New Delhi: With Parliament's Winter Session just a fortnight away, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is understood to have asked his Cabinet colleagues on Monday to ready pending bills fast and avoid unnecessary tours in order to ensure their maximum presence during the month-long affair.
Chairing a meeting of the union council of ministers a day after a massive rejig of the Union Cabinet, Modi also directed the newly-appointed ministers on how to go about their job, government sources said.
He also discussed with his colleagues the strategy to ensure that the Winter Session beginning from November 24 and ending on December 23 remains a "smooth affair" for the government during which it plans to pass most of the old pending bills as well as some key new bills, they said.
Modi's focus on ensuring that Parliament functions smoothly during the session comes in the backdrop of a disruptive budget session of Parliament, the first working session of the new government, they said.
The Prime Minister also chose the occasion to remind the Ministers of States that they should be "assets" to their ministries concerned, the sources said.
After a two-hour-long meeting of the council of ministers, the Prime Minister chaired a 20-minute-long meeting of the Union Cabinet, they said.
Modi asked the ministers to direct the departments concerned to work effectively and ready the bills by the time the session begins. He also directed the ministers to pay attention towards completion of old pending bills, they said.
The Prime Minister is believed to have told the ministers that they should avoid unnecessary tours and be present during the session. The instruction came a day before he leaves for a tour of three countries.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju could not attend the meetings as they are on tour.
Union minister Anant Geete, from the estranged ally Shiv Sena was present, the sources said.