Allow us to raise key issues for Parliament’s smooth functioning, says opposition

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New Delhi, July 16 (IANS) Leaders of 13 opposition parties met on Monday to discuss their strategy for the Monsoon Session of Parliament beginning on Wednesday and said that the government should allow them to raise their issues to ensure smooth functioning of Parliament.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said they discussed the issues to be raised during the session that will have 18 sittings.

Sources said that the suggestion of the Telugu Desam Party for a no-confidence motion against the BJP-led government was also touched but there was a feeling that the motion should not pertain only to a single issue but to “failures” of the government.

Azad said the leaders of like-minded parties unanimously resolved that they wanted to see the Parliament function smoothly.

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Referring to the frequent disruptions in the second half of budget session, he said the opposition wanted the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha to run smoothly but allies of the ruling coalition did not allow it to happen.

“It was the first time that government did not want the Parliament to run. After the session ended, the blame was put on the opposition, not on them,” he said.

Azad said the opposition parties will raise issues concerning people like unemployment, lynchings and problems concerning farmers, backwards, Dalits and minorities.

“But if the government does not allow discussion on these issues and due to that if there is disruption, then the opposition is not responsible, the government will be responsible,” he said.

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“Our issues are issues concerning the people. We want to run the house smoothly. The house should be benefited, bills should be passed and we are able to raise our issues,” he said.

The opposition parties are also expected to raise the issue of Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank, which has Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah as a director, haivng netted the highest deposits among district cooperative banks of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes following demonetisation.

Apart from Azad, the meeting was attended by Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar, Communist Party of India-Marxist’s Mohammad Salim, Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav, Bahujan Samaj Party’s Satish Chandra Misra, Trinamool Congress leader Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Misa Bharti, DMK’s T.K.S. Elangovan, Janata Dal-Secular leader D. Kupendra Reddy, Indian Union Muslim League’s P.K. Kunhalikutty, Revolutionary Socialist Party’s N. K. Premchandran, Communist Party of India’s D. Raja and Kerala Congress-Mani’s Jose K. Mani.

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Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge, Ahmed Patel and Anand Sharma were also present.

–IANS

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