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Want open discussion on all matters, says PM Modi

Want open discussion on all matters, says PM Modi

New Delhi: Despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi's assurance that the Winter Session of Parliament will be a productive one with high-quality debates in which all MPs will contribute through their intellect, the first day of the House started on a stormy note with protests by the Congress and other Opposition members over various issues.

Prior to the commencement of the session, the Prime Minister said the government is open to discussions on all issues and the Winter Session will be the last session of Parliament in 2019 and a very significant one.

"This is the 250th session of the Rajya Sabha. During this session on November 26, there is Constitution Day, when our Constitution completes 70 years. The Constitution inculcates the unity, integrity, diversity and beauty of the country and is a driving force for the country," he said while addressing reporters just before the start of the session.

The 70th year of the Constitution can also be an occasion for an awakening of the people of the country, Modi said, adding that this Winter Session will accelerate the development of the country.

He also stated: "The Rajya Sabha is about checks and balances. This is absolutely essential for our democracy. Debates have to be many and effective. But there is also a difference between checking and clogging (and between) balance and blocking."

However, within minutes of commencement of the Question Hour, around 30 members from the Congress trooped into the Well, shouting slogans and demanding that the government stop attacking the Opposition as well as foisting false cases.

The members along with those from the National Conference also raised the issue of detention of former J&K Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah.

The latter has been held under detention at his residence in Srinagar since the Centre's decision on Article 370 in August and has been charged with "disturbing public order" under the stringent Public Safety Act.

Meanwhile, the Trinamool Congress demanded the scrapping of the Chit Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2019, on Monday. While discussing the Bill, TMC Lok Sabha MP Kalyan Banerjee made a scathing attack on the government and said that there is no penal clause in the act.

He added: "House has passed the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2019. Assent has been given. Is there any necessity to continue with the Chit Fund Act? All these provisions have been made in the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2019. Now it has become an Act." He further emphasised that 'Chit Funds' have become 'Cheat Funds' and the common people are confused to understand the difference between ponzi schemes and chit funds. "If chit funds are valid and ponzi schemes invalid, how will the common people make a distinction about investing in chit funds or in ponzi schemes. The basic fundamental things are missing. That is misleading."

Banerjee further accused the CBI of not investigating chit fund scams transparently and mentioned that despite the Supreme Court's direction, not a single person from the regulatory agency like the Reserve Bank of India, SEBI and others were called for investigation for the Saradha case.

On the other hand, members of the Shiv Sena, one of the oldest allies of the BJP which has snapped its ties with the ruling party, also raised slogans and demanded relief for farmers. Later, they walked out of the House. See P5

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