Oppn to target govt on many issues, Par session to be stormy

Last Updated 17 November 2011, 12:11 IST

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, who chaired an all-party meeting here today, however, said that the general refrain of the parties was that the session should run smoothly and they have promised their cooperation.

Describing the discussions in the all party meeting as "very fruitful", Kumar said all leaders were "very keen" that the House transacts all business including passage of bills during the 21-day session.

She said the Opposition parties came out with 45 issues that they wanted to be discussed during the session. Though some of the parties felt that the session's duration is too short to take up so many issues, Kumar said no demand to extend the number of sittings was made.

Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said her party wants specific discussions on making public the list of Indian black money account holders abroad, food inflation, Telangana and recent developments in Indo-Pak relations after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's SAARC visit.

She said though there is hardly any dispute between the Government and the Opposition about discussion on issues, the problem arises on the manner in which the discussions should be held.

CPI General Secretary Gurudas Dasgupta said his party will bring an adjournment motion to discuss "failure" of the government to implement the unanimous resolution of the House on price rise adopted in the last session.

Striking a conciliatory note, Dasgupta urged the Government to show wisdom and accept Opposition's demand for adjournment motion. At the same time, he said rejection of the demand should not be made a ground for disrupting Parliament.

Ruing shortage of time, he said the Government has listed 31 bills for passage, but the session has only 17 sittings. Most parties favoured passage of the Lokpal Bill in this session but emphasised that it should be done only after following the due Parliamentary process.

Though the Speaker said there was no demand to extend the number of sittings, JD-U President and NDA convenor Sharad Yadav told reporters that he has given a suggestion to extend the session, a demand which was supported by RJD chief Lalu Prasad as well.

JD-U will also give a notice for discussion on price rise.NDA will finalise its strategy on floor coordination and adjournment motions in its November 21 meeting after which the BJP will also reach out to other parties to arrive at an understanding on taking on the government.

Left also indicated that talks are on to arrive at a floor coordination with other Opposition parties on certain issues. The Opposition plans to raise issues like Centre-State relations, corruption in MNREGA, paid news, Government's move to allow 26 per cent FDI in pension, the report of the Centre's interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir, non-procurement of paddy and crime against women.

BJP is all set to make a big issue out of the Prime Minister's "Man of Peace" remark for his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani as well as the
controversy surrounding the grant of Most Favoured Nation status to India.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla said the Government is ready for discussion on all issues. On Lokpal, he said Government is waiting for Standing Committee report and is hopeful of it getting passed this session.

Lalu Prasad said his RJD, along with a few other parties, would raise the issue of caste census and alleged that the government has gone back on its word on implementing it.

Sharad Yadav also raised this issue during the meeting. Prasad insisted that there was no hurry in bringing the Lokpal bill as efforts were on to make a better bill. BJP maintained that the Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation Bill should be brought in the Winter session. The government has made it clear that it is not bringing the bill in this session.

The Speaker was hopeful the session will be smooth though indications from the opposition were contrary. Asked about the Left plan, Kumar said, "Whatever comes before me, I will examine. Let it come before me. At the moment, I cannot speak on something which is hypothetical."

The issue of Telangana will also rock Parliament this session. Swaraj has already given a notice for discussion on the issue under Rule 193, which does not entail voting. With Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati passing a Cabinet proposal for dividing the state into four parts, the issue of Telangana and UP will be used to pressurise the government.

Other issues include death of young children due to Japanese Encephalitis, farmers' suicides and dangerous levels of fluoride in drinking water in some regions.

(Published 17 November 2011, 12:11 IST)

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