New speaker will decide Cong's plea for LOP: Joshi

New speaker will decide Cong's plea for LOP: Joshi

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi (Image courtesy Facebook)

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said new speaker will decide on giving Leader of Opposition in Parliament (LOP) position to Congress.

Speaking to media persons at his residence in Hubballi on Saturday, he said as of now the Union government has not decided in this regard. There are set rules and precedents regarding giving LOP to the opposition party. The government will follow the rules, he said.

“There is no need for the Congress to jump the gun so early,” he said reacting to former union minister Abhishek Manu Singhvi’s recent statement that he would approach the court if the government fails to give LOP to Congress, which has 52 seats in Lok Sabha. The required number to get LOP is 54.

Smooth functioning

Joshi said as part of the exercise, the government has reached out to opposition leaders requesting them to allow smooth functioning of the Parliament, which is scheduled to be held between June 17 and July 26. “Elections are over. There were exchange of words among leaders, but that should not deter the functioning of parliament now, as it is the duty of the elected persons to debate and pass bills and laws for betterment of people,” he said and added that more than 10 ordinances, including Triple talaq and continuation of governors rule in Jammu and Kashmir, has to be passed. He said there are more than 37 bills waiting for the parliament’s approval.

He reiterated that the treasury benches are ready to discuss any issued raised by the opposition.

May not be scrapped for now

Joshi gave enough hints to suggest that an amendment to scrap Article 370, which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir, may not be brought to parliament this term. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Home Minister Amit Shah are consulting amongst themselves and a suitable step in this regard will be taken at an appropriate time,” he said. Scraping of Article 370 was one the important poll promises of BJP in the recently concluded general elections.

Pak’s invitation

On Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan’s invitation for Modi to resume talks, Joshi said that government is firm on its stand that talks and terror cannot go hand in hand.

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