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Opposition planning joint offensive against govt in Parliament

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NEW DELHI:

Opposition

parties are planning a joint offensive against the government to corner it in

Parliament

on issues of national security like the border situation with China, handling of the Covid pandemic, economy and GST compensation to states, sources said.

Leaders of various opposition parties are expected to meet later this week to formulate a joint floor strategy in both the houses of Parliament, they said.

The Monsoon session of Parliament will commence on September 14 amid Covid-induced changes in its proceedings.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi has convened a meeting of the party’s strategy group on September 8, the sources said.

Opposition leaders are keen that various like-minded parties should work closely with each other to take on the government in Parliament. This was expressed by Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee, Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray and JMM’s

Hemant Soren

at a recent meeting of non-NDA chief ministers with Congress president Sonia Gandhi on JEE/NEET and GST issues.

The Congress strategy group has already met once and discussed the issues to be raised during the session.

Senior Congress leaders have also been asked to contact UPA allies and other like-minded parties to put up a united fight against the government, both inside and outside Parliament.

TMC leader Derek O’Brien had earlier said that like-minded opposition parties will work together in Parliament and find common ground on public issues.

There will be a lot of teamwork among such parties in Parliament, he had said.

CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said on Sunday that consultations are under way for a joint opposition strategy.

CPI leader D Raja also said that meetings of opposition leaders will be soon held in this regard.

With tensions escalating in eastern Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control with China, the opposition will demand answers from the government on the issue.

The rapid rise in the number of Covid-19 cases will also come up for discussion. The opposition will also raise the heat in Parliament on the row over social media giant Facebook and allegations that it is soft on ruling party members when it came to applying hate speech rules.

The holding of various examinations including the NEET will also come up for discussion in Parliament. The opposition has accused the government of risking the lives of students and youths by holding the exams at a time when coronavirus cases are rising every day.

The Congress is also set to oppose the ordinances issued by the government in the recent past.

The government has issued as many as 11 ordinances. Congress chief whip in

Rajya Sabha

Jairam Ramesh, who is also the convenor of the strategy group, is learnt to have told the party leaders at the last strategy meeting about the merits and demerits of these ordinances, the sources said.

The leaders of opposition parties are likely to raise the issue of doing away with the Question Hour in this session. Officials have said that there will be no question hour and private members’ bills, and the Zero Hour will be restricted.

The Congress leaders in both houses will be writing to the Rajya Sabha chairman and the

Lok Sabha

Speaker seeking restoration of the Question Hour.

The Congress, the sources say, will demand short duration discussions and Calling Attention Motions on issues of Chinese aggression on India at the border, the economic slowdown and the collapse of GDP to record lows, unemployment and migrants’ problems, besides on grant of GST compensation to states and the Facebook controversy.

Meanwhile, hectic preparations are on for the upcoming session which will be the first of its kind in Parliament’s history due to unprecedented measures necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

While last-minute preparations are on including seating arrangements, security agencies are finalising plans for allowing entry to MPs, their support staff and the media.

The chambers of both houses and the various galleries will be used to seat the MPs.

The MPs, their support staff, Parliament and security staff, and the media will have to undergo Covid-19 tests prior to the session which will end on October 1 without a break.

Except for the first day, the Rajya Sabha will sit in the morning from 9am to 1pm, the Lok Sabha will sit in the evening from 3pm to 7pm, officials said.

The Monsoon session is likely to be adjourned on the first day due to the death of former President Pranab Mukherjee, who has been the leader of both the Houses.

Besides, sitting Rajya Sabha members Amar Singh and M P Veerendra Kumar, and Lok Sabha member H Vasanthakumar have died during the inter-session period.

The secretariats of both the houses have already issued nine-page guidelines emphasising on safety measures during the upcoming session and urging members to wear masks, maintain a physical distance of six feet and keep hands clean.

The Times of India is an Indian English-language daily newspaper owned by The Times Group. It is the third-largest newspaper in India by circulation and largest selling English-language daily in the world. according to Audit Bureau of Circulations.

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INDIA

SAD walks out of NDA alliance

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CHANDIGARH: Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) oldest ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) walked out of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition in protest against the three farm bills and for continues ‘insensitivity’ towards Punjabi language and issues pertaining to Sikh community.

Terming the bills anti-farmers and anti-Punjab, the core committee of the party decided unanimously to pull out of the BJP -led NDA alliance. The party held the centre’s “stubborn” refusal to give statutory legislative guarantees to protect assured marketing of farmers crops on MSP and its continued insensitivity to Punjabi and Sikh issues like excluding Punjabi language as official language in Jammu and Kashmir the reasons for the decision.

Harsimrat Kaur Badal, the lone representative of the party in the Union Cabinet, had resigned on September 17.

The meeting was presided over by the SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal who said that SAD will continue to stand by its core principles of peace, communal harmony and guard the interest of Punjab, Punjabi in general and Sikhs and farmers in particular. He said that the decision has been taken in consultation with the people of Punjab especially party workers and farmers. Badal said that the bills on agricultural marketing brought by the BJP government are lethal and disastrous for the already beleaguered farmers.

He said the SAD was the oldest ally of the BJP, but the government did not listen to repeated pleas of honouring the sentiments of farmers. The SAD leader said that the party opposed these bills in the parliament and voted against them.

He said that even after quitting the union government, the SAD had hoped that the centre would not press on with these ” murderous assaults” on farmers and other poor sections who depend on agriculture and trade. “It seems that the BJP is totally out of touch with ground realities,” said Badal,

He said that despite our best efforts, the BJP government did not honour the sentiments of farmers. He said that the farmers are the backbone of the national economy and it is in the national interest that the government should stand by them. Adding, he said that with successive decisions, the present government has shown its callous insensitivity to minority sentiments and has been indifferent to the peace and communal harmony in the country, especially in Punjab.

Senior Akali leader Dr Daljit Cheema said that the decision has been taken after much deliberation. He further said that these bills were passed in an undemocratic manner and are being opposed in Punjab, Haryana and other states. “We had even requested President of India Ram Nath Kovind not to approve the bills passed by the parliament,” said Dr Daljit Cheema.

While slamming BJP for not paying heed to repeated pleas of SAD not to force anti-farmers bills, Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra said that there is no point in continuing in alliance.

SAD had first forged an alliance with Bharatiya Jana Sangh, BJP’s predecessor, during state assembly elections in 1969. It later entered into coalition with BJP in 1997 during the state election. SAD joined BJP-led alliance at the centre in 1998.

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INDIA

Congress no-confidence motion against Yediyurappa govt defeated

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BENGALURU: The no-confidence motion moved by the opposition Congress against the BJP government in Karnataka led by chief minister B S Yediyurappa was defeated by voice vote on Saturday night.

After a fierce debate for about six hours, the no-confidence motion moved by leader of the opposition Siddaramaiah was defeated by a voice vote.

“The motion is in favour of numbers. The motion is defeated by the voice vote,” speaker Kageri said as he winded up the current session of the Karnataka assembly.

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INDIA

SAD walks out of NDA alliance

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on

sad-walks-out-of-nda-alliance

CHANDIGARH: Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) oldest ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) walked out of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition in protest against the three farm bills and for insensitivity towards Punjabi language and Sikh issues.

Terming the bills anti-farmers and anti-Punjab, the core committee of the party decided unanimously to pull out of the BJP -led NDA alliance. The party held the center’s “stubborn” refusal to give statutory legislative guarantees to protect assured marketing of farmers crops on MSP and its continued insensitivity to Punjabi and Sikh issues like excluding Punjabi language as official language in Jammu and Kashmir the reasons for the decision.

The meeting was presided over by the SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal who said that SAD will continue to stand by its core principles of peace, communal harmony and guard the interest of Punjab, Punjabi in general and Sikhs and farmers in particular. He said that the decision has been taken in consultation with the people of Punjab especially party workers and farmers. Badal said that the bills on agricultural marketing brought by the BJP government are lethal and disastrous for the already beleaguered farmers.

He said the SAD was the oldest ally of the BJP, but the government did not listen to repeated pleas of honouring the sentiments of farmers.

The SAD leader said that the party opposed these bills in the parliament and voted against them and Harsimrat Kaur Badal, lone representative of the party in the union Cabinet, resigned.

While slamming BJP for not paying heed to repeated pleas of SAD not to force anti-farmers bills, Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra said that there is no point in continuing in alliance.

SAD had first forged an alliance with Bharatiya Jana Sangh, BJP’s predecessor, during state assembly elections in 1969. It later entered into coalition with BJP in 1997 during the state election. SAD joined BJP-led alliance at centre in 1998.

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