The Congress on Wednesday demanded that the upcoming special session of Parliament should include a discussion on nine subjects among them a joint Parliamentary committee investigation into allegations of illegal dealings by the Adani Group and a rise in communal strife in the country.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress Parliamentary Party chairperson Sonia Gandhi said that the session scheduled to be held from September 18 to September 22 has been convened without consulting any of the Opposition parties.
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led Central government, however, has denied the charge and claimed the session has been called after following procedures.
The government has not specified an agenda for the special session. There will be no Question Hour and private members’ business will not be conducted during the session.
“We most certainly want to participate in the special session because it will give us an opportunity to raise matters of public concern and importance,” Gandhi wrote in her letter. “I earnestly hope that time will be allocated under the appropriate Rules for a discussion and debate on these issues.”
Among the nine subjects that the Congress wants to discuss are rising prices, the ethnic conflict in Manipur, Chinese incursion into Indian territory and the need for a caste census.
The party is also looking to speak about the Centre’s promises to farmer bodies on guaranteeing minimum support price, compensation to families of those who died during the 2020-21 protests, debt waiver and withdrawal of the electricity bill.
Congress MP Jairam Ramesh said on Wednesday that the Opposition’s INDIA coalition has decided not to boycott the special session of Parliament as it is an opportunity to discuss matters of public concern.
Ramesh also criticised the government for deciding unilaterally to hold the session without any attempt to arrive at a consensus on the agenda.
“It is for the first time that a special session has been called and we have no information on the business that will come up,” he told reporters. “All five days have been allocated for ‘government business’ as per the bulletin. This is impossible, and is unfortunate.”
He added that the Opposition will take up matters that it could not raise during the Monsoon Session.
All procedure followed, says Centre
The Centre, however, claimed that the Special Session of the Parliament has been convened after following all established procedures, reported ANI.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi claimed that political parties are never consulted in advance and neither are the issues discussed beforehand. He also accused Gandhi of politicising the functioning of Parliament.
“The session has been called following tradition,” Joshi wrote in reply to Gandhi. “Perhaps you are not paying attention to tradition.”
He added: “After the calling of the session by the President and before the commencement of the session, there is a meeting of the leaders of all the parties in which the matters being raised in Parliament are discussed.”