New Delhi [India], July 18 (ANI): Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday said they proposed to discuss the issues of inflation, poverty and COVID crisis in the house in front of chairman Venkaiah Naidu who said that an opportunity will be given for discussions.
"Around 16-17 issues like inflation, poverty, COVID crisis were kept in front of Venkaiah Naidu in the meeting. He has said that an opportunity will be given to discuss this. But we will get to know about it only when the issues arise," Kharge told ANI.
Vice President of India and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday chaired a meeting of leaders of various parties in the Rajya Sabha ahead of the monsoon session beginning on Monday.
Naidu said, "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."
Regarding the agenda for the monsoon session, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Prahlad Joshi informed the meeting that the Centre has identified 29 bills including six ordinances replacing Bills and two items of financial business for the session.
Leader of the House Piyush Goyal, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Railways and IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw were among the 15 ministers who attended Saturday's hour-long meeting chaired by Chairman Venkaiah Naidu.
Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikharjuna Kharge proposed various issues for discussion in the House including the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and employment, poverty, potential third wave and preparedness, ongoing farmers' agitation, cooperative federalism, China's actions along the border and Jammu and Kashmir.
Nationalist Congress Party Chief Sharad Pawar suggested a discussion on the situation in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of US troops and its implications.
Trinamool Congress MP Derek O'Brien called for more scrutiny of bills by the Parliamentary Committees.
Other leaders while stressing the need for smooth functioning of the House suggested adequate time allocation for State-specific issues and more time for regional and small parties.
Following this, Naidu assured regional and small parties of improvement in time allocation.
According to Rajya Sabha release, leaders of 20 parties spoke in the meeting and made various suggestions. They also sought the cooperation of the Government in taking up various issues of wider public concern.
He observed that though it is for the Government to take a view on referring the bills to the Parliamentary Committees, it may be done to the extent possible. "All issues can be discussed in the House but none should seek to force their own positions on others," emphasised Naidu.
The Monsoon Session of Parliament, 2021 will commence from Monday and continue till August 13.
The Opposition is gearing up to corner the BJP-led NDA government on a range of issues including price rise, increasing cost of diesel and petrol and issues related to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. (ANI)