National

Can Centre break ice before Winter Session?

AM JIGEESH New Delhi | Updated on January 22, 2018 Published on November 24, 2015

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Parliament convenes tomorrow; PM may attend Speaker’s all-party meet; Venkaiah to reach out to Opposition; too late, says Cong



The ruling BJP is pulling out all stops to ensure smooth functioning of Parliament with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi set to convene a series of important meetings on Wednesday. The Opposition, meanwhile, continues to attack the government for the lack of initiative on the PM’s part.

Hours after his return from Singapore on Wednesday morning, Modi will chair a meeting of the BJP’s Parliamentary Party’s Executive Committee at his residence. The meeting is the first in a series of attempts to formulate the government’s and the ruling party’s strategy for the Winter Session. Following this, the Prime Minister will meet the BJP’s NDA allies.

Modi is also expected to also attend an all-party meeting convened by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu will also meet representatives of all parties before the Speaker’s meeting. While the latter will only have leaders of from the Lok Sabha, Venkaiah has invited leaders of parties from both Houses.

Other than the Prime Minister and Venkaiah, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, BJP President Amit Shah and the whips of both the party and the government of both Houses will attend the Executive Committee meeting.

Top Union Ministers, including External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, held a meeting here on Tuesday to review the party’s strategy for the session.

The Congress and other Opposition parties have been attacking the Prime Minister for the impasse during the Budget Session of Parliament. “Often, BJP Ministers, including Naidu and Jaitley, met us without any authority to run the House. The PM has to take a decision and he shows no interest in running Parliament,” said Public Accounts Committee Chairman and senior Congress MP KV Thomas. “So far, there has been not a single proposal from the government to address various issues raised by us. The all-party meeting is too late and it will be not make any ground unless the PM makes his stand clear,” Thomas added, citing the PM’s alleged silence on issues such as LalitGate and the Vypam scam.

The Left parties also urged Modi to act. “The Prime Minister must change his mind on Parliamentary democracy. We have seen how the Gujarat Assembly was working when he was Chief Minister. He has to understand the Opposition’s objections on several important legislations and the issues the country is facing. For this, he may have to change his mind,” said CPI(M) Deputy Leader in Rajya Sabha KN Balagopal.

Don’t disrupt Parliament: BJD

The regional parties too said the House should be allowed to function smoothly. “Odisha is grappling with severe droughts. We want to raise this in both Houses. The major parties should stop indulging in obstructive activities and help in the smooth functioning of the House. The Speaker should ensure this,” BJD leader in Lok Sabha Bhartruhari Mahtab said.

Published on November 24, 2015
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