Govt eyes a ‘fruitful’ monsoon session; Triple talaq bill, OBC Commission top agenda
The government is looking forward to a “fruitful” monsoon session of Parliament, and has already reached out to the Opposition with assurance for debate on any subject of its choice, two ruling coalition leaders said.
Parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar has called an all-party meeting on Tuesday morning to discuss the agenda for the monsoon session with them. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan will meet the leaders separately in the evening. Parliament’s monsoon session will take place from July 18 to August 10.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is keen to push through important legislations that have the potential to offer political dividends for the ruling establishment ahead of the state assembly elections and next year’s Lok Sabha polls. It is particularly keen on the bill to create a national commission for Other Backward Castes. The Centre has also shortlisted the bill to criminalise instant triple talaq for passage during this session.
Senior functionaries of the government said that top priority in the legislative business would be accorded to get Parliament’s nod on the six ordinances that have been promulgated in the past few months. These are: The Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance, Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, Commercial Courts Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of HCs (Amendment) Ordinance and the National Sports University Ordinance.
“We want Parliament to function this time to take up bills and other issues of public importance,” BJP’s Rjaya Sabha MP Anil Baluni said. “The last session was a washout despite our best efforts. The Opposition’s behaviour was disappointing.”
The last session got washed out following uproar over Andhra Pradesh special status and the Cauvery water issues. The Telugu Desam Party and the YSR Congress Party also moved no-confidence motions against the Centre over denial of special category status to Andhra Pradesh, but they could not be taken for want to order in the house.
The BJP sees the bill related to backward classes in particular as a politically symbolic move ahead of polls, since this is a constituency it has been wooing. They will also be crucial in the assembly polls in MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.