All-party meet: PM says ready to discuss all issues; Oppn raises Farooq’s detention

NEW DELHI: Ahead of Parliament’s winter session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday assured at an all-party meeting that the government is ready to discuss all issues, while the Opposition strongly raised Lok Sabha MP Farooq Abdullah’s detention.

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New Delhi, November 17

Ahead of Parliament’s winter session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday assured at an all-party meeting that the government is ready to discuss all issues, while the Opposition strongly raised Lok Sabha MP Farooq Abdullah’s detention and demanded that he be allowed to attend the House.

At the government-convened meeting, the Opposition demanded that the issues of economic slowdown, job loss and farm distress must be discussed during the session, Congress’s leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said.

At the meeting attended by 27 parties, Prime Minister Modi said most important job of the House is to discuss and debate, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi told reporters.

PM Modi said that this session should also be as productive as the last one, according to Joshi.

“The government is ready to discuss all issues within the framework of rules and procedures of the Houses,” Modi was quoted as saying.

Constructive discussion in Parliament also keeps the bureaucracy alert, the Prime Minister said at the meeting.

Opposition leaders raised the issue of Abdullah’s detention and demanded that he be allowed to attend the session, but got no definite response from the government, sources said.

Farooq Abdullah’s detention was raised at the all-party meet, National Conference MP Hasnain Masoodi said, adding that the government is under constitutional obligation to ensure his participation in the Parliament session.

“How can a parliamentarian be detained illegally? He should be allowed to attend Parliament,” Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said.

The government has detained Abdullah under the Public Safety Act (PSA), a law enacted by his father and NC founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in 1978 when he was the Chief Minister.

Besides Modi, the all-party meeting was also attended by BJP chief Amit Shah and several senior Opposition leaders.

The meeting was also attended by Union minister Thawarchand Gehlot, Chowdhury, Azad and Deputy Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma.

TMC leader Derek O Brien, LJP leader Chirag Paswan and Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav, Telugu Desam Party Jayadev Galla and V Vijaysai Reddy were among those present at the meeting.

The meeting was called by the government and moderated by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Meghwal.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla had on Saturday appealed to all political parties for cooperation for ensuring smooth functioning of the House.

After an all-party meeting, which was also attended by PM Modi, the Speaker said floor leaders of different parties mentioned various issues that they wished to be discussed during the winter session, beginning November 18 till December 13.

Govt set to push Citizenship Bill

The situation in Jammu and Kashmir, economic slowdown, unemployment and the government’s plan to bring the Citizenship Bill are some of the issues which are likely to emerge as flashpoints between the Opposition and treasury benches in the winter session of Parliament beginning Monday.

Besides the passage of the Citizenship (amendment) Bill, the government also plans to convert two crucial ordinances into law during the session.

One ordinance reducing corporate tax rate for new and domestic manufacturing companies to arrest slowdown in the economy and boost growth was issued in September to give effect to amendments in the Income Tax Act, 1961 and Finance Act, 2019.

The second ordinance, also issued in September, banned sale, manufacture and storage of e-cigarettes and similar products. PTI

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