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LS Speaker appeals to floor leaders to ensure smooth functioning

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi, MoS Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and others arrive for at Parliament House in New Delhi on Saturday.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi, MoS Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and others arrive for at Parliament House in New Delhi on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

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Opposition tells the Chair that House shouldn’t only be forum to pass Bills

Ahead of the winter session of Parliament, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Saturday met the floor leaders of the all the political parties and asked them to cooperate in ensuring that the Lower House functions smoothly.

Leaders of the Opposition parties stated that while they were ready to ensure smooth functioning of the House, the Chair should also ensure that “the House doesn’t become a forum only to pass government bills and issues affecting the common citizens should be allowed to raise”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined the Speaker and other Opposition leaders for an informal interaction over tea but didn’t attend the formal meeting. Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, DMK’s T R Baalu were among the senior Oppostion leaders who took part in the meeting.

“I appealed to floor leaders of all parties for their cooperation in smooth functioning of the House. As the House is answerable to the people and I hope parties will raise issues of public interest. There should be debate in the House, and for that it should function,”Mr Birla told reporters after the meeting.

“All parties have assured me that the session will be smooth and will be as fruitful as the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha,”he added.

In the winter session, there will be 20 sittings in whch the government plans to move nearly 40 bills including earlier bills that are pending. Prominent bills include the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019, Data Protection Bill 2019, a bill to prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes, Juvenile Justice Amendment Bill among others.

Opposition leaders, who voiced their concerns about various issues before the Speaker, are expected to raise the ground situation in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) nearly three months after abrogating Article 370, preventing MPs from visiting J&K while allowing a delegation of the European Union, economic slowdown, price rise of food items among others.

“We pointed out to the Chair how there were no discussions under rule 193 or calling attention motion in the last session,”said a senior Opposition leader.

While Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay told the Speaker about West Bengal Governor running a ‘parallel administration’, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Danish Ali wanted Mr Birla to immediately allow a discussion on the north India smog and pollution.

“honorable Governor is exercising his powers and is roaming the State from district to district without intimating the State government. I have raised in the all party meeting that it is to be discussed,”Mr Badyopadhyay said.

“In addition, Trinamool Congress made a demand that unemployment, price rise and the economic conditions need to be debated,”the Trinamool leader added while appreciating Mr Birla’s handling of the House in the last session.

“We are ready to cooperate in passing bills but the Chair should also issues related to common citizens to be raised by the Opposition parties,”BSP leader Danish Ali told The Hindu.

Responding to Opposition demands, the Lok Sabha Speaker said: “I told them that after discussing these issues in the business advisory committee, we will try to take up as many as possible”.

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Printable version | Dec 11, 2019 8:22:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ls-speaker-appeals-to-floor-leaders-to-ensure-smooth-functioning/article29993862.ece

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