Electoral reforms, India@75 on top of Modi's agenda

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi, Congress leader Gulam Nabi Azad during an all-party meeting ahead of the budget session of Parliament, in New Delhi on Sunday. PTI photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has hit the ground running by convening a meeting of political parties on electoral reforms and his pet idea of 'one nation, one poll' and invited all Parliamentarians to dinner to share their views for a better India.

At the first all-party meeting ahead of the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha beginning on Monday, Modi urged the opposition to introspect over repeated disruptions in both the Houses of Parliament over the past two years.

“We are for the people, we cannot win hearts by disrupting the functioning of the Parliament. All parties must keep political differences aside and commit themselves to tirelessly work in the direction of the nation's progress,” he told leaders that included senior Congressmen Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Trinamool leaders Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Derek O'Brien, SP leader Ramgopal Yadav, among others.

Briefing reporters about the deliberations spread over two-and-a-half hours, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said the Prime Minister had invited presidents of political parties in Parliament on Wednesday for a discussion on electoral reforms, including 'one nation, one poll'.

On June 20, Modi has invited all the members of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha for dinner where he would like to hear their views on the 75th anniversary of India's Independence in 2022 and the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi.

The Prime Minister noted that the 17th Lok Sabha would witness a lot of new faces and should also reflect new thinking about India's future.

The government has lined up a heavy legislative agenda for the Budget Session beginning on Monday. Over 30 sittings, the government would seek Parliamentary approval for replacing 10 Ordinances with bills, including the legislation on making instant triple talaq a punishable offence.

The government would require the support of opposition parties for passing bills in the Rajya Sabha, where it is in a minority. The ruling NDA has 353 members in the 545 member Lok Sabha, while it has 102 members in the 245-member Rajya Sabha – 23 short of a majority.

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