NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the all-party meeting called by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Saturday ahead of the winter session of Parliament beginning Monday. The meeting was convened to enlist support of all the parties for smooth conduct of the Lok Sabha sittings even while the Congress is bracing to step up the heat on the Modi led NDA government with the demand for constitution of a Joint Parliamentary committee (JPC) on Rafale deal.
The government is looking at pushing a number of Bills during the session, which includes the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which had earlier lapsed. Birla is learnt to have reminded the leaders of all parties about the last productive session during which the Lower House sat for long hours till late evening to allow the members to raise issues concerning their constituencies.
After the meeting, the Speaker said floor leaders of different parties mentioned various issues they wished to be discussed during the session. “I told them that after discussing these issues in the business advisory committee, we will try to take up as many as possible. I appealed to floor leaders of all parties for their cooperation in smooth functioning of the House. As the House is answerable to the people, I hope parties will raise issues of public interest. There should be debate in the House, and for that it should function,” Birla said.
There will be 20 sittings during the session. Also awaiting parliamentary nod are Bills on Taxation Laws (Amendment), banning of e-cigarette, Chit Funds (Amendment), Inter-State River Water Dispute (Amendment) and others. The government will also push a legislative proposal to grant ownership rights to residents of dwelling units in the unauthorised colonies in the national capital, which is crucial for the BJP ahead of the next year’s Assembly elections in Delhi.
With the exit of the Shiv Sena now being a formality, the estranged NDA ally will now sit with the Opposition benches in the Rajya Sabha and a similar arrangement is likely to take place in the Lok Sabha, too. The Congress and other Opposition parties are also likely to step up pressure on the government on the state of the economy and job losses. The winter session will conclude on December 13.