The Monsoon Session of the Parliament, which is set to begin from Wednesday, is set for another rough season as the opposition parties plan to train their guns on government on various issues, including mob lynching, reservation, farmer woes and atrocities on Dalit and other minorities.
To avoid another wash-out like the previous session, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government today reached out to all parties and requested the legislators to make the monsoon session productive.
At an all party meet held today in New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought cooperation of all political parties and asked them to ensure that it turns out to be a productive session.
Addressing a meeting of leaders of various parties in Parliament House, the prime minister hoped that each one of them would raise issues of public importance in the larger interest of the country.
While the government has claimed that the opposition has assured them of their cooperation to ensure smooth functioning of both Houses of Parliament, opposition parties have voiced their concerns during the interaction with the government.
"The prime minister today sought the cooperation of all political parties for the smooth functioning of Parliament and a productive session. People of India want Parliament to function...
"The entire country expects and hopes the Parliament will function and debate over issues of national interest," Parliamentary Affairs minister Ananth Kumar told reporters after the meeting.
He said Modi told the meeting that the government accords importance to issues raised by all political parties and urged them to collectively strive to create a constructive atmosphere in the session to achieve national good.
The prime minister expressed confidence that all political parties would cooperate in the smooth running of Parliament and undertake constructive discussions on issues of national importance.
Kumar said the government called for cooperation from all parties in the country's interest.
According to the minister, there was a cordial atmosphere in the meeting and all parties were in the favour of a productive Monsoon Session.
The government, he said, is always ready to hold discussions on the floor of the House on any issue as permitted under rules.
"The government will leave no stone unturned to facilitate smooth functioning of Parliament during the ensuing Monsoon Session," he said, claiming there was a consensus among parties to ensure smooth functioning of Parliament without disruptions.
He said deadlock should be resolved through constructive discussions in both the Houses.
Opposition parties plan protest
Even as the government showed hope, the opposition parties warned that they will not let the Houses run unless the prime minister replies on certain issues. These include the issue of ending reservation for SCs/STs in appointments in higher education and bringing a law for stopping lynchings in the country as per directive of the Supreme Court.
"We will not allow the House to function till an assurance is given by the government on the floor of the House on reservation to SCs and STs in higher education," said Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav.
The government, he charged, is ignoring the OBCs and SC/STs in appointments in higher education institutes. It is not giving what is due to the people from the lower section of society, he said.
AAP leader Sanjay Singh raised the issue of alleged discrimination by the Centre against the Delhi government and hoped the prime minister will address the issue.
"The Delhi government is not being allowed to function and attempts are being made that LG should run the national capital. Injustice is being done to the national capital," he said.
At yesterday's meeting, the opposition parties had decided to raise issues of mob lynching, atrocities on Dalits and women, rising unemployment, woes of farmers and backwards, and reservation in higher education institutions.
"The opposition parties present in today's meeting decided with consensus that they want the Parliament to function... If there is no discussion on all these issues and create disturbances, then the opposition will not be responsible for it, the government is," Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters after the meeting at the Parliament House Library on Monday.
He alleged that during the last session of Parliament, the entire opposition wanted the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha to function, but the government did not want it.
Supporting parties of the ruling NDA created disruptions and blamed the opposition instead, Azad claimed.
"We want to raise the issues of unemployment, farmers, backwards, Dalits, besides lynchings and atrocities and issue of reservation of SC/ST in higher education and universities. These are not our issues, these are of the people and we will raise these issues," he said.
Corruption and black money, especially the rise in deposits of Indians in Swiss banks, and those arising out of demonetisation, will also be among the key issues to be raised during the session, the sources said.
CPI leader D Raja said the opposition wants the Parliament to function as there are many issues before the country that need to be discussed.
"The government must allow the Parliament to function so that there should be discussion on these burning issues," he said after the meeting that lasted around two hours.
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has convened a dinner with leaders of various parties today evening to seek their support for the session, while Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has invited them to tea at his residence. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to attend both the functions.
Shadow of 'no-confidence motion'
The Telugu Desam Party (TDP)'s demand of no-cofidence motion against the government for denial of special status to Andhra Pradesh continues to threaten the smooth functioning of Monsoon Session. The demand for 'no-confidence motion' had resulted in massive disruptions during the last session.
This time too, TDP is not likely to let the demand slip by. TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu has written to various parties and sought their support for the no-confidence motion.
Naidu said in view of the continued "adamant attitude of the BJP-led NDA government, the TDP has decided to move no-confidence motion against the Modi government again in the ensuing Monsoon Session of Parliament".
The no-confidence motions against the NDA government moved by the YSR Congress and the TDP separately during the Budget Session of Parliament could not be taken up as vociferous protests in the House over various issues had led to repeated adjournments.
Monsoon Session Schedule:
The Monsoon Session of the Parliament will begin on Wednesday, July 18, and will end on August 10. During the 18 sittings spread over a period of 24 days, the Houses are listed to take up 48 items - 46 bills and two financial items.