New Delhi: In order to get six different ordinances including the land-acquisition and FDI in insurance sector approved by the parliament ; M Venkaiah Naidu, parliamentary affairs minister, on Sunday visited Congress chief Sonia Gandhi at her residence to seek her party's cooperation in passing the crucial bills.
Describing the meeting as “cordial”, Naidu said that the Congress Chief has expressed concerns over land ordinance. The minister acknowledged the land issue as “emotive” and agreed that it should be addressed sincerely “without undue politicization”.
At the all-party meeting also which happened a day before Parliament was to open to the budget session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to the opposition parties for cooperation.
He said, “It is the collective responsibility of leaders of all parties to ensure that this session runs smoothly so that the House can fulfill aspirations of people... Hope we can collectively work for the benefit of common man.”
While pointing towards the issues that the opposition is expected to raise during the budget session, Modi, proactively, assured that all the issues referred by them will be discussed adequately and appropriately however, in the order of priority and importance.
Although the government seems to have got some assurance of smooth running of the House, it was unable to seek anything fruitful over the contentious land acquisition bill.
Such an incongruity might force the government for a joint session. However, the same is not being considered actively as of now.
It is learnt that the government is proactively considering to discuss extensively the land acquisition bill with the parties which are expected to oppose it. These include - Congress, Trinamool Congress and JD (U). It will also address concerns raised by Sangh Parivar outfits like BMS and Kisan Sabha to ensure that it is not seen as anti-farmer.
Most of the parties have left the onus of running the House smoothly on the government. BJD in Lok Sabha and TMC in Rajya sabha have moved resolutions against the ordinances.
TMC MP Derek O'Brien said that they are not against the six issues that the ordinances are about, but against the idea of taking the ordinance route. Hence he said that the opposition's unity which was seen during the winter session in Rajya Sabha continues to “remain”.
Leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad also added that Congress will not support those bills which “do not help people”.
JD(U) president Sharad Yadav held that it will be a “fight to the finish” claiming that the government has made the land law worse than that which existed during British time.
Later, Naidu stated that most of the opposition parties have shown a collective consensus over five bills however land ordinance continues to remain a bone of contention.
On the insurance ordinance, he said that following the suggestion of opposition parties, a select committee of Rajya Sabha had been set up and it had submitted its report which will represent the broad view of the House.
He did not respond whether, in a deadlock situation, government would convene a joint session to pass the bill/s or not.
Reportedly, the meeting saw 42 leaders from both Houses of Parliament expressing their views. There was no representation from Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Rashtriya Janta Dal.
The government is planning to bring the two crucial ordinances to the House to be turned into legislations in the first week of March. The budget session lasts till March 20 and Parliament will reconvene on April 20 and the session is due to conclude on May 8.
The six ordinances which the government is trying to push during this budget session are - citizenship of overseas Indians, e-rickshaws, allocation of coal blocks and non-coal mines for open bidding, and the two highly-discussed ones - FDI in insurance and land acquisition.