New Delhi, Jul 18: The Monsoon session of Parliament is set to begin today. With total 18 working days, the session is likely to be stormy as the Congress has planned to corner the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government on a number of issues, including mob lynching, unemployment and Dalit atrocities. The central government is expected to push for several bills which are of national interest. The most prominent among these include the bill to criminalise instant triple talaq and another one to create a national commission for Other Backward Classes.
Earlier on Tuesday, on the eve of the monsoon session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired an all-party meeting seeking the cooperation of all the Opposition parties for the smooth conduct of Parliament’s monsoon session, saying that raising issues by the Opposition afforded the government an opportunity to reconsider its position and move forward. Following the meet, the Opposition parties reached a consensus to allow both the Houses to function smoothly. (Also read: Parliment’s Budget Session Heads Towards Washout)
Speaking at the all-party meeting, the PM reportedly said that it was the expectations and hope of the people that Parliament should run smoothly and there should be a discussion on various issues.
Prominent Bills on Agenda
More than six ordinances will reportedly be taken up this session. The triple talaq bill, which has been passed by the Lok Sabha and is pending in the Rajya Sabha, will be among the top priorities of the government. The government will also push for constitutional status for the National Commission for OBCs. The National Commission for Medical Education Bill and the transgender bill will also be taken up. (Also read: Budget Session Over, LS Spent Just 1% Time at Work)
Several amendments to the Goods and Services Tax law are also likely to be placed before Parliament. Besides that, the government is also likely to introduce Arbitration bills. Of those to be introduced, the Indian Arbitration Council Act, 2017, aims to have a regulatory framework for making India a global hub for arbitration.
Political experts see government’s efforts to push these legislations as its attempt to score political points ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and the Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan scheduled later this year.
Opposition to Corner Government
The Opposition is planning to corner the government on issues like mob lynching incidents, atrocities on Dalits and women, rising unemployment, woes of farmers and backward castes, and reservation in higher education institutions.
“To make this session a success, we will support the government. We hope we will be allowed to highlight important issues of the country,” senior Congress leader Mallikarjuna Kharge said.
Yesterday a 12 party meeting was held and we agreed upon bringing a vote of no confidence and we will also demand the special status for Andhra Pradesh, and by tonight we will mobilise it as much as possible: Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress Leader pic.twitter.com/fBUAN3X8ig
— ANI (@ANI) July 17, 2018
He said that in Monday’s all-party meeting, it was decided that the Opposition would raise some important issues in the session. “We have come to a conclusion that this government has failed to keep its promises in the last four years,” Kharge said.
In a meeting held on Monday to decide their common strategy, major Opposition parties, including the Congress, decided to unitedly move forward in fielding a joint candidate for the post of deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha, which fell vacant after the retirement of P J Kurien on July 1.
Those present at the meeting included leaders from the Congress, NCP, TMC, BSP, SP, RJD, DMK, CPI(M), CPI, JD(S), RSP, IUML and KC-M.
TDP Seeks Support For ‘no-confidence’ Motion Against Government
Meanwhile, the shadow of ‘no confidence motion’ against the government looms large over the Monsoon Session, with the TDP seeking the support of Opposition parties for it.
TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu has written to various parties and sought their support for the no-confidence motion his party seeks to move in Parliament against the government over the “injustice” meted out to Andhra Pradesh due to non-fulfillment of the promise of granting special status to the state.
Naidu said in view of the continued “adamant attitude of the BJP-led NDA government, the TDP has decided to move a no-confidence motion against the Modi government again in the ensuing Monsoon Session of Parliament”. The monsoon session of the Parliament is slated to end on August 10.