India

Eye On Key Bills, PM Holds First All-Party Meet After Big Election Win

Eye On Key Bills, PM Holds First All-Party Meet After Big Election Win
New Delhi: 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is holding his first all-party meeting - his first after reclaiming power at the centre - this morning. An all-party meeting is a customary procedure before the beginning of parliament to ensure its smooth function. The budget session begins tomorrow and the Prime Minister is expected to seek the cooperation of all parties. Sources said dialogue and constructive debate is on top of the government's agenda.

The Prime Minister is expected to seek the support and cooperation of all parties - necessary for the passing of key bills in Rajya Sabha, where the government is still in minority.

In the Lok Sabha, the NDA has simple majority with 353 members out of the 545 seats. But it has only 102 members in the 245-member upper house.

This might affect the passing of key bills, like the bill against "Triple Talaq", which will be introduced in this session. The bill had got stalled in the upper house in the last Lok Sabha. Not just the opposition, but even BJP ally Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal United had opposed the bill.

The opposition, however, is yet to recover from its shock defeat in the national elections. An opposition strategy session - also customary before every parliament session - is yet to be held. The poor showing by the Congress - a marginal increase over its score of 42 seats in 2014 - means it would not be able to get the post of the Leader of the opposition again.

The party, which won only 62 seats, is yet to name its leaders in both houses.

There has been an effort to name Rahul Gandhi as the leader in the Lok Sabha. But Mr Gandhi, who insisted on stepping down from the party chief's post is yet to speak on the issue. His decision to step down from the party president's post is yet to be accepted by the party, leading to an impasse.

Most of Rahul Gandhi's team will not be present in the lower house - Jyotiraditya Scindia lost the election and Sachin Pilot is now the Deputy of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.

Among those attending the meeting are Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Prahlad Joshi and his junior, Arjun Ram Meghwal, Defence minister Rajnath Singh, Congress's Ghulam Nabi Azad and Adhir Ranjan Choudhary, Sudeep Bandopadhyay and Derek O' Brien of the Trinamool Congress, and National Conference patriarch Farooq Abdullah.