Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday appealed to all MPs at an all-party meeting to utilize the winter session of Parliament well as it will be the last full-fledged session before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Addressing an all-party meet at Parliament House a day before the session commences, Modi said the government was ready to discuss all issues as per rules and procedures and was open to the opposition's inputs for better working of Parliament.
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Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narendra Singh Tomar briefed the media on what transpired in the meeting.
"The Prime Minister said that we all need to cooperate with each other on the issues of public interest. He underlined that in a democracy both the government and the opposition share their inputs for efficient governance," Tomar said, quoting the Prime Minister.
"The Prime Minister also said that the government was ready to discuss all issues as per rules and procedures. If anybody wants to bring something to the government's notice inside the House or even outside, we are open to it," he added.
Tomar said that all the political parties present at the meeting have assured full cooperation in the smooth functioning of Parliament.
Asked if the government was ready for a JPC probe in the Rafale fighter jets deal, he said the opposition had several issues including Rafale, farmers' plight and economy "but they would have to prioritise things as the session was only four weeks long.
"These things can be settled in the Business Advisory Meetings," he added.
The Minister said a legislation on Ram Mandir was "not the topic of today's discussion".
"When something to this effect comes up, we will let you know," he said.
He said the government had 46 items on the agenda including three ordinances, Supplementary Budget and government legislations.
This was the last full-fledged Parliament session before the Lok Sabha polls.
Meanwhile, addressing reporters after the meeting, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the party will press for a joint parliamentary committee to probe the Rafale jet deal and raise several issues, including the misuse of probe agencies and autonomy for RBI, in the winter session of Parliament.
Azad told reporters that the issue of alleged misuse of probe agencies by the government to settle political scores will also be raised.
The opposition, he said, will take up the issue of autonomy of the Reserve Bank of India in the session.
This year's Winter Session will have 20 sittings, during which eight important bills will be tabled in the Rajya Sabha and 15 in the Lok Sabha. The session will end on January 8.