All Political partied are meeting Government, a day ahead of the Monsoon Session of Parliament where a united opposition is preparing to face – a bloc of 18 parties – on a host of issues including the landmark GST (Goods and Services Tax), just a day ago introduced. Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, “we are ready to debate any issue… a constructive parliament session want,” said a head of meeting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended.
1) In a blame game the Trinamool Congress is been involved with BJP earlier this month over the communal violence in North 24 Parganas district in West Bengal which it rules, Boycotted the meeting.
2) Interestingly, Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal (United), which controversially broke from the Opposition to back the government's candidate for President was not part of the meeting. Denying a boycott, the party's KC Tyagi said, "Sharad ji and other MPs are busy... so we could not attend the all-party meeting."
3) The start of the session coincides with the presidential election - a contest between ruling NDA's candidate Ram Nath Kovind and former Lok Sabha Speaker and Congress's Meira Kumar, who was jointly fielded by 17 opposition parties.
4) Ahead of the session, 18 opposition parties arrived at a "broad agreement" to confront the government in Parliament on "five or six issues" including the impact of GST, last year, shocking decision by PM Modi to ban the high-denomination notes, and the government's exercising of "political vendetta" through criminal cases against opposition leaders like Lalu Yadav, whose home in Patna was raided a week ago.
5) That decision was arrived at a meeting in Delhi on Tuesday where the parties unanimously agreed on Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, as their candidate for Vice-President of India.
6) The parties though, in a relief for the government, have decided to back it on the border stand-off with China at the Sikkim border. At a meeting convened by Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday, parties called for the need to resolve the month-long stand-off diplomatically and peacefully, reassuring the government that the parties on matters of National Security would rise above politics.
7) The Congress has, however, made it clear that they would still debate in Parliament the stand-off and the terror attack on Amarnath Yatra pilgrims that left eight dead. "That is what parliament is meant for.
8) Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan later this evening, an all-party meeting has convened, a customary affair where she is expected to seek cooperation from all parties for the smooth functioning of the House. The Trinamool Congress will attend that meeting, it has said.
9) Before that, BJP lawmakers will meet in the afternoon where the presidential and vice-presidential elections will be discussed. This will be followed by a meeting of alliance partners of the ruling NDA to devise strategy to counter the opposition in Parliament. PM Modi is expected to address allies at the meeting.
10) In both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha about 16 new bills are listed for introduction, including the implementation of GST in Jammu and Kashmir, and a bill to amend the Citizenship Act to allow certain illegal immigrants get Indian citizenship.