NEW DELHI:With clear battle lines drawn, the monsoon session of Parliament is all set to start on a stormy note as the Opposition is pushing a no-confidence motion against the Narendra Modi government.
Signs of a re-run of the washout of the second half of the Budget session were evident, as a group of Opposition MPs shot off a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan questioning her stand to not admit the no-confidence motion (helmed by TDP and YSR Congress) against the government during the second half of the Budget session, despite 50 members supporting the move, as mandated.
While the Opposition renewed the push, with TDP MP Thota Narsimhan submitting a no-confidence motion against the government to the Speaker on Tuesday, the government reached out to the Opposition for smooth functioning of the House.Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Ananth Kumar, called an all-party meeting, which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several Opposition leaders.
Emerging out of the meeting, Mallikarjuna Kharge, leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, told reporters that there was a consensus among the Opposition parties to move no-confidence motion against the government.
The Opposition demanded that the government should give firm assurance on reservation for SCs/STs in higher education and on enacting a law on the lines of the Supreme Court recommendations against lynching. “All the parties believe that the no-confidence motion would include all the issues they want to raise,” Kharge said.
Modi called upon the Opposition leaders to raise these issues in the two Houses instead of disrupting the proceedings. Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu, too, held an all-party meeting.The BJP’s parliamentary executive committee also went into a huddle and decided to strongly counter the attempts of the Opposition parties to disrupt the proceedings in Parliament. The ruling NDA leaders met later where the BJP sought closer floor coordination.
Cong snubs govt offer on Women’s Bill
Amid looming spectre of a washout of the proceedings in the two Houses, the government reached out to Congress president Rahul Gandhi and sought to make a ‘deal’. Responding to Rahul’s letter to the PM on Women’s Reservation Bill, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad wrote: “I propose that both the national parties, the BJP and the Congress, should come together and offer a new deal to the Indian women. As part of the new deal, we should approve in both Houses of Parliament the Women Reservation Bill, the law prohibiting triple talaq and imposing penal consequences on those who violate the law, and the law prohibiting Nikah Halala. The National OBC Commission Bill also deserves unqualified support of your party.” The Congress reacted angrily. “I’m shocked to see that he tried to cut a deal between two legislations, both of which impact women. I would like to ask the minister that when the PM gave speeches on his manifesto, did he mention that 33 per cent reservation would be conditional?” asked Congress MP Sushmita Dev.