PM Narendra Modi-led Central government will be meeting its NDA allies to chalk out the strategy for the Winter session of the Parliament beginning Thursday. It will be a first session after BJP’s defeat in Bihar Assembly polls, which witnessed an aggressive campaigning from both the sides. Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan is also scheduled to hold an all-party meeting later in the day. Another all-party meeting was called by Union Parliamentary Affairs Venkaiah Naidu at the Parliament Library early on Wednesday.
“Government appeals to all parties to pass GST Bill in Winter session of Parliament,” Mr. Naidu said after the meeting, adding “We need to leave memories of Monsoon session behind and move forward. Govt is aware of Opposition concerns like Dadri killing…”
For the BJP-led NDA government, the session assumes significance especially in the light of the economic agenda it wants to get through amid the raging debate on the “rising intolerance”.
Even as the ruling dispensation has signalled its willingness to discuss all issues on the floor of the house, the Opposition, led by Congress party, especially in Rajya Sabha, is set to take on Narendra Modi government on the issue of “rising intolerance”. The issue has led to the crossing of words between the two sides after several authors, artists, filmmakers and eminent personalities returned their awards protesting against the incidents like Dadri lynching and murders of rationalist thinkers.
The regular house business, however, will begin next week Monday, as first two days of the session, November 26 and 27, has been reserved for a special sitting to discuss Constitution and its architect Dr. BR Ambedkar on his 125th birth anniversary.
Sensing a tough session, the ruling party BJP will be holding a meeting with its NDA constituents at Prime Minister’s official 7RCR residence to strategise the work flow. It will be followed by an all-party meeting called by the Lok Sabha Speaker at her official residence in Akbar Road.
Four Top Union Ministers — Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Manohar Parrikar and M Venkaiah Naidu – had on Monday held a meeting to give final touches to their strategy, especially how to go ahead with its economic agenda and the passage of all-crucial Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill. On the other hand, Congress party, JDU and CPI-M had already made their intent clear, deciding to give notices for debate on the issue of intolerance and taking on the government on the issue of GST.
“We have already given notice for discussion on intolerance and it should be admitted under Rule 193,” Leader of the Congress party in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said adding, “Whenever that is admitted, we will together discuss on this issue. Each of us wants that there is tolerance in the country for peace and development and investment to come.”
Congress party’s new ally JD (U) has decided to raise the issue of rise in prices of pulse, edible oils and vegetables under Rule 267 of suspension of business in the House. Meanwhile, JD (U) chief and senior member of the Upper House Sharad Yadav said that all the issues ranging from ‘Ghar Vapasi’, Dadri to other incidents of similar nature showing “rise in intolerance” in the last 18-months of this government will be raised.
But there are other opposition leaders who are taking a firm line.
“The Prime Minister should remove Union Ministers Giriraj Singh, Sadhvi Niranjany Jyoti, Mahesh Sharma, VK Singh and Sanjiv Balyan. Only having a debate on the issue and passing a resolution is not enough. The PM should give the message that he means business by removing these ministers,” JD (U) General Secretary KC Tyagi stressed.
The Left front has also decided to step up its attack on the BJP-led government with CPI (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury stating that six Left parties, including CPI (M), would hold protests, both inside and outside the House, against the “hate offensive” by BJP and Sangh Parivar outfits.
The senior Opposition leader also added that it has given a notice for a discussion on the “growing intolerance” in the country, which has been approved by Rajya Sabha Chairman “as first item for discussion. So, we will raise voices against it.”
(With inputs from the PTI)