Lok Sabha Speaker calls all-party meet tomorrow
Amid all indications that the next session beginning Monday is set to be a stormy affair, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has called an all-party meeting on Sunday to ensure the smooth functioning of Parliament.
The session begins in the middle of a raging political controversy over the Uttarkhand political crisis, in which Centre’s role has come in for scathing criticism.
The session, which commences on April 25, is in fact the second part of the Budget session, but since both the Houses were prorogued after the first part of it beginning February 23 and coming to an end on March 16, this will be a new session.
It will be the eighth session of the 16th Lok Sabha and 239th session of the Rajya Sabha.
Drought in 10 states and the resultant water scarcity will also be raised in a big way by the Opposition parties, some of whom have already given notice in this regard to the Chair.
Congress is bracing to attack the government and rope in other opposition parties on the Uttarakhand issue.
Congress’s deputy leader in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma had on Thursday given the notice to Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari under Rule 267 for taking up the resolution after suspending all business.
The resolution seeks to “deplore” the “destabilisation” of the democratically elected government in Uttarakhand and “disapprove” the “unjustified” imposition of President’s Rule there under Article 356 of the Constitution.
The government is also bracing for disruptions by Congress at least in the first few days on the Uttarakhand issue.
The Congress is trying to project the imposition of President’s rule in Uttarakhand and in another party-ruled state Arunachal Pradesh earlier as an “attack” on federal structure and is hopeful that a large number of Opposition parties will back it in cornering the government on the issue.
The government also does not seem to be in a mood to back out on the issue and is likely to counter the charge by giving details on the imposition of President’s rule in a number of states during the successive regimes of Congress while justifying the same in Uttarakhand citing “Constitutional breakdown”.
On the drought issue, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and his party colleagues besides AU Singh Deo (BJD), KC Tyagi(JDU), Satish Chandra Mishra (BSP), independent member Rajeev Chandrasekhar and nominated member KTS Tulsi have already given a notice to Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari to take it up for discussion.
The notice seeks a discussion on the “serious situation arising out of prevailing drought and heatwave conditions and resultant water crisis in the country and the remedial measures taken by the Government in regard thereto.”
The notice has been admitted under Rule 177 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business and the issue will be discussed on April 27.
Claiming that the Centre has no serious plan in place to tackle drought, CPI had already demanded that the government should convene an all party meeting to discuss the calamity and figure out ways to combat it.
Congress demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should call a meeting of chief ministers of drought-hit states to tackle the situation on a war-footing.