Updated: September 17, 2020 7:07:37 am
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh will make a statement to Rajya Sabha on Thursday at military confrontation with China along the line of control in Ladakh and will receive some questions from opposition MPs, it is learned. The partial progress came in a meeting convened by Singh on Wednesday with leading Opposition leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Jairam Ramesh (all Congress), Derek OBrien (TMC), Tiruchi Siva (DMK) and Ram Gopal Yadav ( SP).
Opposition members clashed government on Tuesday as they were not allowed to ask questions after Singhs statement in Lok Sabha.
At Wednesday’s meeting, the government reportedly agreed to the Opposition’s request to hold discussions in the Upper House on issues such as the payment of GST compensation to states, the National Education Policy and the decline in economic growth and unemployment. But the stalemate over the approval of the four Bills, including the three controversial ones regarding the farms that will replace the ordinances, continued. Opposition parties remained steadfast in their position that these Draft Laws require consideration by Parliamentary panels.
Sources from the Opposition said that the Minister of Defense was accommodating at the informal meeting, which was also attended by Union Ministers Piyush Goyal, Thaawarchand Gehlot, Pralhad Joshi and V Muraleedharan. Gehlot is the Chairman of the House in Rajya Sabha.
Opposition-led states have been at loggerheads with the Center for their quest to borrow in order to overcome the GST compensation deficit. The prime ministers of West Bengal, Kerala, Delhi, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu have written to the Center, opposing options that require states to borrow to make up for the shortfall, and instead asking the Center to borrow.
READ | Express China Observing investigations between key issues The opposition wants debate in Parliament
Sources said a notice of attention given by OBrien on the situation arising from the non-payment of GST compensation to states has been received and a discussion would take place based on the notice.
Discuss some issues, jam on 4 Bills
Congress appeared isolated in its request for a discussion on Chinese aggression in Parliament. Considering that Congress does not have the support of other opposition parties for this, the governing party skillfully agreed to have discussions on other issues raised by the opposition parties. So, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh will make a statement on China on Thursday, but will only take one or two questions. However, it remains to be seen how the government manages to break the deadlock on the four bills.
Similarly, Jairam Ramesh is likely to deliver a notice on the draft Environmental Impact Assessment notice. The government, sources said, agreed to allow a discussion on the issue.
The government also accepted Tiruchi Siva’s request for a discussion on National Education Policy. A lesson on economics and jobs, suggested by Azad, Sharma and Ramesh and supported by all opposition parties, has also been agreed upon, taught.
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But sources said opposition leaders remained firm in their demand that Farmers Produce the Trade and Trade Bill (Promotion and Facilitation), the Essential Goods Bill (Amendment), the Farmers’ Agreement (Empowerment and Protection) on Price Assurance, and Farm Services Bill and Bank Regulation (Amendment) The bill should be referred to House of Representatives committees. Sources said the government did not provide any assurance about this.
OBrien is used to saying that while the government is talking about lack of time, it has already robbed 27 hours an hour of Question Hour and half an hour of Zero every day for 18 days. He is also said to have said that the government’s record on ordinances is the worst since 1952.
Yadav, sources said, told the government side that the Opposition will not allow the passage of farm ordinances under any circumstances.
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