A day before the monsoon session of Parliament is set to begin, an all-party meet was held at the Parliament Annexe. The opposition parties questioned the government on the absence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the meeting. It is customary for the Prime Minister to call and hold the all-party meet for the smooth functioning of Parliament. But PM Modi was absent today — the second time he skipped such a meet.
Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh tweeted: “All party meeting to discuss forthcoming session of Parliament has just begun and the Prime Minister as usual is absent. Isn’t this ‘unparliamentary’?”
All Party Meeting to discuss forthcoming session of Parliament has just begun and the Prime Minister as usual is absent. Isn’t this ‘unparliamentary’?
— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) July 17, 2022
The last time Modi skipped the meet ahead of the budget session, the government had pointed out that former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had given a miss to many such meets.
At the meeting today, parliamentary affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi urged the parties to ensure smooth functioning of parliament.
Opposition raises key issues
The opposition also raised issues including the delay in clearance of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s visit to Singapore, the Agnipath short service scheme for the armed forces, inflation, unemployment and the alleged misuse of federal structure by the Centre.
The meeting was attended by BJP’s Rajnath Singh, Piyush Goyal, Prahlad Joshi, Arjun Meghwal and Muraleedharan. The Congress was represented by Mallikarjun Kharge, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Jairam Ramesh. Sharad Pawar and Supriya Sule from the Nationalist Congress Party, Ramnath Thakur from Janata Dal United, Aam Aadmi Party’s Sanjay Singh and Harsimrat Kaur from Akali Dal were also present.
The monsoon session is likely to continue till August 12.
Covid protocol to be followed
At another all-party meet held on Saturday, Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla said like the previous sessions over the last two year, Covid protocol will be followed in this session, in which elections for the post of the President and the Vice-President are due. Birla briefed the leaders on the preparations related to the session.
Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, DMK MP TR Balu, Union Minister and BJP MP Pralhad Joshi, BJP MP Arjun Ram Meghwal, YSRCP MP PV Mithunreddy, RLJP MP Pashupati Kumar Paras were among those who attended the meeting held at Parliament premises.
After the meeting, Birla said he appealed to all party leaders to hold discussions on key issues currently facing us, in the interest of the country.
Stating that sufficient time should be given to the Opposition in the House to raise issues, Chowdhury said floors leaders demanded a discussion on the Agnipath military recruitment scheme, unemployment and farmers’ issues in the upcoming session.
According to reports, discussions were held on issues that will be taken up during the session and allocation of time for discussion on different bills. Issues such as the recently issued list of unparliamentary words, which caused an uproar from the Opposition, may also come up for discussion in the meeting.
A day after releasing a revision to the list of unparliamentary words, the Lok Sabha secretariat also banned dharnas and demonstrations on the Parliament premises.