Opposition will raise jobs, price rise, LAC standoff in House session

NEW DELHI: At an all-party meeting a day before the start of Parliament’s Winter Session on Tuesday, the Opposition raised the demand for discussion on price rise, unemployment and the situation along the Sino-India border.

The Centre, for its part, plans to introduce 16 bills during the 17 sittings of the session and assures that it will take up the issues according to the rules and norms of Parliament. The Winter Session will start on Wednesday and last till December 29, with 17 sittings over 23 days.

Leaders from more than 30 parties took part in the meeting chaired by Union minister and deputy leader of Lok Sabha Rajnath Singh. Leader of Rajya Sabha Piyush Goyal and Parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi also attended the meeting.

Singh sought cooperation from all parties for smooth functioning of the session. While the BJD demanded passage of the Women Reservation Bill, the Shiv Sena’s Shinde faction wanted the population control bill to be cleared during the Winter Session starting from December 7.

Joshi listed out the government’s legislative agenda for the session and sought the Opposition’s cooperation for passage of bills.

Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury demanded discussions on price rise, unemployment and also on alleged misuse of investigative agencies.

He also demanded a discussion on the Sino-India border issue and said, “The government did not properly inform the Opposition about the standoff at the border. In the House, we demand a discussion on it and also on the killings of Kashmiri Pandits.”

Congress leader Naseer Hussain demanded discussions on the appointment of the Election Commissioner in just one day and on the economically weaker section quota.

Of the Bills that the government has listed for consideration in the session, the Congress said it is opposed to three — the Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill 2021, Multi-State Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Bill 2022 and the Forest Conservation Amendment Bill 2022.

Trinamul Congress leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay with party colleague and Rajya Sabha member Derek O’Brien sought discussions on price rise, unemployment, alleged misuse of agencies and economic blockade of states.

O’Brien also told the government that the Opposition should be allowed to raise issues of importance.

Both Congress and TMC raised the issue of alleged misuse of investigative agencies, which was backed by the AAP, the NCP and several other parties.

AAP leader Sanjay Singh demanded a discussion on the old pension scheme and a law ensuring minimum support price on crops produced by farmers.

At the end of the meeting, Joshi said he has taken note of all the issues raised by the political parties and discussions will be held according to the norms and procedures of Parliament.

“Issues for discussion will be finalised in the business advisory committee meetings of both houses of Parliament,” Joshi said.