Charged up opposition targets NDA-govt on issues like Kashmir & unemployment

By Kushal Jeena. Dated: 11/22/2019 12:22:25 PM

"A battery of leaders from the opposition benches raised the issue of continuing detention of mainstream leaders in Jammu and Kashmir like Farooq Abdullah, who is also a Lok Sabha member, and said they will take up issues like economic slowdown and unemployment in the session."

Buoyed with its spectacular performance in recently concluded assembly elections, a charged up opposition is all set to put the government on the dock over contentious issues confronting the nation including controversial Citizenship (amendment) bill and turmoil in Kashmir during ongoing winter session of Parliament.
The session that began on November 18 is expected to be stormy as opposition looks to corner the government over issues like economic slowdown and situation in Kashmir at a time when Modi government seeks to push through the contentious Citizenship (amendment) bill, a key part of the BJP's ideological agenda.
The Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance government has already gone on the back foot with the Prime Minister Modi seeking the support of the opposition in the smooth running of the both Houses of Parliament that witnessed ruckus on the first day of the session as opposition forced adjournments over the issue of detaining top leaders of the mainstream political parties in Kashmir.
"My government is ready to discuss every issue and I request everyone to make the winter session as productive as the last one, when Parliament gave its nod to the bifurcation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and nullifying Article 370, besides several other important bills," said Prime Minister while addressing an all party meeting called on the eve of the beginning of winter session of parliament.
A battery of leaders from the opposition benches raised the issue of continuing detention of mainstream leaders in Jammu and Kashmir like Farooq Abdullah, who is also a Lok Sabha member, and said they will take up issues like economic slowdown and unemployment in the session.
In the previous session government had stunned the opposition by winning over independent and regional parties, especially in Rajya Sabha where treasury benches lacked majority, and wooing a number of rival leaders to get a host of bills passed, the Congress-led grouping has some reasons to feel emboldened over recent political developments as it along with some other opposition parties came up with flying colours.
The winter session of Parliament also assumes significance as it is taking place in the backdrop results of the just concluded assembly elections that have come as disappointment for the BJP and improved the fortunes of the Congress and its allies. The decision of Shiv Sena to break its ties with the BJP and economic slowdown has also brought the opposition back in the reckoning.
The 18 Sena MPs in Lok Sabha and three in Rajya Sabha have now been allotted seats in the opposition rows after the party severed ties with its long time ally BJP and are in talks with the Congress-NCP alliance to form government in Maharashtra.
According to a senior BJP leader despite the setback, numbers still favour the government and it is determined to get Parliament's nod on its legislative agenda that was stonewalled in our government's first term when opposition outnumbered it in the Upper House. The Supreme Court verdict in the Ayodhya case favouring a Ram temple at the disputed site has also come as a boost to the saffron ranks.
The Modi-government has listed Citizenship (amendment) bill, a key agenda of the BJP that is aimed at granting nationality to non-Muslim immigrants from neighbouring countries, for passage in this session. The NDA government had introduced the bill in its previous tenure as well but could not get is passed due to vehement protests by opposition parties. The opposition criticised the bill and termed it as discriminatory on religious grounds.
The controversial Citizen (amendment) Bill seeks to grant Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan if they have left their respective country due to religious persecution. The people and opposition parties in Assam and other northern states had opposed the bill. There has been opposition to the bill in Assam and other North-eastern states, where most of these immigrants, mostly Hindus, have been residing.
The government also plans to seek Parliament's stamp to two crucial ordinances.
An ordinance reducing corporate tax rate for new and domestic manufacturing companies to arrest slowdown in the economy and boost growth was issued in September to give effect to amendments in the Income Tax Act, 1961 and Finance Act, 2019. The second ordinance, also issued in September, banned sale, manufacture and storage of e-cigarettes and similar products.
The Winter Session of the Parliament is scheduled to end on December 13.
The Parliament is expected to have a total of 20 sittings. A special joint sitting of both Houses has been planned to mark the Constitution Day on November 26. There are as many as 43 Bills are pending in both Houses of Parliament. Out of these 43, twelve have been listed for consideration and passing. There are 27 Bills listed for introduction, consideration and passing.
The current session of Parliament of the NDA government is the second one after the coalition returned to power with a greater mandate compared to the previous Lok Sabha elections held earlier this year. The previous session of the Lok Sabha could be described as productive.



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