NEW DELHI: After days of dysfunction, all political parties on Friday reached a consensus to let Rajya Sabha function for the last three days of the Winter session to allow for passage of six bills, while the government agreed for discussion on the conduct of the Arunachal Pradesh governor.
However, there was no consensus reached on the passage of the government’s crucial legislation for GST.
Rajya Sabha vice chairman Hamid Ansari called for a meeting of leaders of all political parties on Friday afternoon, worried at the continuous disruptions which had stalled proceedings for nearly two weeks.
The hour-long meeting held in Parliament seems to have led to a breakthrough. There have been multiple issues on which the Opposition had been trying to corner the government — from the summons to Sonia and Rahul Gandhi over National Herald, rising intolerance,
V K Singh’s remarks on death of Dalit children and the developments in Arunachal Pradesh.
According to sources, the Rajya Sabha chairman also noted that this could be perhaps be one of the most unproductive sessions in recent history. Photographs of the closed-door meeting seemed to show all the leaders beaming, which was in complete contrast to the take-no-prisoners attitude in the Upper House.
This was also confirmed by the leaders, as they left the meeting room. “There has been a very meaningful discussion in the meeting,” said Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
Naqvi said that all parties expressed concern at the state of the Rajya Sabha. “All of them decided that the House should function. It has been decided to pass the pending government bills even by sitting for late hours,” added Naqvi.
Speaking to reporters, Rajya Sabha leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “Few bills like SC/ST which we had promised, will be passed.” He added that there was no decision on GST.
However, Naqvi said Leader of the House and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley did appeal to the Opposition to pass the Constitutional Amendment Bill, a key economic reform move of the NDA government.
“But, I don’t think the main Opposition party has an agreement on this. They have not cleared their position,” he said.
Bills the Opposition has agreed to pass next week
The SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill
The Appropriation Bill
The Anti-Hijacking Bill
The Atomic Energy Amendment Bill
The Commercial Courts Ordinance Bill
The Arbitration and Conciliation Amendment Bill
Three other bills (if time permits)
Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill
Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill
The Whistle Blowers Protection Amendment Bill
No word yet
Constitutional Amendment Bill