PM Narendra Modi says disruptions hurt all; Opposition ask for JPC on Rafale deal
The Winter session of the Parliament would commence as all eyes would be on the results of the assembly elections in Rajasthan, Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Telangana, which would be announced on Tuesday.Updated: Dec 10, 2018 23:56 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday told an all-party meeting that both the government and Opposition “stand to lose” if Parliament does not function properly. He said the House should “debate and discuss”. Modi underlined that both the Opposition and the government had a number of issues that need to be addressed.
“But if there are adjournments, then the government faces loss, the Opposition faces loss and most importantly it is a loss for the country,” Modi said as he intervened briefly at the meeting, which parliamentary affairs minister Narendra Singh Tomar had convened a day before Parliament’s winter session starts. He said that criticism should be acceptable to political leaders.
The session would commence as all eyes would be on the results of the assembly elections in Rajasthan, Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Telangana, which would be announced on Tuesday.
The government is keen to push some of the important bills, including the one to criminalise the practice of instant divorce among a section of Muslims. It had in September approved an ordinance to criminalise the practice after it could not table the bill in the Rajya Sabha due to a lack of consensus over some of its provisions.
The bill had been earlier passed in Lok Sabha in December 2017.
The Opposition looks forward to this session to raise its pet issues such as the Rafale aircraft deal, the alleged neglect of the farmers, and the economic situation in the country. The Congress has accused the government of wrongdoings in the deal.
Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu also appealed to all sides to “aid, assist and advice” him in ensuring a smooth session. At a separate all-party meeting, Naidu maintained that both the government and the Opposition have the right to pursue their respective agendas.
Biju Janata Dal leader Bhartruhari Mahtab demanded that the government should revive the Women’s Reservation Bill to reserve 33% seats in Lok Sabha and state assemblies for women without waiting for a consensus. He said a day should be dedicated in this session to discuss Mahatma Gandhi’s vision for India as celebrations for his 150th birth anniversary have started.
In the first all-party meeting, Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, demanded that a Joint Parliamentary Committee should be formed on the Rafale deal. He expressed concerns over the recent incidents of misplaced Electronic Voting Machines. Janata Dal (United) leader Jay Prakash Narayan Yadav said that the government should bring back ballot papers.
Samajwadi Party leader Ramgopal Yadav demanded the government must act on pending bills on further enhancing reservation for SCs, STs, and OBCs.
Trinamool Congress floor leaders Derek O’Brien and Sudip Bandopadhyay demanded additional holidays during the session on December 24, 26 and January 1 apart from the Christmas holiday on December 25. According to government officials, the senior ministers responded positively to the proposal.