PM pitches for non-disruptive Parliament at all-party meet
A day ahead of the commencement of Budget session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday urged floor leaders of different political parties in the Parliament to keep political differences aside and not disrupt the functioning of the two Houses.
Addressing political leaders in his concluding remarks after the two-hour long all-party meeting, Modi urged all political parties to work cohesively with the government for the smooth functioning of the House.
The Prime Minister welcomed the newly-elected MPs and expressed hope that fresh zeal and energy would be infused in the functioning of the Parliament.
Modi also urged all the MPs to introspect whether they were able to fulfil people's aspirations as their representatives.
"We are for the people... We cannot win hearts by disrupting the functioning of the Parliament. All parties must keep political differences aside and commit themselves to tirelessly work in the direction of nation's progress."
The Prime Minister said the government was always receptive to the issues raised by the political parties and was ready to discuss all matters of national importance on the floor of both the Houses.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said that there was consensus across party lines to ensure smooth functioning of the Parliament without disruptions and deadlocks.
Noting that the country would celebrate the 75th anniversary of its Independence in 2022 and the 150 birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi this year, Joshi said the Prime Minister urged all parliamentarians to think about the sacrifices they can make for the nation keeping in mind the sacrifices made by the freedom fighters.
Joshi said Modi had invited Presidents of all political parties with representation in Parliament on June 19 and MPs from both the Houses on June 20 to freely interact and exchange views with the government.
"The Prime Minister would like to discuss all the important issues, including one nation, one election, Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary and creating good atmosphere in the Parliament... This novel initiative would go a long way in building team spirit among all the parliamentarians which in turn would ensure smooth functioning of the Parliament in future," Joshi said.
In the Budget session, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha would have 30 and 27 sittings, respectively, between June 17 and July 26.
Giving details, Joshi said the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha will commence on June 17 while the 249th session of the Rajya Sabha will begin on June 20.
The coming session will mainly be devoted to oath taking, election of the Speaker, motion of thanks on the President's address and financial issues related to the Union Budget for 2019-20.
Time will also be provided for the transaction of essential legislative and non-legislative businesses.
The resolution seeking extension of Article 356 in Jammu and Kashmir also needs to be approved by both the Houses by July 2.
The Economic Survey of India will be presented in Parliament on July 4 and the Union Budget for 2019-20 will be presented in the Lok Sabha at 11 a.m. on July 5.
Ten ordinances have been promulgated during the inter-session period which are to be replaced by Acts of Parliament as they shall cease to operate at the expiration of six weeks from the reassembly of Parliament by August 1.
Of the 46 Bills lapsed on the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha, some are likely to be revived and brought before the Parliament.
While the government put forth its legislative agenda, the opposition parties raised other issues, including problems related to farmers and water availability.
After the meeting, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the party told the government to focus on issues related to farmers, drought and water availability and take immediate steps to control unemployment which had increased in the last five years.
"This is a war of ideology and it will continue. The Congress will work for the people, whether it remains in government or not," he said.
Condemning the government for creating pressure on the media, Azad said they raised the issue of "freedom of expression and speech".
"We also raised the issue that the opposition must be allowed to speak on the Bills in Parliament. We will allow passing of those Bills which would benefit the people," Azad said.
On behalf of the Trinamool Congress, Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Derek O'Brien raised the issues of electoral reforms, including state funding of elections and paper ballots, scrutiny of Bills, Women's Reservation Bill, federalism and ordinances.
The meeting was attended by Union Ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Thawar Chand Gehlot, Arjun Ram Meghwal and V. Muraleedharan as well as other leaders.
Congress' Anand Sharma and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference and Nationalist Congress Party leader Supriya Sule were among the other leaders who attended the meeting. IANS