Friday, July 19, 2024

Parliament monsoon session: Congress to press for discussion on Manipur, assault on federal structure, rail safety

The Congress on Saturday said that it will raise the issue of Manipur violence in the upcoming Monsoon Session of Parliament and also raise the issue of the assault on the federal structure and the democratically elected government.

The decision was taken during the meeting of the Parliamentary Strategy Group meeting at the residence of Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) chairperson Sonia Gandhi, which was also attended by party chief MAllikarjun Kharge and several other top leaders.

Addressing the media after the meeting, Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh said: “We had a second meeting of the Parliamentary Strategy Group for about one and half hour and a number of Bills that are likely to come up from the government side and the number of issues that the Congress and the opposition parties will raise were discussed in greater detail today.”

“Most important for us is the condition of Manipur, the continued silence of the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) till date, continued ineffectiveness of the Union Home Minister (Amit Shah) and the complete failure of the state government and the continued divide in Manipur’s society.

“We will certainly demand a discussion in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. And we would like that the Prime MInister take Parliament and the people of the country in confidence on the current situation in Manipur and the challenges the country faces in Manipur.”

He said that the issue of the rail safety will also be raised during the Monsoon Session of Parliament which will begin on July 20.

Ramesh, who is party’s communication incharge said that the issue of rail safety as a lot of high profile inaugurations take place but basic details are ignored for rail safety and latest reflection of that was the ghastly tragedy in Odisha’s Balasore.

“We don’t have enough discussion on railways because the railway budget has been discontinued and we will raise this fundamental issue of rail safety which have taken a back seat,” he said referring to the Balasore triple train accident in which 293 people had died on June 3 and over 800 passengers were injured.

The government had also ordered a CBI probe to find out the reason for the train accident.

The Congress leader said that the party has decided to raise the issue of the continued assault on the federal structure and on democratically elected government and local bodies.

He said the continued attack on the Constitutional rights and responsibilities of the state government by the Modi government by its appointees by its Governors and other posts.

“This is an issue the Congress has always fought against and raised its voice inside and outside Parliament and it will continue to raise the issue,” he said.

He said that the Congress will also discuss the issue of price rise of the essential commodities.

“Till recently the government was claiming that the inflation is going down, but the prices of the vegetables, oil and other essential items are soaring and we will demand a discussion on the same,” he said.

He also said that the Congress will keep on pressing for the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the Adani Group issue.

“No Supreme Court committee can investigate the full dimensions of the Adani Group scam and only a JPC can. Even new revelations have come up and we will keep this demand for the JPC alive in the Monsoon Session as well,” Ramesh said.

He also said that there are issues relating to weakening and dilution of the powers of the Constitutional bodies, the attacks on the female wrestlers and charges against the BJP MP and it has assumed the society and the country and the continued silence of the Prime Minister on the same.

“We will also raise the weakening of MGNREGA and also demand for discussion on bringing the GST Network under PMLA which will have impact on small and micro businesses. We will be raising this in Parliament as well,” he said, adding that there will be issues of states like delimitation in Assam and atrocities against Dalits and tribals in Madhya Pradesh.

“It is a 17-day session and we will try to raise maximum issues. And as 24 parties are meeting in Bengaluru and we will be discussing all these there too,” Ramesh added.

When asked if the Congress will support AAP over the ordinance row as it will be raising the issue of assault on democratically elected governments, Ramesh evaded the question saying, “I have said clearly that the assault on the federal structure by the Modi government or through its appointed people and we will oppose it.”

“The Congress has always fought against the Modi government’s assaults on the Constitutional rights and responsibilities of democratically elected state governments and local bodies.

“This assault comes directly or if these come from the appointees of the Modi government like Governors. We had opposed it and we will oppose it. This is a brazen assault on the Constitution and it takes various forms. Constitutional bodies are weakened and constitutional agencies are misused,” the Congress Rajya Sabha MP said.

Ramesh also said that Congress is completely opposed to the data protection Bill because there was a committee that was set up on the previous bill.

“The Committee met for two and half years. Incidentally the current minister of Telecom and Railways (Ashwini Vaishnaw) and the current MoS for Electronics were the members of the Committee before July 2021.

“That Committee made 92 recommendations and those were ignored. And they have come up with a new Bill which is worse than the Bill that has gone to the Joint Committee,” he said.

He also said that the Congress will also oppose the Forest Amendment Bill as the government deliberately bypassed the Standing Committee and went to a joint committee. We will oppose the Biodiversity Amendment Bill too.

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