With the monsoon session beginning on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday appealed to parties to utilise Parliament time for discussing all issues and said running both the Houses is a shared responsibility of all, even as he exhorted them to move forward on the contentious land bill.
At a meeting with leaders of all political parties in New Delhi, he asked them to collectively move forward on issues discussed in the last session while keeping the country’s interest in mind.
With important legislations like the land bill, the GST bill and the real estate bill pending before Parliament, the government is seeking the support of all parties in their early passage.
The monsoon session that is likely to end on August 13, is expected to be a stormy affair with the Congress and other parties giving indications to that effect. The Congress and the other opposition parties will raise the demand the removal of Sushma Swaraj, Vasundhara Raje and Shivraj Singh Chouhan in the wake of their alleged involvement in Lalitgate and Vyapam scam.
“Of course, it is the responsibility of the government to run the House and we have to take the initiative for it, but this responsibility has to be shared by all.
“It is time to move forward. All of us have to collectively move forward. The country’s interest is paramount. Certain issues discussed in the last session need to be taken forward,” the Prime Minister said at the meeting.
Quoting SP leader Ramgopal Yadav, Mr. Modi said, “It is time that we should move forward on the land bill issue, incorporating suggestions from all sides. We should move positively on this issue.”
He said the monsoon session was short and hence its time needed to be utilised for debating important issues for which the government was ready.
“There are many outside forums where various issues are discussed extensively. The monsoon session is short, hence the time of Parliament should be used for debating issues which are relevant and important,” he said.
The Prime Minister told the leaders that Parliament has a major significance and it should be utilised to discuss all issues as the government is ready to discuss all issues.
Leaders of Congress, JD(U), SP, BSP, RJD, AIADMK, DMK and Left parties, besides allies of NDA, participated in the meeting. There was no representative of Trinamool Congress at the meeting.
Congress had on Sunday firmly put the onus on the government for the smooth running of Parliament by demanding a “minimum action” in removal of Ms. Swaraj, Ms. Raje and Mr. Chouhan even as BJP decided to vigorously counter the expected onslaught, setting the stage for a stormy session.
Mounting an offensive on the government, Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said the running of Parliament and passage of important bills will be “more easy” if BJP takes action against these leaders while it will also help the party in “correcting” its image which has taken a hit due to the scams.
With less than 24 hours for the monsoon session of Parliament, the Modi government and the Opposition are gearing up for what promises to be yet another stormy session. Here are the top developments:
|1||There is urgency to the exercise as the government’s two crucial bills — the Land Acquisition Bill and the Goods and Services Tax Amendment Bill — are held up.|
|2||Mr Modi has also convened a meeting of the National Democratic Alliance.|
|3||BJP president Amit Shah went into a huddle with a core group of Union Ministers including Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Piyush Goyal and Nirmala Sitharaman.|
|4||The party also summoned Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and her Madhya Pradesh counterpart Shivraj Singh Chouhan to hear their account in the Lalit Modi and Vyapam controversies.|
|5||Both the leaders are being targeted by the Opposition but the BJP is firmly backing the two Chief Ministers and has planned a strong counter offensive against the Congress, which is leading the onslaught.|
|6||The party is trying to get its act together not only to frustrate the Opposition but to also assure its allies that the charges against the Chief Ministers are baseless.|
|7||The Congress has been insisting so far that Mr. Modi has remained silent on the issues.|
|8||Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has vowed not to allow passage of the Land bill in Parliament even though Modi government.|
|9||Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said political deadlock over the land acquisition bill was “seriously impacting” rural development.|
|10||The Chief Secretaries of the Congress-ruled States, responding to a letter from the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Land Bill, have stated their objections to the changes proposed by the government to the 2013 Act.|
(With inputs from Gargi Parsai, Jatin Gandhi, Smita Gupta)