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Posted at: Jun 17, 2019, 6:50 AM; last updated: Jun 17, 2019, 11:16 AM (IST)

PM revives one nation, one election debate, calls meet

Invites leaders of various parties for discussion on June 19
PM revives one nation, one election debate, calls meet
PM Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi and Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad at the all-party meeting on Sunday. Manas Ranjan Bhui

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 16

Ahead of the first sitting of the 17th Lok Sabha commencing tomorrow, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today revived the one nation-one election debate, inviting leaders of various parties for discussions on June 19.

Calling for introspection on parliamentary disruptions over the past two years, the PM, while addressing party leaders on the eve of the first Budget session of NDA-II, said differences must be cast aside and all must work with the government in realising the New India vision by 2022.

“The PM said with so many new MPs, new thinking should also come to Parliament,” Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi told the media after a two-hour meeting which, he said, was called to discuss “one nation, one election”, celebrations of 75 years of Independence in 2022 and 150 years of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary this year.

He said the all party-meeting on June 19 would be followed by a dinner meeting the following day with Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs freely interacting and exchanging views with the government.

As the the triple talaq Bill is back on the legislative agenda, a wary Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said: “We will support Bills that are beneficial to the people.” The TMC demanded discussions on electoral reforms, with Derek O’ Brien noting, “We will demand a debate on electoral reforms, state funding of elections and the paper ballot instead of EVMs. We also want 75 per cent Bills referred to parliamentary committees for scrutiny as against 25 per cent today. The TMC is for passing the Women’s Reservation Bill in the first 10 days of the session. We will urge the Centre to stop interfering in state affairs and to end the indiscriminate use of the ordinance route.”

His last reference was to TMC’s reservations on the Act replacing the triple talaq ordinance. The triple talaq Bill was cleared by the previous Lok Sabha, but not the Rajya Sabha, which necessitated an ordinance by the government lest it lapsed.

Congress representatives at the meeting — Azad and Anand Sharma from the Rajya Sabha and K Suresh and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury from the Lok Sabha — vociferously demanded immediate Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

“The Government wants to rule J&K by proxy because it cannot win. What’s the problem in holding state elections if there was none in holding Lok Sabha and panchayat polls?” asked Azad. Other issues on which the Congress wants a debate are agrarian distress, attack on press freedom, lack of women and child safety, unemployment and drought relief. “We are ready for any discussion,” the government said.


FIRST BUDGET SESSION OF NDA-II FROM TODAY

  • First session of 17th Lok Sabha starts on Monday until July 26, with 30 sittings in 40 days
  • 249th session of Rajya Sabha starts on June 20 until July 26, with 27 sittings in 37 days
Session Highlights

  • Oath of new MPs June 17-18
  • Election of LS Speaker June 19
  • President’s address June 20
  • Economic Survey July 4
  • Union Budget 2019-20 July 5
ON THE TABLE

  • Resolution on extension of President's rule in J&K to be approved by both Houses by July 2
  • 10 ordinances promulgated in inter-session to be replaced by Acts lest they lapse at the expiry of six months (August 1); these include one on triple talaq
  • 46 Bills lapsed with dissolution of 16th LS. Some to be revived
WOMEN POWER

  • 17th Lok Sabha has highest presence of women MPs in history: 78

A FIRST IN 28 YRS: MANMOHAN NOT IN HOUSE 

Former PM Manmohan Singh will give the Parliament sitting a miss for the first time in 28 years since he became a Rajya Sabha member in 1991. His term from Assam expired on June 14. He could not get re-elected as party lacked numbers in Assembly. Vacancies are Odisha (4), Tamil Nadu (1), Bihar (2) and Gujarat (2). It remains to be seen how Congress will bring Singh back to Parliament.

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