The Monsoon Session of Parliament is all set to begin on July 21. The session, though will be of a shorter duration lasting three weeks, it is expected to be the stormy one given an on-going controversy on Lalit Modi.
The controversy has given Opposition, especially the Congress party, an opening to take on Narendra Modi government. Opposition parties have already raised demands of resignation from Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan CM Vasundhra Raje for helping out controversial former IPL chief Lalit Modi.
On Wednesday, an announcement was made about the schedule of monsoon session. While the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) also discussed the proposal of commencing the session from July 20, a Monday, but as the festival of Eid may fall on July 18 or 19, the decision was taken to start it from July 21 thereon.
This could be another session where the government may be facing an aggressive opposition after seeing through the budget session where almost entire opposition kept opposing Modi-led NDA government over the issue of Ordinance on Land Bill and acute agrarian crises. The government now faces the prospects of stormy reactions on Lalit Modi controversy.
Principal opposition party Congress has already warned that the upcoming session could be in jeopardy if the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia were not made to resign on the Lalit Modi row. Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad has also said that it would virtually be impossible to transact any business if the opposition demands are not met.
But the ruling BJP, while rejecting the resignation demands, has hinted of discussing any issue with the opposition on the floor of the house.
“We are willing to have a discussion on any subject that the Opposition wants,” Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday. Mr. Jaitley is currently on a 10-day visit to US.
The amendments to the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, the Railways (Amendment) Bill, the Waterways Bill, the GST Bill, the amendments to the Land Acquisition Bill, Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill and Benami Transactions (Prohibition) amendment Bill, 2015 are some of the key measures pending in the Parliament.
According to the Parliament official statement, Lok Sabha had 35 sittings during the budget session; the highest in the last five years, wheras Rajya Sabha held 32 sittings.
During the last session, Lok Sabha lost six hours and 54 minutes due to interruptions but made up for the lost time by giving up lunch breaks and working beyond scheduled time for 42 hours and 41 minutes. Rajya Sabha lost 18 hours and 28 minutes but made up for 20 hours.
The central government is keen to conduct a minimum of 100 sittings of Parliament each year as recommended by the last Conference of Chief Whips and Floor Leaders of Legislatures held in October 2014.