The Winter Session of Parliament is set to begin today on November 29 with the Opposition planning to corner the government over various issues, ranging from farmers' demand for a law on MSP to price rise.
The government has, however, urged the Opposition parties to let Parliament function smoothly as it comes with a heavy legislative business, including the introduction of 26 new Bills, during the session that ends on December 23.
The Opposition parties have also pushed for discussions on unemployment and the use of Pegasus spyware. The disunity among Opposition parties, however, continues as Trinamool Congress will not attend an Opposition meeting called by the Congress before the session.
On the first day of the session, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar is expected to table the Bill to repeal the three contentious farm laws in the Lok Sabha on the first day of the session.
The Bill, cleared by the Union cabinet last week, is expected to be tabled in Rajya Sabha today as well. After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s November 19 announcement to repeal farm laws, the protesting farmers raised fresh demands on Minimum Support Price (MSP) to end their year-long agitation.
The Centre called the all-party meeting on November 28 to urge the Opposition parties to let the House function smoothly. A Bill to ban private cryptocurrency and a Bill to replace ordinances extending tenures of the Directors of CBI and Enforcement Directorate are among 26 new Bills in the agenda for the Winter Session, apart from the Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021.
The government said it was ready to discuss on the floor of the House as per the rules. The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) parliamentary executive committee met and discussed strategy for the winter session on November 28.
The meeting stressed on higher attendance of its Members of Parliament (MPs) and asked them to come prepared to take on the opposition. A meeting of parties in the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was also held where the allies stressed on the need for better coordination among partners.
Even as Bill to repeal farm laws is listed for the day, the Opposition parties have said they will corner the government over farm issues and also demand a law to guarantee the MSP for agricultural produce.
The parties also pushed for discussions on price rise, unemployment and the use of Pegasus spyware at the all-party meeting attended by 31 parties on November 28. Parties like the Trinamool Congress have sought discussions on enhanced jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) in some states. The TMC, the YSR Congress and the DMK suggested that the women's reservation bill be brought for discussion
The disunity due to defection.
The disunity among Opposition parties continues as TMC will likely not attend an Opposition meeting called by the Congress ahead of the Session today. The Mamata Banerjee-led party’s refusal comes amid growing tensions between the two parties over the defection of Congress leaders into the TMC in the recent past. The Aam Aadmi Party will also not attend the meeting, reports said.
Last week, former Meghalaya Chief Minister and Congress stalwart Mukul Sangma moved to the TMC along with 11 other Congress MLAs out of the 17 in the northeastern state. With the move, the TMC has virtually taken the Congress’ place as the principal Opposition party in the Meghalaya assembly.Derek O’Brien, the TMC MP in Rajya Sabha, suggested in a statement to the media that the terms of unity with the Congress on the floor of the House are different for different Opposition parties as per reports.