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Parties go into huddle a day before Parliament’s monsoon session begins

Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the Opposition to allow debates that can even help the government to review its policies

india Updated: Jul 17, 2018 23:50 IST
Saubhadra chatterji
Saubhadra chatterji
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Parliament,monsoon session,Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Congress parliamentary party leader Mallikarjun Kharge and Union Minister Ananth Kumar, Home minister Rajnath Singh and Left party leader D Raja after an all-party meeting ahead of Parliament's monsoon session, in New Delhi, India, on Tuesday, July 17, 2018.(Arvind Yadav/HT PHOTO)

Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu told political parties on Tuesday to “talk it out, walk out or vote out,” cautioning them against disrupting work in Parliament, amid escalating tensions between the government and the Opposition a day before the start of the monsoon session.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the Opposition to allow debates that can even help the government to review its policies. The fault lines, however, remained deep as over eight Opposition parties wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to say that the trends that emerged in the budget session might “prove lethal” to constitutional democracy if left unchecked.

“The utter disregard to the rules and the Constitution displayed by the ruling dispensation did not add to the glory of the Chair and the House. We have seen how, day after day, for thirteen consecutive days the House of People was not even allowed to decide on the admissibility of the no-confidence motion,” it said, referring to notices of no-confidence motions brought by parties such as TDP and the YRS Congress Party, the two main parties from Andhra Pradesh.

The day saw a flurry of activity with three all-party meetings, including the first called by the Rajya Sabha chairman, to ensure smooth proceedings in the monsoon session. Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, the Congress party’s Ghulam Nabi Azad, maintained that the Opposition should not be blamed for disruptions.

Preparing the ground to attack the government over issues such as lack of job creation, demonetisation of high-value banknotes and alleged crimes against scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, Azad told Naidu that the monsoon and the winter sessions must discuss the unfulfilled promises of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. Raising the demand for a special package for Andhra Pradesh following its bifurcation in June 2014, TDP’s Y S Chowdary said parties have to protest if laws made by Parliament are not implemented.

At the meeting convened by parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar, Congress leaders demanded that the government bring before Parliament the women’s reservation bill. Ananth Kumar didn’t indicate the government’s strategy on the bill, but said all issues can be discussed.

The monsoon session of parliament will begin on Wednesday and run till August 10.

PM Modi, who joined the meeting towards the end, described smooth running of the House as a “win-win” situation for all. AAP leader Sanjay Singh lashed out at the BJP-led government at the Centre and Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal at the meeting, noting a Supreme Court ruling that the LG is bound to listen to the city’s democratically elected government and cannot act independently, except in matters concerned with land, law and order and the police

First Published: Jul 17, 2018 23:33 IST