The demonetisation issue on Monday figured prominently at the all-party meeting convened by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan with all major opposition parties, including the Congress, wanting a debate on it in Parliament.
The cross-LoC surgical strikes, policy towards Pakistan, the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, besides OROP and the plight of farmers were also among issues that were raised at the meeting with parties demanding discussion on them.
Major opposition parties, during the meeting which lasted over three hours, urged Mahajan to allow a debate on demonetisation on a priority so difficulties faced by the common man could be highlighted. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also attended a dinner hosted by the Speaker after the all-party meeting.
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“Leaders of various parties have demanded discussion on demonetisation and the steps taken by the government to exchange the currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000. The situation in Jammu and Kashmir, holding of simultaneous elections to state assemblies and Lok Sabha, and state funding of polls also emerged as issues on which parties have demanded discussion,” the Speaker said after the meeting.
She said 22 to 23 bills are likely to be introduced in the winter session which will have 22 sittings.
Mahajan also informed the representatives of various parties present that the Lok Sabha has taken a “second step” forward towards making the functioning of the House paperless.
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She said while a copy each of big reports, including those of the CAG would be sent to party offices, the members would invidually be sent reports online. Minimum copies of general and rail budgets would be printed. She informed that an e-portal has already been introduced for the purpose where all reports and questions are uploaded.
Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said his party would give notices for adjournment, short duration discussions and calling attention motion on various issues including demonetisation, surgical strikes and government’s policy towards Pakistan.
Among other issues on which Congress has sought discussion include OROP, the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the alleged plight of farmers, besides proposed merger of Railway and Union budgets.
“The poor, salaried class, housewives, small traders and daily-wage earners are the worst sufferers of demonetisation move and their plight would be highlighted by the party,” Kharge told reporters.
Leaders of various political parties, including Congress, BJD, Trinamool Congress, SP, SAD, Shiv Sena, LJP, RLSP and BJP were present at the meeting. The Speaker sought their cooperation in smooth functioning of the House.