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Manmohan meets Venkaiah ahead of Parliament session, Cong serves notice on Modi’s attack

Sources told HT that the meeting was an attempt to reach out to the Opposition to avoid any disruption in Rajya Sabha due to the fallout of the shrill Gujarat campaign.

india Updated: Dec 15, 2017 11:29 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji
Saubhadra Chatterji
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Manmohan Singh,Venkaiah Naidu,Congress
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh calls on Vice-President and Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu in New Delhi on Thursday.(Source: Twitter/VPSecretariat)

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh met Vice-President and Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday, in an attempt by the government to reach out to the Opposition for the smooth functioning of the House during Parliament’s winter session .

Singh, a member of Rajya Sabha from Asaam, had fired a rare salvo at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and demanded an apology from his successor for “falsely” accusing him of colluding with Pakistan, during a shrill campaign between the Congress and the BJP for the Gujarat election.

Sources told HT that the meeting between Singh and Naidu was an attempt to reach out to the Opposition parties to avoid any disruption in the Upper House due to the fallout of the campaign.

The Congress has submitted a notice to discuss Modi’s attack on Singh, signalling its intent to rake up the issue even after polling is over.

The results of the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh polls will be out on Monday — effectively, the first working day of the Parliament.

Opposition parties such as the Congress, Left, Trinamool Congress and DMK will huddle to chalk out their joint floor strategy in the House.

The delayed winter session, from Friday till January 5, comes under the shadow of the Gujarat polls.

The session may turn out to be stormy, with members in the opposition set to protest against the government’s economic policies.

“Even if the Congress is unable to get a majority, but increases its tally in the Gujarat assembly, we will certainly see a more aggressive face of the principal Opposition party,” said a senior Congress strategist.

The protests could slow down lawmaking, which includes bills to criminalise the Islamic practice of ‘triple talaq’ and changes to the insolvency and motor vehicles laws.

Naidu said on Thursday that the Opposition must get a chance to express views but that he will find ways to run the House if the government and Opposition cannot come to an understanding.

First Published: Dec 15, 2017 11:29 IST