Special Session of Parliament to begin today, PM Modi to speak in Lok Sabha
After weeks of no information about the agenda, the government last week announced an agenda that included bills to be taken up for consideration and a discussion on the Parliamentary journey.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will speak in the Lok Sabha at the Special Parliament Session that will begin on Monday, as per reports.
The five-day special session of Parliament will begin on Monday during which the parliamentary proceedings will shift from the old to the adjacent new state-of-the-art building on September 19, on the auspicious occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi.
The floor leaders of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) are scheduled to hold a meeting at the office of Rajya Sabha leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge before the start of the Parliament special session to chalk out the strategy for the floor of the house.
The Special Session of the Parliament will be held from September 18 to 22.
After weeks of no information about the agenda, the government last week announced an agenda that included bills to be taken up for consideration and a discussion on the Parliamentary journey of 75 years.
Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi on Sunday at at an all-party meeting stated that the Session will provide 5 sittings spread over a period of 5 days, besides informing that eight legislative items are likely to be taken up during this session. They include a Bill to regulate the appointment, conditions of service and term of office of the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners. Opposition parties have opposed the Bill calling it anti-Constitution and anti-democracy.
Opposition parties have raised questions on the government's agenda for the Parliament session, pointing out that a bulletin issued ahead of the session listing the tentative business is not "exhaustive".
Pralhad Joshi also shared with leaders that there would be a photo session from 10.00 am to 10.45 am on September 19, 2023, followed by a function in the Central Hall starting at 11.00 am which will be graced by the Vice-President/Chairman, Rajya Sabha, the Prime Minister, Speaker, Lok Sabha, Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and Leader of Largest Opposition Party in Lok Sabha and the Members of both the Houses of Parliament.
After the conclusion of the function in the Central Hall, both Houses will meet in their respective Chambers in the New Parliament House.
The announcement of the Special Session came as a surprise in political circles with the parties gearing up for assembly polls in five states later this year.
On Sunday, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar hoisted the national flag atop "Gaja Dwar" of the new Parliament building. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla was also present on the occasion. Prime Minister Modi was not present.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, who was in Hyderabad for a two-day meeting of the newly constituted Congress Working Committee, was also not present during the flag-hoisting ceremony.
In a letter to Rajya Sabha Secretary General PC Mody on Saturday, Kharge said that he would not be able to attend the flag hoisting function and expressed disappointment over getting the invitation "quite late".
Opposition's demands during meet on eve of Special session
Several political parties, including the ruling NDA and the opposition INDIA bloc, made a strong pitch for the passage of the women's reservation bill during the five-day Parliament session at the all-party meet on Sunday.
On the women's reservation bill, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said all opposition parties demanded its passage in this Parliament session and criticised the government for not consulting them before summoning Parliament.
Chowdhury told reporters that the government had informed them it was a regular session of Parliament. "Only the government knows what its intention is. It may surprise everyone with some new agenda," he said.
The Congress demanded discussions on caste census, price rise, unemployment, the border row involving China, the Manipur violence, and social conflicts at some places.
The Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, which was introduced in Rajya Sabha on August 10 and is listed on the government's agenda for passage in the coming session, was also criticised by some opposition leaders as "unconstitutional".
At the all-party meeting, tributes were paid to security forces personnel who were killed last week in encounters with militants as leaders observed silence in their memory.
Meanwhile, DMK leader Tiruchi Siva accused the government of keeping other parties in the dark about the reason for calling the session, wondering what was the need for a regular sitting of Parliament when the Winter session was due in November.
He wondered if the schedule for a group photo of all MPs on Tuesday meant that this was the last session of this Lok Sabha.
Opposition sources said Siva tore the schedule for today's event in the meeting, claiming that he received the invite only on Friday night and the programme was only in Hindi.
Some opposition leaders also protested the decision to not have the Question Hour and the Zero Hour during this session.
A demand was also made to revoke the suspension of two AAP MPs, Sanjay Singh and Raghav Chadha.
51 leaders from 34 parties attended the meeting in which the government sought the cooperation of all the parties for a smooth conduct of the five-day session.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, the deputy leader of the House in Lok Sabha, Union Minister Piyush Goyal, the leader of the House in Rajya Sabha, and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi were among those who represented the government in the meeting.
Former prime minister and JD(S) leader H D Deve Gowda, DMK's Kanimozhi, TDP's Ram Mohan Naidu, TMC's Derek O'Brien, AAP's Sanjay Singh, BJD's Sasmit Patra, BRS' K Keshava Rao, YSR Congress Party's V Vijayasai Reddy, RJD's Manoj Jha and JD(U)'s Anil Hegde and SP's Ram Gopal Yadav were also among those who attended the meeting.
(With PTI, ANI inputs)