Entire country expects and hopes Parliament will function and debate issues of national interest,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar tells reporters after a meeting in Parliament House.
As the monsoon session of Parliament is set to begin on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday sought the cooperation of all political parties in making it a a productive sitting, which will end on August 10.
Addressing political leaders in the Parliament House, the Prime Minister hoped that each one of them would raise issues of public importance in the larger interest of the country.
While the government has claimed that the Opposition had assured them of their cooperation to ensure the smooth functioning of both Houses of Parliament, Opposition parties had voiced their concerns during the interaction with the government.
“The Prime Minister today sought the cooperation of all political parties for the smooth functioning of Parliament and a productive session… The entire country expects and hopes Parliament will function and debate issues of national interest,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar told reporters after the meeting.He said Mr. Modi told the meeting that the government accorded importance to issues raised by all political parties and urged them to collectively strive to create a constructive atmosphere in the session to achieve national good.
Mr. Kumar said there was a cordial atmosphere at the meeting and all parties were in favour of a productive monsoon session.
The Government, he said, was always ready to hold discussions on the floor of the House on any issue as permitted under rules.
“The Government will leave no stone unturned to facilitate smooth functioning of Parliament during the ensuing monsoon session,” he said, adding that there was consensus among parties on the smooth functioning of Parliament without disruptions.
Opposition parties raised a number of issues during the meeting. These include the issue of ending reservation for SC/ST category people in appointments in higher education and bringing in law for stopping lynchings as per the directive of the Supreme Court.
“We will not allow the House to function till an assurance is given by the government on the floor of the House on reservation to SC and ST category people in higher education,” said Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav.The government, he alleged, was ignoring people belonging to OBCs and SCs/STs in appointments in higher education institutes. It was not giving what was due to the people from the lower section of society, he said.Aam Aadmi Party leader Sanjay Singh raised the issue of alleged discrimination by the Centre against the Delhi government and hoped the Prime Minister would address the issue.
“The Delhi government is not being allowed to function and attempts are being made that the Lieutenant Governor should run the national capital. Injustice is being done to the national capital,” he said.
Mr. Ananth Kumar said the monsoon session would have a total of 18 sittings spread over a period of 24 days. Forty-six bills would be taken up during the session, he added.