Fireworks in Parliament
He also commended all parties for speaking in “one voice” on the ongoing turmoil in Kashmir which was sparked by protests over the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.Agreeing with calls for a discussion on the Kashmir situation, the Prime Minister said: “Various parties have given statements on Kashmir events which benefited the country. This has sent a right message and I thank all the parties for the same.”
At an all-party meeting Sunday, Modi welcomed remarks by Ghulam Nabi Azad, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, who said no issue was more topical today than that of Kashmir. Abhishek Manu Singhvi of the Congress said, “we have to ensure consistency in the policy of Pakistan. Government’s policy on Pakistan can never be knee-jerk.” Sanjay Raut of Shiv Sena said, “Kashmir is on fire. This fire is burning for 70 years. We talk about development, bringing Kashmiris to mainstream. But whenever a terrorist is punished, it affects Kashmir.”
Addressing Home Minister Rajnath Singh, D. Raja of CPI said, “Some of your people talk about changing demography of Jammu and Kashmir and questioning the need of Article 370. This is only alienating people of J&K.” “Repeal or, at least, partial repeal of AFSPA must be considered... Why is there a conflict between our own people and our own forces? Is Kashmir a law and order problem? Kashmir is a political problem.” He added.
Beside discussion over this glaring crisis, Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought the cooperation of the Opposition in ensuring the passage of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill. The Prime Minister has made a strong pitch for multi-party support for the GST Bill that the government wants to pass in the monsoon session of Parliament, that began on Monday. The Opposition, on its part, said the passage of the GST was affected by “a lack of trust between the States and the Centre.” Addressing an all-party meeting called by the government on Sunday, Mr. Modi said, “GST is of national importance; the issue here is not which government gets credit for its passage. All of us represent both the people and parties and let’s keep national interests above everything else.”
There was also a brief recap on Una, a town in Gujarat where some Dalits were beaten up by some dominant-caste men for allegedly dealing with beef and cow skin. The video pertaining to this was also widely circulated over social media. Though the government is keen on ensuring the passage of the GST Bill and the much-needed Constitutional amendment to be passed in the Upper House, a host of other important bills are pending in Parliament. Clearing this backlog must also figure on the priority list of this session.