Tough session ahead; All-party meet ends in deadlock

RSTV Bureau
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New Delhi: PM Narendra Modi, Parliamentary Affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad at All-party meet ahead of monsoon session. Photo – PTI

An all-party meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday morning ahead of Monsoon session of the Parliament ended in a deadlock with both Government and the Opposition unable to arrive at any workable headway. Political tempers are already running high ahead of the 21-days session with the ruling BJP mired in controversies involving a Union Minister and its two Chief Ministers.

Urging the representatives of the political parties at the all-party meet, the Prime Minister had said, “Parliament has a major significance and it should be utilised to discuss all issues. The government is ready to discuss all the issues”.

“Government has to take initiative and responsibility to run Parliament, but this responsibility has to be shared by all,” PM Modi added in his address to the leaders of all parties present at the meet.

The BJP-led NDA government is facing the prospects of confronting a charged-up opposition as they take the floor of the house from 21st July. The opposition, especially the Congress party, has already chalked out the priority areas to take on the BJP-led Union government. Land Acquisition Bill, ‘Vyapam’ scam and the Lalit Modi controversy tops the chart.

And during the all-party meet, Congress party once again sought the resignations of Union External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj along with Chief Ministers Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Vasundhara Raje. But the government ruled out any resignations.

“There is no question of accepting ultimatum by anybody. From where did the question of resignation arise? Nobody can dictate terms to the government. From Government side, no Union Minister has done anything illegal or immoral,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu told the press after the all-party meeting.

Apart from the raging controversies on Lalit Modi and ‘Vyapam’ scam, the challenges before the Central government are accentuated with the long list of pending legislations. The government is especially keen on getting Land Bill and GST Bill through. Both the bills are currently examined by the Parliamentary panel and the report on GST Bill is expected to be adopted on Monday. Congress and the Left parties have already hinted at submitting a dissent note on the GST Bill, while Land Bill may once again face an aggressive opposition.

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File photo of Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi and AICC Vice-President Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi. Photo – PTI

In the all-party meeting too, PM Modi’s emphasis that parties must “move forward” on the land bill was flagged by the Samajwadi Party, with its representative Ram Gopal Yadav saying that his party is “not in agreement with amendments on land bill, (and) solution (is) possible only if govt withdraws them”.

Expressing scepticism about the smooth functioning of the Parliament, SP leader added, “I do not think this will be resolved. Weather seems bad from now itself”.

The BJP-led NDA government has already witnessed a protest against the amended Land Bill in the last budget session with Opposition parties taking on the government inside and outside the Parliament. Congress chief Sonia Gandhi had even led a march of collective opposition from the Parliament house to Rashtrapati Bhawan pitching a protest against the Land Bill.

Acknowledging a testing session ahead, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had last week said that “muqabla” (contest) is on the cards.

The Congress party too sharpened its attack with its Vice-President Rahul Gandhi attacking the incumbent over the emotive issue of Land Acquisition bill.

“They have issued an ordinance thrice. We will not allow the land bill to be passed in Parliament, you will see. Not a single inch of land will be given,” Rahul Gandhi said while holding the meeting of party workers last week.

(With inputs from the PTI)