Opposition for discussions on contentious issues in LS



New Delhi: The Opposition on Monday conveyed to the government at a meeting called by the Lok Sabha Speaker that it wants discussions and clarifications on contentious issues, including the state of the economy, drought, floods, ethnic violence in Assam, Centre-state relations and FDI in retail.

At the all-party meeting convened by Speaker Meira Kumar, the main Opposition and the Left parties emphasised that they want a serious debate on the state of the economy.

"There is a severe economic crisis in the country and fall in Ratings, devaluation of the Rupee vis-a-vis the Dollar and the problems caused by all this should be discussed. We want a debate on the issue in the House," Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj told reporters.

She said the party also wants a clarification on the government's intentions on FDI in retail. "On FDI in retail, it appears as if the government has given a silent nod though the then Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee had given an assurance in the House that till a consensus is build among all stake-holders the government will not move ahead. But the indications coming from the government show they have made up their mind," Swaraj said. She demanded that the government either agree to a debate on this or assure the House that it will not bring it in.

The Left parties are also keen on a debate on the economy. "Our first priority in this session is the economic crisis which the government is camouflaging," CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta asserted.

He echoed the views of Swaraj on the FDI issue.

"Parliament is not a dancing doll of the government," Dasgupta said, adding that the government should take the Opposition demands seriously. Incidentally, UPA ally TMC also warned the government against going ahead with "anti-people policies" like FDI in retail and the Pensions Bill.

PTI