Press Trust of india

Monsoon session: LS Speaker Birla holds all-party meet; Opposition seeks Agnipath debate

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New Delhi: Ahead of the monsoon session of Parliament, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Saturday sought cooperation of all parties for smooth conduct of proceedings with “decency, dignity and discipline”, even as the Opposition demanded discussion on the Agnipath scheme, unemployment and farmers’ issues.

At an all-party meeting ahead of the session beginning on Monday, Birla informed the leaders about preparations for the session.

He later said that leaders of all parties assured that they will cooperate in conducting the proceedings of the House with dignity.

Several opposition political parties – TMC, TRS, Shiv Sena, NCP, BSP, SP, TDP, SAD and Left parties — skipped the meeting. The BJD also had no representation.

However, Congress and its allies DMK and IUML attended the meeting. While Congress was represented by Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, TR Baalu from DMK participated.

Leaders from YSR Congress and NDA’s constituents – LJP, Apna Dal were also present in the meeting.

The government was represented by Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi and Minister of State in the same ministry Arjun Ram Meghwal.

In a tweet after the meeting, the Speaker said he urged all parties to “cooperate in the smooth conduct of the proceedings with decency, dignity and discipline in accordance with the high traditions and values of the House”.

He further said that efforts will be made to have extensive discussion and dialogue on topics related to public interest.

He also said that by “celebrating #AzadiKaAmritMahotsav (celebrations surrounding 75 years of India’s independence), we can achieve the expected results fulfilling the hopes and aspirations of the public”.

During the meeting, discussions were also held on the issues to be taken up during the session and allocation of time for discussion on different bills.

Issues, such as the recently issued list of unparliamentary words, are also believed to have come up for discussion in the meeting.

The Speaker holds this customary all-party meeting before the start of every parliament session.

The Monsoon session of the Parliament will begin on July 18 and is scheduled to continue till August 12.

Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the Opposition demanded a discussion on the Agnipath military recruitment scheme, unemployment and farmers’ issues in the upcoming Monsoon session of Parliament.

The meeting was held at Parliament premises in the evening and was attended by floor leaders of several political parties.

“We have demanded that discussion should be held on Agnipath, unemployment and issues related to farmers and sufficient time be given to the Opposition to raise these issues in the House,” Chowdhury told reporters after the meeting.

Baalu also demanded discussion on these issues.

Joshi listed the government’s business for the session which includes 14 pending bills and 24 new bills.

Birla also informed the members there will be 18 sittings during the Session and a total time of 108 hours will be available out of which about 62 hours will be for government business.

The remaining time has been allotted for Question Hour, Zero Hour and private members’ business, Birla was quoted in a statement issued by the Lok Sabha Secretariat.

Birla also informed that like previous sessions, proper COVID-19 protocol will be followed in this session and adequate arrangements have been made in this regard.


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