The government has called an all-party meeting Tuesday on the Sri Lankan crisis, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi said on Sunday.
“All party meeting will be jointly chaired by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and External Affairs Meeting S Jaishankar,” Joshi told media after customary all-party meeting before the commencement of the Parliament session. Both houses will have a monsoon session from July 18 till August 12.
During the Sunday meeting, Tamil Nadu-based DMK and AIADMK demanded India intervene in the neighbouring country facing a debilitating economic crisis. Both raised the Sri Lankan issue, especially the condition of the country’s Tamil population. Talking to reporters after the meeting, AIADMK leader M Thambidurai said India should intervene to resolve the crisis in Sri Lanka. DMK leader T R Baalu also demanded India‘s intervention to address the island nation’s situation.
Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis in seven decades, with a severe foreign exchange shortage hampering the import of essentials, including food, fuel and medicines. The economic crisis also sparked a political situation in the country after a popular uprising against the government.
Agenda for the session
Meanwhile, opposition parties also demanded a debate on price rise, the ‘Agnipath’ scheme and the alleged misuse of investigative agencies. They also raised objections to the list of “unparliamentary words” at an all-party meeting convened by the government ahead of the Monsoon Session.
Sources said the leaders were unanimous in their demand for the immediate withdrawal of the Agnipath scheme for recruitment in the armed forces and called for a discussion on important issues like price rise and the status of the economy during the session starting Monday.
Later Joshi said that the government was open to discussion on all issues under the rules and procedures of Parliament.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge asked how 32 bills lined up by the government will get passed in 14 days in Parliament and said, “What is the government is trying to do?” “We raised 13 issues including price rise, Agnipath, attack on the federal structure of the country and misuse of investigative agencies such as ED and CBI,” Kharge told reporters after the meeting.
Leaders from almost all parties, including Congress’ Mallikarjun Kharge, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Jairam Ramesh, DMK’s TR Baalu and Tiruchi Siva, TMC’s Sudeep Bandyopadhyay and NCP’s Sharad Pawar, besides BJD’s Pinaki Misra, YSRCP’s Vijaysai Reddy, TRS’ Keshav Rao, RJD’s AD Singh and Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut were present.
The government was represented by Union Minister Rajnath Singh, the deputy leader of the Lok Sabha, his cabinet colleague and leader of the house in Rajya Sabha Piyush Goyal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi.
“Today, in the all-party meeting, many political parties, including those supporting NDA, pointed out the contradiction in the Modi government claiming credit for its presidential candidate on the one hand and killing off the Forest Rights Act, 2006 on the other hand,” Congress’ Jairam Ramesh tweeted after the meeting.
He earlier raised strong objections over the absence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the all-party meeting to discuss issues that will come up in Parliament.