Govt 'ready to discuss all issues' in Parliament but Gujarat campaign's animosity may overshadow Winter Session
The Opposition refused to buy the government's argument that Winter Session have been delayed or truncated in the past too.
New Delhi: The government is ready to discuss all the issues, including those to be raised by the Opposition, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said here on Thursday, adding that he would request all the MPs to work "full time" to dispose of the business.
"The government is ready to discuss and debate any issue. Several issues would be raised by the Opposition and the government would obviously give its response," he said when asked if Prime Minister Narendra Modi's allegations against his predecessor Manmohan Singh and others vis-a-vis their meeting with Pakistani diplomats would disrupt the Houses.
"It is also the Opposition's responsibility to run Parliament. The Prime Minister has sought Opposition's cooperation for smooth functioning of Parliament," he said.
Ananth Kumar said 25 Bills are listed in the Lok Sabha and 39 Bills are pending in the Rajya Sabha which would be taken up and disposed "according to priority".
The most important business would be the Supplementary Demands for Grants, which is the first one after the implementation of GST; the 123rd Constitutional Amendment for setting up of National Commission for Backward Classes as a constitutional body; and the Bill against triple talaaq, he said.
Besides, the government would also bring Bills to turn three Ordinances into Acts, which include on the GST compensation to states and Amendments to the Indian Forest Act and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.
However, a belligerent Opposition is ready to corner the government on Modi's allegations against Manmohan Singh, former Vice President Hamid Ansari and others, as also the disqualification from Rajya Sabha of veteran socialist leader Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar Ansari.
"The Prime Minister has levelled very serious allegations against a former prime minister, former vice-president, former army chief and a few retired diplomats that they were conspiring along with Pakistan. The government must tell the Parliament as to what kind of conspiracy it was," senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad told media persons after the all-party meeting.
"If the allegations are true, the government must take action. If they are false, then those levelling such wild allegations must be punished. Why does BJP rakes up Pakistan in every elections? It is them who go uninvited and make friends with them," Azad, the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, added.
Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge wondered as to how the government would do justice to 25 Bills in just 14 days.
"Besides, a Parliament session is not meant to just transact the government business. There are several other important matters of public concern which need to be discussed apart from the Opposition's issues," he said.
The Opposition refused to buy the government's argument that Winter Session have been delayed or truncated in the past too, saying the government "deliberately" delayed and shortened the session as the "entire Cabinet including the Prime Minister was busy campaigning in Gujarat".
However, Ananth Kumar said that he would request the Members of Parliament to work "full time" to make the most of the 14-day session.
"Parliament's productivity has increased over the last few years. We expect this session too would be very smooth and productive. I request all the MPs to work full time," he said to the point of cramming 25 bills in 14 days.
Those present at the all-party meet included Prime Minister Modi (who joined towards the end), Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar and his deputies Vijay Goel and Arjun Meghwal.
The others included Azad, Anand Sharma, Kharge and Jyotiraditya Scindia from the Congress, Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference, D. Raja of the Communist Party of India, Derek O'Brien of the Trinamool Congress, Naresh Agarwal of the Samajwadi Party and Tariq Anwar of the Nationalist Congress Party.
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