of Parliament’s winter session

This is the second all-party meeting after Saturday when political leaders discussed issues they wished to debate on during the Parliament session. Saturday’s meeting was also attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla had on Saturday appealed to all political parties for cooperation for ensuring smooth functioning of the House.

Opposition parties had said they will seek answers from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government over a slowing economy, growing unemployment and farm distress during the winter session.

The Biju Janata Dal’s (BJD) Lok Sabha floor leader, Pinaki Misra, also demanded a day-long discussion on the deteriorating air quality in the National Capital Region (NCR). His proposal was supported by Birla and other opposition parties.

The Prime Minister also joined the leaders over tea during the all-party meet on Saturday.

“Had a wonderful interaction with leaders and MPs across party lines this evening. We look forward to a productive Parliament session, where people-centric and development-oriented issues would be discussed,” Modi had tweeted after the meeting.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government has officially informed Parliament that it wants to amend the Citizenship Act in the upcoming session, a move that could trigger protests by several opposition parties.

The planned Citizenship Amendment Bill provides for Indian citizenship to be granted to non-Muslims of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

The bill figures in the tentative list of 35 bills the parliamentary affairs ministry has sent to the legislative branch of the Lok Sabha.

The list, provided by the Lok Sabha secretariat, also includes the industrial relations code — one of the four labour reforms — and the proposal to replace two ordinances on banning e-cigarettes and lowering corporate tax rates.

There will be 20 sittings in this session.

The Budget Session of Parliament, the first for the second term of the Modi government, had ended on a high note with the effective scrapping of Article 370, enactment of a law to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories, and approval of the landmark triple talaq bill.

It was the most productive inaugural session of a new Lok Sabha since Independence, data showed.

Thirty bills, including the financial legislations that are part of the budget, were cleared by both Houses, the highest in any session in the past decade.

The Lower House sat for more than 280 hours, often till evening, and cleared 36 bills, setting a new benchmark.