NEW DELHI: Chairing an all-party meeting on the eve of the first session of the new Lok Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday invited heads of all parties to a meeting on June 19 to discuss the "one nation, one election" issue and other important matters.
Noting that there are many new faces in this Lok Sabha, Modi said the first session of the Lower House of Parliament should begin with "fresh zeal and new thinking".
Addressing the media after the meeting, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi said the prime minister urged leaders of all parties to "introspect whether members of Parliament are able to fulfil people's aspirations as their representatives and the manner in which last two years of the 16th Lok Sabha were wasted".
An all-party meeting is a customary procedure before the beginning of every session of Parliament to ensure its smooth functioning.
Joshi said that government has requested all parties, especially the opposition, for their cooperation for the smooth functioning of both Houses of Parliament.
In order to build esprit de corps, Modi has invited presidents of all those parties who have an MP either in Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha for a meeting on June 19.
The meeting has been called to discuss "one nation, one election" issue, celebrations of 75 years of India's Independence in 2022 and 150 years of Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary this year, he said.
It will be followed by a dinner meeting with all MPs of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on June 20 to freely interact and exchange views with the government, Joshi said, adding that these two novel initiatives would go a long way in building team spirit among all parliamentarians.
At today's meeting, the opposition demanded a discussion on issues such as farmers distress, unemployment and drought should be debated upon in Parliament.
After the meeting, Modi tweeted, "We had a fruitful all-party meeting today, the first one after the election results and before the start of the Monsoon Session. Thankful to the leaders for their valuable suggestions. We all agreed on the smooth running of Parliament so that we can fulfil people's aspirations."
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Azad said that all those bills which are in the interest of the people "we are not opposed to them".
There should be a discussion on farmers distress, unemployment and drought, he said.
He also called for early conduct of Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, currently under President's rule, asserting that if Lok Sabha polls can be held then why not state polls.
It appears that the Centre wants to run the state through the Governor's administration, he alleged.
Congress's Adhir Ranjan Choudhary and K Suresh were also present at the meeting.
TMC's Derek O'Brien demanded that the Women's Reservation Bill, which seeks to reserve one-third of all seats for women in Lok Sabha and state Assemblies, be brought immediately in the session.
The first session of the newly-constituted 17th Lok Sabha will be held from June 17 to July 26.