Parliament: Winter session likely to be stormy over Kashmir, economy

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 17, 2019 Published on November 17, 2019

File Photo of Parliament building.   -  Bloomberg

The three all-party meetings held here on Saturday and Sunday indicate that the Winter Session of Parliament, beginning in Monday, will be stormy over issues such as detention of leaders in Kashmir and the management of economy by the Centre.

The Government has listed  as many as 35 pieces of legislation for this session.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered all support from the Government for a smooth functioning of the House.  But at the meetings convened by the Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Parliament Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi and Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu, the Opposition demanded that Kashmir situation, arrests of Opposition members and economic woes should be discussed separately.

Read more: All-party meet: Opposition raises Farooq Abdullah’s detention

The Opposition specifically raised in the meetings the detention of MP Farooq Abdullah in Kashmir and arrest of Rajya Sabha member P Chidambaram and asked the Government to explain their possible absence from the Houses they belong to.

Special occasion

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the session will be a special occasion as it will mark the 250th session of the Rajya Sabha. “Prime Minister emphasised that the 250th session of the Upper House provided a unique opportunity for highlighting the unique strengths of the Indian Parliament as well as the Indian Constitution, in providing an overarching framework of governance institutions for a diverse country like India. The backdrop of the session being held as India celebrates the 150th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi also made it a unique and special occasion,” a Government release said.

Also read: Parliament-Winter session to start from November 18

Opposition leader in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said the National Conference leader and MP Farooq Abdullah is under detention  for over 3 months and should be allowed to attend the Winter Session. “Past precedents are such that MPs have been allowed to attend Parliament sessions even if their cases were being heard. So, P Chidambaram should also be allowed to attend the winter session,” he demanded.

CPI(M) leader TK Rangarajan said his party has demanded a discussion on economic situation in both the Houses.

“Unemployment and job loss  have touched historic figures. The Centre is selling off precious public sector companies for throwaway prices. Also, we will demand passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill," he said.

Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena skipped the NDA meeting held soon after the all-party meeting. Terming their absence natural, Joshi said Shiv Sena members will be allotted new seats during the session. “Their Minister Arvind Sawant has resigned. They're trying to work with the Congress, so naturally, they've opted to sit in opposition and we've agreed to that. We're allotting them seat in opposition both in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha,” Joshi said.

The LJP demanded  that a convener  be appointed for the NDA for effective coordination among the allies. The Maharashtra situation  was also apparently discussed at the meeting.

Published on November 17, 2019
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