The last two sessions of Parliament have been a washout as the Treasury and Opposition benches bickered over several issues.
An attempt to make a fresh start was made when Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi told reporters after an all-party meeting on the eve of the Moon session that the government is ready for a discussion on the situation in Manipur, but termed a ‘caveat for disruption’ the Opposition’s demand for a statement by Prime Minister Narendra D Modi on the issue.
Opposition parties have been insisting on a statement by the prime minister in Parliament on the situation in Manipur where ethnic violence triggered by a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ on May 3 has claimed more than 150 lives.
Interestingly, Joshi did not chair the all-party meeting — in the chair was Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, a Bharatiya Janata Party leader of the old school with friends across parties unlike the duo who currently run the BJP.
Apart from demanding a statement by the prime minister on Manipur, Opposition members have also been pressing for the withdrawal of the Delhi Services ordinance, discussion on issues related to Karnataka food security, the Enforcement Directorate action against Tamil Nadu ministers, price rise, the train accident at Balasore and challenges on the border.
“We do not understand the prime minister’s silence on the Manipur issue. At least he could have issued an appeal for peace,” Pramod Tewari, deputy leader of the Congress in the Rajya Sabha, told reporters.
The government has listed 31 bills for the session which will have 17 sittings before it concludes on August 11.
Photographs curated by Anant Salvi/Rediff.com
Feature Presentation: Mahipal Soni/Rediff.com
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