Monsoon Session: Ready for debate, says PM Narendra Modi as Opposition prepares to corner government

Several opposition parties have announced to move a no-confidence motion against the Modi government.

Monsoon Session: Ready for debate, says PM Narendra Modi as Opposition prepares to corner government

NEW DELHI: Several Opposition parties led by Congress have said that they will bring a no-confidence motion against the Narendra Modi government-led BJP government at the Centre as both Houses of Parliament convene for the Monsoon Session on Wednesday.

Ahead of that, the Prime Minister called for the smooth functioning of the two houses of Parliament. He said that allowing the Parliament to function will be in the best interest of the nation.

The PM also said that his government is ready for any debate on any issues.  ''We hope that the Monsoon Session of Parliament functions smoothly, whatever issues any party has, it can raise the same on the floor of the house. My government is ready for a discussion on all issues,'' the PM said.

''We hope for good suggestions and discussions from all experienced members of the Parliament,'' PM Modi said.

PM Modi's appeal came even as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress gave a Zero Hour notice in Rajya Sabha over several incidents of mob lynching. After TMC, RJD MP JP Yadav also given an adjournment motion notice in Lok Sabha over cases of mob lynching. CPI MP D Raja too gave adjournment motion notice in Rajya Sabha over cases of mob lynching and attack on Swami Agnivesh. 

The party led by Rahul Gandhi had too said on Tuesday that several opposition parties have announced their support to it on the issue.

As the two Houses assembled for normal business, YSR Congress MPs staged a protest at the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Parliament, demanding special status for Andhra Pradesh.

Going a step further, former NDA ally - the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) - on Tuesday submitted a notice for a no-trust motion against the Modi government. The party led N Chandrababu Naidu urged the Lok Sabha Secretary-General to include the no-trust motion in the list of business on Wednesday - the opening day of the session. 

Speaking to reporters, veteran Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said that his party would raise several issues for discussion in the session such as mob lynching, woman safety, "misrule" in Jammu and Kashmir, dilution of SC/ST Act, attempts to abolish reservation in autonomous institutions and issues of farmers, unemployment and poor investments, besides special status to Andhra Pradesh.

He also criticised the Modi government for allegedly ignoring rules in appointing heads of autonomous institutions, rising petrol and diesel prices, depreciation of the rupee and "worsening" foreign policy.

"On Monday, out of 17 opposition parties, 12 parties which were present in the opposition meeting agreed to move a vote of no-confidence against the government on these issues, apart from special status to Andhra Pradesh," Kharge told reporters.

"It will be brought after meeting and talking to all the parties. We are in talks with all Opposition parties and trying to mobilise them," he added.

The senior Congress leader also accused the government of indulging in corruption during demonetisation and alleged that there was a scam in Ahmedabad District Co-operative bank accepting over Rs 750 crore - highest among cooperative banks - post the note ban announcement.

He also said that issues of black money and 50 percent increase in Swiss Bank accounts will also be raised during the session.

''Importantly, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah is the director of the Ahmedabad District Co-operative,'' Kharge underlined.

Though a number of opposition parties had given notices for no-confidence motion during the Budget session, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan had rejected all of them.

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, accusing the government of not letting Parliament function in the previous sessions (Winter and Budget), said, "It was not the Congress which was responsible for not allowing the House to function. It was the ruling party which did not have the will to allow the House to function."

"Government doesn't have the guts to face the public and the opposition because all promises they had made were false," he added. 

Azad also said that EVM machines should be done away with and the original system should be restored. He also raised concern over how leaders of opposition parties do not get a chance to raise various issues in Rajya Sabha or Lok Sabha TV.

Echoing similar views, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, "Rising prices are slicing people's budget, but apathetic Prime Minister Narendra Modi is busy in dividing people. 

"In the last four years, people have witnessed price rise, rampant unemployment, reduction in savings, low growth, the economy in turmoil and rising cost of living," he added.

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday chaired an all-party meeting during which he appealed to the leaders to allow smooth functioning of the two houses of Parliament.

The government has listed a substantive legislative business for the Monsoon Session. This includes 48 items including 46 Bills and two financial matters. 

The bills prioritised by the government include The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill or the anti-instant triple talaq bill and The Constitution (123rd  Amendment) Bill, that gives Constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes.

The National Medical Commission Bill, The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, The Consumer Protection Bill, The Dam Safety Bill and Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill are also high on government's agenda.

Six bills replacing ordinances promulgated in the inter-session period are also high on government's agenda. These include The Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance; The Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance; The Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts (Amendment) Ordinance; The Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance; The National Sports University Ordinance; and The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance.

(With Agency inputs)