The much-debated fuel prices and the current coronavirus situation in the country were among the prominently discussed issues in the Council of Ministers' meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi via video conferencing on Wednesday, sources told India TV.
Earlier in the day, the prime minister chaired the first in-person meeting of the Union Cabinet at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg. Modi had held the first meeting with his new team virtually just a day after the Union Cabinet reshuffle.
In the key meet on Wednesday, presentations were made on behalf of the Health Ministry, Petroleum Ministry and Parliamentary Affairs Ministry.
The Parliamentary Affairs Ministry informed the council about the bills that will be presented in the upcoming session of Parliament, along with the details of probable issues on which discussions could be demanded by the Opposition.
The Petroleum Ministry shed light on the reasons for rising petrol, diesel and LPG prices in addition to details of Centre-state revenue sharing, sources said.
Next on, the Health Ministry apprised the council about the current Covid-19 situation in the country including on the vaccination status. It also shared information about steps taken to deal with oxygen shortage.
According to sources, Prime Minister Narendra Modi advised all the members to brace up for the Monsoon Session of Parliament so as to put a strong stand for the government. He also asked all to be informed and follow all rules related to the Parliament and their respective ministries.
"Senior ministers will be accountable even if MoS respond on certain issues in the Parliament," sources quoted Modi as saying. He also asked all the members to remain present during the roster duty in the Parliament.
The Monsoon session of Parliament will begin on July 19 and will conclude on August 13. This will be the first session after the second wave of COVID-19, which was far more worse than the first.
On the other hand, the Congress party has stepped up its offensive to gherao the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Parliament as part of its multi-pronged attack. The grand-old-party members met on Wednesday to brainstorm strategy to counter the saffron party on various issues. According to sources, the Parliamentary Strategy Committee meeting of the Congress party finalised a range of issues to cash in, including unemployment, border issues, inflation, farmer protests, internal security, Rafael, and "Covid mismanagement".