‘Past five years a good learning experience’: PM Narendra Modi at all-party meeting
Speaking to reporters outside the Parliament building earlier in the day, PM Modi hoped that the Budget Session, which began on Wednesday with President Ram Nath Kovind’s address to a joint sitting of both the Houses, will be fruitful.india Updated: Jan 31, 2019 23:34 IST
The past five years have been a good learning experience, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose government completes its term this summer, told an all-party meeting on Thursday.
Speaking to reporters outside the Parliament building earlier in the day, PM Modi hoped that the Budget Session, which began on Wednesday with President Ram Nath Kovind’s address to a joint sitting of both the Houses, will be fruitful.
“Nowadays, there is awareness among the public. They keep a close watch on the proceedings of Parliament. People dislike the fact when politicians do not take interest in discussions and debates in the House,” Modi said, asking members to utilise the session for “the benefit of the common man, the government and the nation”.
At an all-party meeting convened by parliamentary affairs minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Modi, a former chief minister of Gujarat, mentioned that his first term as a Member of Parliament “was a good learning experience”.
The budget session will have just 10 working days, and the government may have to race against time to push key bills. In the Rajya Sabha, the National Democratic Alliance government has failed to pass key bills, including the Triple Talaq bill and the Citizenship Amendment Bill.
Several leaders such as the Communist Party of India (Marxist)’s Mohammed Salim and the Trinamool’s Sudip Bandopadhyay cautioned the government against bringing any contentious bill. The Congress, for its part, demanded a debate on the Rafale jet deal, while Salim raised the issues of jobs and unemployment.
The Biju Janta Dal’s Bhartruhari Mahtab suggested that the government should introduce the Women’s Reservation Bill in the last session of the 16th Lok Sabha. “Almost all parties are ready to support. Please bring the bill,” said Mahtab.
At another all-party meeting, vice-president M Venkaiah Naidu said “political considerations should not be allowed to derail the proceedings of the House”, appealing for support from different parties to pass key bills and to allow the smooth functioning of the House.
Even as the government circulated a list of 36 pending bills, the Trinamool’s Derek O’Brien said the government had unnecessarily listed so many bills for passage.
Anupriya Patel of the Aapna Dal, an ally of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), said Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes people were increasingly becoming upset as vacancies in government jobs reserved for these groups were not getting filled up.
Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, said the Prime Minister said his government will present an interim budget, much to the relief of many among the opposition who feared that outgoing government will present a “full-fledged” budget on Friday.
First Published: Jan 31, 2019 23:32 IST