Government ready to discuss all issues in a constructive manner: Modi

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh during an all-party meeting on the eve of Monsoon Session of Parliament at Parliament Annexe in New Delhi on July 18, 2021.   | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

A day before the monsoon session of Parliament gets underway, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday told an all-party meeting that his government was ready to discuss and debate all issues in a “constructive” manner.

However, at the all party meeting itself, convened by the government, differences surfaced when Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi proposed that the Prime Minister would chair a meeting on COVID-19 situation at Parliament Annexe on Tuesday.

Strongly opposing it, Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Trinamool’s Derek O’Brien argued that the discussion should take place on the floor of the House.

“MPs do not want fancy PowerPoint presentations on #COVID19 from the PM or this Government in some conference room. #Parliament is in session. Come to the FLOOR OF THE HOUSE,”Mr O’Brien later tweeted.

Opposition parties also differed among themselves on what issues they should be take up first. In a meeting of Opposition leaders, convened by the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, the Congress was keen to first take up the issue of price rise and hike in prices of petroleum products but other Opposition parties expressed their intention to move an adjournment motion to discuss the on-going farmers’ agitation.

Sources said disruptions are expected on the issue of price rise as well as farmers' issue.

At a separate meeting with all the floor leaders, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla urged all the leaders to “respect the sanctity and dignity of the House” and sought their cooperation for the smooth conduct of the proceedings.

The government plans to take up 31 bills during the monsoon session including two financial bills.

“Took part in the All-Party meeting before the start of Parliament’s Monsoon Session. We look forward to a productive session where all issues can be debated as well as discussed in a constructive manner,” Mr. Modi tweeted.

Besides the Prime Minister, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Minister and Leader of House in Rajya Sabha Piyush Goyal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi were present at the meeting.

“At the all-party meeting, Prime Minister Modi said healthy and fruitful debates should take place in the Parliament. He said the Government is ready to hold discussions on any subject if raised as per parliamentary rules and procedures,” Mr. Joshi old reporters after the all party meet.

PM’s brief presence

The meeting, attended by 33 parties, lasted for over two hours saw the Prime Minister drop in.

“Prime Minister, Sir. True. You did TAKE PART. The #Parliament meeting lasted for 2 hours and 40 minutes. We had the pleasure of your company for 9 minutes. You listened for 3 minutes. Allowed the photographers/video cams in for 2 minutes. And spoke to us for 4 minutes,” Mr. O’Brien posted on twitter.

Apart from Mr. Kharge, Mr. Chowdhury and Mr O’Brien, other prominent Opposition leaders who attended the meeting included Anand Sharma (Congress), DMK’s T.R.Baalu and Tiruchi Siva, Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Ram Gopal Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Satish Mishra among others.

Several Opposition parties separately met in Mr. Kharge’s room for floor coordination and the issues to be raised. Besides farmers’ agitation and price rise, other important issues the Opposition plans to raise include the pace of vaccination, unemployment, ‘misuse’ of central agencies, ‘erosion’ of the federal structure, restoring Statehood to Jammu and Kashmir, border row with China and the new revelation in the Rafale deal.

However, some prominent parties like the SP and BSP stayed away and Trinamool is said to have made a fleeting appearance at Mr Kharge’s meet.

The monsoon session will start from July 19 and is scheduled to conclude on August 13. On the first day, as per convention, the Prime Minister will introduce the newly inducted ministers to both the Houses.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 11:04:29 PM |

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