Open to discussing all issues: PM Modi ahead of Winter Session of Parliament
Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended his second all-party meeting in as many days on Sunday, and advised members of the treasury benches to take the lead in discussions.Updated: Nov 18, 2019 02:08 IST
The winter session of Parliament will start on Monday with a long list of government bills and a raft of issues the Opposition is keen to raise, setting the stage for another round of confrontation between the two sides amid an ongoing economic slowdown and the recent assembly election results.
The winter session also marks the historic 250th session of the Rajya Sabha, which will be celebrated through discussions and the release of a commemorative coin, postal stamp and books.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended his second all-party meeting in as many days on Sunday, and advised members of the treasury benches to take the lead in discussions.
“He said his government will work together with all parties in a constructive manner to address pending legislations and frame policy solutions for specific issues related to environment and pollution, the economy, the agricultural sector and farmers, and the rights of women, youth and the less privileged sections of society,” parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi said.
Modi also emphasised that “the 250th session of the Upper House provided a unique opportunity for highlighting the unique strengths of the Indian Parliament as well as the Indian Constitution, in providing an overarching framework of governance institutions for a diverse country like India,” a release said.
Four meetings were held on Sunday. One was an all-party meeting comprising MPs from both houses called by Joshi, the second was of Rajya Sabha MPs by vice-president and Upper House chairperson Venkaiah Naidu, the third was a meeting of the National Democratic Alliance and the fourth of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) parliamentary party executive.
At the BJP meet, a senior leader said Modi advised leaders to set the agenda, and not let the Opposition dominate proceedings. Leading a discussion with the whips of the party and about 10 key ministers including Joshi, Modi didn’t agree to a suggestion to focus on the Ayodhya verdict, added the leader quoted above.
“Parliament has nothing to do with that issue. It is a court matter and is being handled in an administrative way which will take its own time,’’ Modi was quoted as saying by the leader. The PM also raised one of his pet issues: the importance of attendance. “I have been saying this for the last five years,’’ he said, according to the leader quoted above.
In the all-party meeting convened by Joshi, Congress’s Lok Sabha floor leader Adhir Chowdhury said they wanted the House to run smoothly but the Opposition’s issues must be given due consideration. “Respective parties have expressed their views. We have also discussed which subject should be given the priority, ranging from unemployment to economic distress. Members also expressed their concern on pollution,” Chowdhury said. Trinamool Congress floor leaders Sudip Banerjee and Derek O’Brien raised the issue of price rise and protested the way West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar was conducting himself.
In the Rajya Sabha meeting, Naidu referred to the “highly productive” last session and urged the leaders to ensure that “positive momentum is sustained during this session”.