New Delhi: Issues of cow vigilantism, farmers’ protests, Kashmir unrest, law enforcement agencies acting against opposition leaders over alleged corruption, and India’s stand-off with China are likely to dominate the Monsoon Session of Parliament that begins on Monday. The Lok Sabha as well as the Rajya Sabha will stay adjourned, though, on Monday due to the death of sitting members of both the Houses. Normal proceedings are expected from Tuesday.
The session is slated to conclude on August 11.
Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad made it clear that the Congress and other opposition parties will target the government over the issues of Kashmir as well as the stand-off with China.
Targeting the government on the Kashmir issue, he said the government has “closed all doors for dialogue”, which has led to “political suffocation” in the Valley.
He also observed that differences with China over Kashmir have become a new issue and the opposition parties would seek a debate on the standoff in the Dokalam area near Sikkim.
“If the government thinks that elimination and guns are the only ways to curb tension in Kashmir, we are not with them,” he told reporters after an all-party meeting a day before Parliament opens for the monsoon session.
Azad said that earlier “Pakistan would figure in discussions on Kashmir, but now China is mentioned without fail.”
He said the Congress has conveyed to the government that there are some sensitive issues related to the internal and external security that needed to be discussed during the Parliament session.
Seeking to build a firewall for the government against the expected attacks in Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday made it clear that states should act tough against those violating law in the name of cow protection and insisted that the issue should not be given political and communal colour.
JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav has accused the Modi government of failing to fulfil its promises to create jobs and said the opposition parties would raise the matter in Parliament.
BJP leaders have said they would take on the opposition over these issues claiming that the government’s track record has been better than the UPA in terms of economy and agriculture growth.
A division in the opposition ranks may also be seen as the Left and the JD (U) are unlikely to rush to defend the TMC and the RJD on the corruption charges against them.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said 21 bills were pending in the Lok Sabha and 42 in the Rajya Sabha.
Nine of these legislations, including The Whistle Blowers Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2015 and the National Commission for Backward Classes (Repeal) Bill, 2017, have been passed by the Lok Sabha and are listed for passage by the Rajya Sabha.
Other crucial legislations include the labour code bill, the extension of GST in Jammu and Kashmir bill, the banking resolution bill, and ‘The Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Bill, 2017.