Lok Sabha Speaker calls all-party meet

Speaker Meira Kumar has Wednesday convened a meeting of leaders of all parties Wednesday to discuss smooth conduct of the House.

Updated: Aug 25, 2010, 10:54 AM IST

New Delhi: As Lok Sabha enters the last leg of the current Monsoon session that has been seen several days of disruptions, Speaker Meira Kumar has convened a meeting of leaders of all parties Wednesday to discuss smooth conduct of the House.

The meeting assumes significance in the context of government`s plans to get the Civil Nuclear Liability Bill passed before the end of the session ahead of U S President
Barack Obama`s visit to India in November this year.

Kumar, who also expressed deep disenchantment with the mock session held by opposition MPs notably RJD chief Lalu Prasad, SP leader Mulayam Singh and BJP leader Gopinath Munde, is expected to seek the cooperation of the parties to ensure
smooth conduct of business in the remaining period of the session.

While the Rajya Sabha session has been extended by two days to August 31, there is no word on the Lok Sabha.

Both the Houses have been witnessing disruptions and adjournments for the day with opposition parties staging protests on one ground or the other.

Last week after failing to get the government agree to their demand for getting their salaries on par with government Secretaries, the opposition forced adjournment of the House.

Later about 70 of their MPs held a mock session that invited a
strong rebuke from the Speaker.

Even the BJP leadership was not amused by the fact that some of its MPs took part in it.

As Parliament resumes tomorrow after a short break the position raring to put the government on the mat on the Nuclear Liability Bill, the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, spurt in Maoist violence and other issues.

The opposition parties are crying foul after the Union Cabinet on Friday last cleared 18 amendments, including the one which deals with a clause on liability of a supplier in
the event of a nuclear accident.

The controversial amendment to Clause 17 (B) makes it clear that an operator of a nuclear plant can seek damages only if an accident has occurred due to the "intent" of the
supplier or its employees.

The BJP wants that the amended clause should be referred back to the Parliamentary Standing Committee.

The party has made it clear that it would be very difficult to support the bill unless the government relents and brings back the original proposed legislation.

The Left parties are also up in arms accusing the government of diluting the suppliers` liability at the behest of the US.

The Rajya Sabha is expected to discuss the challenges posed by Maoists, insurgents and renewed violence in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Left parties are likely to take on arch rival Trinamool Congress led by Mamata Banerjee accusing her of openly supporting the Maoists.

With the situation in the Kashmir Valley continuing to be worrisome, the opposition is expected to target the government for what it has been dubbing as pursuing a direction-less policy towards the sensitive state.