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Monsoon Session: Rahul Gandhi to host Opposition leaders over breakfast to discuss ‘mock’ Parliament

Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have failed to transact any significant business, except passage of some bills due to the continued protests. The Parliament could function for just 18 hours out of possible 107 hours since the beginning leading to the loss of Rs 133 crore worth taxpayers’ money as the Opposition disrupted the business of both the Houses, reports said last week citing an official notification.

August 03, 2021 / 09:11 AM IST
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi

Senior Congress leader and Member of Parliament Rahul Gandhi will on August 3 host a breakfast meeting for Opposition leaders to plan strategies with regard to the stalemate in Parliament since “only the government version is coming out”.

The meeting, scheduled at around 9:30 AM at the Constitution Club in New Delhi, will discuss the option of holding a "mock" Parliament outside the House to make the Opposition heard, sources said.

Since the Parliament convened on July 19, the Opposition has been demanding a discussion and an independent inquiry led by a Supreme Court judge - serving or retired - into reports that Israeli spyware was used to hack phones of opposition leaders, judges, activists, journalists, and ministers.

Read: Counter Congress' lies with truth, PM Modi tells BJP MPs as Opposition disrupts proceedings over 'Pegasus'

The government has dismissed the demand, saying a statement by Union IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnav in Rajya Sabha was sufficient. The BJP has termed the Pegasus snooping allegations a "non-issue".

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"All floor leaders and other MPs will join the meeting," Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Malikarjun Kharge said on August 2. Last week, leaders of various parties discussed a coordinated strategy to mount pressure on the government.

Also, read: 'Aap Chronology Samajhiye': Amit Shah questions timing of Pegasus Project

Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have failed to transact any significant business, except the passage of some bills due to the continued protests. The Parliament could function for just 18 hours out of possible 107 hours since the beginning leading to the loss of Rs 133 crore worth taxpayers’ money as the Opposition disrupted the business of both the Houses, reports said last week citing an official notification.

Sources said that with little urgent legislative business pending, the government may wind up the Monsoon Session earlier than its designated date of August 13. Congress has alleged that the government was trying to find an excuse to curtail the session after 'obstructing' it's functioning by not agreeing to a discussion on the Pegasus Project row.

Also, read: Pegasus spyware scandal and growing chorus to regulate private surveillance

On August 3, the Essential Defence Services Bill, which bans strikes in defence production sector, was listed for passage in the Lok Sabha along with the Tribunals Reforms Bill. In the Rajya Sabha, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill is listed for passage today.
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