Oppn wants 7 Bills to be sent for Parl scrutiny

The Opposition is also finalising the draft of a joint letter by Opposition parties, about the need for maintaining the "integrity of Parliament" and expressing anguish at the way bills are "bulldozed" by the government without adequate Parliamentary scrutiny. (PTI File Photo)

Opposition on Wednesday decided to have a common strategy for both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha while taking on the ruling BJP and identified seven Bills, including the Triple Talaq Bill and RTI (Amendment) Bill, that should be sent for further Parliamentary scrutiny.

Interestingly, the Opposition also took a step back on its demand for a statement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on US President Donald Trump's remarks about mediating Kashmir issue, as Lok Sabha MPs walked out once while it did not raise it in Rajya Sabha.

The Opposition is also finalising the draft of a joint letter by Opposition parties, about the need for maintaining the "integrity of Parliament" and expressing anguish at the way bills are "bulldozed" by the government without adequate Parliamentary scrutiny.

Floor leaders of various Opposition parties held back-to-back meetings in Parliament, where broad contours of their strategy was finalised.

The first meeting was held with Sonia Gandhi chairing it in Congress Parliamentary Party office, where the UPA Chairperson suggested that Opposition should have a common strategy in both the Houses.

Leaders from Congress, DMK, NCP, BSP, CPI, CPI(M), RJD and Muslim League among others attended.

This meeting exposed some chinks in the Opposition ranks, as Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party and AAP leaders decided to skip it. However, they attended the next meeting, which was at the office of Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, to discuss the floor strategy in Rajya Sabha.

In this meeting, sources said, they decided to insist that seven bills should be sent to Select Committee of Rajya Sabha or a Joint Select Committee comprising MPs of both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha.

Besides Triple Talaq Bill and RTI (Amendment) Bill, other bills are the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, UAPA (Amendment) Bill, Inter-State Water Disputes (Amendment Bill), Codes Wages Bill and the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code Bill.

In Rajya Sabha, Azad and Trinamool Congress leader Derek O'Brien placed on record their demand on sending these Bills for Parliamentary scrutiny.

Government, on its part, indicated its readiness for negotiations on RTI Bill as Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs V Muraleedharan told Rajya Sabha that the government was not taking up the Bill for discussion on Wednesday, though it was listed.

Asked why they are not vociferously raising the demand for Modi's statement on Trump's remarks, a senior Opposition leader said they had a discussion on the strategy to be adopted in Parliament and felt that they should not leave the legislations to the whims and fancies of the ruling party. 

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