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J&K issues, citizenship bill, economy to keep govt busy

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which is high on the government’s agenda for this session, may face hurdles since some parties are strongly opposed to it. During the meeting, BJD demanded that a legislation be passed for creating a Vidhan Parish...

Nov 18, 2019, 09.57 AM IST
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The winter session of Parliament starting Monday is expected to be an eventful one, with the opposition planning to raise objections to the continuing house arrest of political leaders in J&K.
NEW DELHI: The winter session of Parliament starting Monday is expected to be an eventful one, with the opposition planning to raise objections to the continuing house arrest of political leaders in J&K and demand discussions on issues like unemployment and economic slowdown. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which is high on the government’s agenda for this session, may face hurdles since some parties are strongly opposed to it.

The government reached out to the opposition on Sunday and discussed issues likely to figure in the session. It sought support of parties for smooth functioning of the Houses.

“This time, we mark the 250th session of Rajya Sabha. In both Houses, we shall have constructive debates on ways to empower citizens and further India’s development,” PM Modi said in a tweet after an all-party meeting.

During the meeting, BJD demanded that a legislation be passed for creating a Vidhan Parishad in Odisha. Party leader Pinaki Misra said the government has accepted his suggestion for a discussion on pollution.

The Maharashtra political scenario, the continuing problems in J&K, the move to send European Union MPs to the border state while not allowing Indian MPs, role of governors, etc are likely to be raised by the opposition MPs.

After the meeting, leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, said: “Farooq Abdullah, who is under detention since over three months, should be allowed to attend the session. There is precedent that MPs were allowed to attend Parliament even if their cases were being heard. So, P Chidambaram should also be allowed to attend.”

BJP will also have to brace itself for attacks from friend-turned-foe Shiv Sena, which is now in the opposition camp. Parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi said since Sena minister Arvind Sawant has resigned and the party was joining hands with Congress in Maharashtra, its members in both the Houses would be allotted seats in the opposition benches. Sena didn’t attend a meeting of the NDA leaders on Sunday.

This is also the 250th session of the Rajya Sabha, a permanent House. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu held a meeting with floor leaders of various political parties in the Upper House on Sunday. He released a publication ‘Rajya Sabha: The Journey since 1952’. During the session, a silver coin worth Rs 250 and a Rs 5 stamp will be released to mark the occasion.

On Monday, soon after the House meets, the Chair will read out condolences to its members who passed away recently. The list includes Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Ram Jethmalani.

Post-lunch, the Upper House will hold a discussion on ‘The Role of Rajya Sabha in Indian Polity and Need for Reforms’. No legislative business will be taken up on the first day. On November 26, a joint sitting of both the Houses will be held to mark the 70th anniversary of adoption of the Constitution.
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