Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday said the government would work with all political parties in a constructive manner to address pending legislations as well as to frame policy solutions for wide-ranging issues.
He was speaking at an all-party meeting on the eve of the winter session of parliament.
Policy solutions to issues varying from the environment and pollution, the economy, the agricultural sector and farmers, and the rights of women, youth and the less privileged sections of society will be debated. Leaders from all major political parties attended the meeting.
Modi said the winter session will be a special occasion as it will mark the 250th session of the Rajya Sabha.
Opposition parties raised the issue of the detention of former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah, who is a member of the Lok Sabha, at the meeting.
Abdullah is detained along with two other former chief ministers - Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti - since the government scrapped Article 370 of the constitution and reorganised the state.
“Farooq Abdullah should be allowed to attend the parliament session as he is under detention for the past three months and as per past precedents jailed former finance minister P Chidambaram should also be allowed to attend the proceedings,” Congress leader in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad said.
Congress leader in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, said the opposition will raise the issue of economic crisis during the winter session.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Pralhad Joshi assured smooth functioning of the house.
Regarding the BJP’s former ally Shiv Sena, Joshi said: “Shiv Sena is working on a tie-up with the Congress as they have opted to sit in the opposition. We have agreed to it and their minister has also resigned from the government”.
He was referring to the resignation of Arvind Sawant from the cabinet.
Sawant moved to the third row from the front in the Lok Sabha and the party’s 17 other MPs are being allotted new seats, according to an official announcement.
Under the new arrangements, Shiv Sena MPs will now be sitting with the opposition.
The new arrangement is a fallout of the party’s decision to part ways with the BJP in Maharashtra.
The Shiv Sena has 18 MPs in Lok Sabha and three in the Rajya Sabha. Shiv Sena leaders Sanjay Raut and Anil Desai will no longer occupy seats in the treasury benches in the Rajya Sabha in accordance with standard parliamentary procedures.
The Shiv Sena parted ways with its long-time ally after the Maharashtra assembly polls after they failed to arrive at a consensus over a power-sharing arrangement for the post of chief minister. The two parties together got 161 seats, 16 more than the majority required in the state assembly to form a government.
Meanwhile, four newly elected MPs will take oath in the Lok Sabha today.
Prince Raj from the Samastipur in Bihar, Himadri Singh from Shahdol in Madhya Pradesh, Shriniwas Dadasaheb Patil from Satara in Maharashtra and D M Kathir Anand from Vellore in Tamil Nadu are among the four newly elected MPs who will take oath today.
Raj of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), who was last month appointed the party chief of Bihar replacing his uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras, trounced senior Bihar Congress leader Ashok Kumar in a by-election. The by-election was held after the death of Ram Chandra Paswan. He is the nephew of central minister Ramvilas Paswan.
BJP leader Himadri Singh, 31, is the daughter of former minister and late Congress MP Dalbir Singh. She is a third-time MP from Shahdol.
Former Sikkim governor and Nationalist Congress Party leader Shriniwas Patil defeated the BJP’s Udayanraje Bhosale, a descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji and two-time NCP MP from Satara, in western Maharashtra in the recently concluded by-election.
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader D M Kathir Anand, who is the son of former minister and DMK treasurer Durai Murugan, defeated All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) candidate A C Shanmugam from Vellore, taking the party’s tally in the Lok Sabha to 24.
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