A dysfunctional Parliament adds to the prevailing gloom, said Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu urging both the Opposition and the treasury bench leaders to ensure a smooth and productive session.
Mr. Naidu was speaking at an all-party meeting he chaired at his residence in Delhi, ahead of the upcoming monsoon session. The meeting was attended by floor leaders of all major Opposition parties and 15 Ministers.
“A dysfunctional Parliament adds to the prevailing gloom and hence, all sections of the House should ensure a smooth and productive session as it offers an opportunity to address the concerns of the people affected by COVID-19,” he said.
He said the second wave “sprang several surprises” . Parliament, he said, provides a platform to learn from the ground level experience of members from different States in the context of the third wave being talked about.
Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Prahlad Joshi said the government has identified 29 Bills including six Ordinance-replacing Bills and two items of financial business for the session.
Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikharjuna Kharge said the House should discuss the impact of the pandemic on the economy. The possibility of a third wave and our preparedness should also be debated, he said. The Congress also wants discussions on the farmers’ agitation, issues relating to cooperative federalism, China’s actions along the border and Jammu and Kashmir.
NCP leader Sharad Pawar proposed that the situation in Afghanistan need to be debated. Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien called for more scrutiny of Bills by the Parliamentary Committees. Responding to these suggestions Mr. Naidu said, “All issues can be discussed in the House but none should seek to force their own positions on others.”