Opposition to take up fuel prices, Rafale in upcoming monsoon session
The Congress-led Opposition parties have identified a host of issues, including the economic situation and spiraling fuel prices, to demand debates in the upcoming Parliament session — the first full session since the 2019 Winter Session in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Senior leaders from the Congress and the Trinamool Congress, two key Opposition parties, told HT that the latest developments on Rafale deal, the government’s pandemic management including the vaccination strategy, and the role of Governors with an oblique reference to West Bengal, are other subjects on the Opposition list.
The monsoon session, from July 19 to August 13, will function over 19 working days after previous three sessions were curtailed, and last year’s Winter session got scrapped. A vaccination drive that has covered most MPs and Parliament support staff, amid a slump in Covid cases, has raised hopes for a normal schedule.
The Opposition expects two Short Duration discussions and as many Calling Attention debates. The Congress leader told HT: “Our priority would be the economic situation, job losses, price rise, and the government’s Covid management.” Another party leader added that with new developments in the Rafale deal, the Congress might be aggressive during the session to demand a Joint Parliamentary Committee inquiry.
French online journal Mediapart reported on July 5 that a judge has been appointed to head a probe into suspected “corruption and favouritism” in the ₹59,000 crore government-to-government Rafale deal with India for 36 fighter jets.
For the Trinamool, a debate on the role of the Governor is a key priority in the context of the friction and uneasiness between its government led by Mamata Banerjee and the governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, said a senior party leader said.
The Union government, too, has indicated that it will soon finalise its legislative agenda out of the 40 pending pieces of legislation and four ordinances that are in place now.
Replacing the ordinances will be the top priority, but the government managers have indicated to some opposition leaders that The Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) may be sent to a parliamentary panel for further review. Another ordinance, The Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Ordinance, has already lapsed.