PM Modi asks ministers to come prepared for Monsoon Session as Congress looks to corner government



NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday asked the Union Council of Ministers to come prepared for the upcoming Monsoon Session of parliament, sources said.

Chairing a meeting of the revamped Union Council of Ministers here, he also asked them to do their homework and put forward the government’s views effectively during the session, the sources added.

A presentation on parliamentary procedures and rules was made during the meeting with the prime minister asking the ministers to go through all procedures.

The session commences on July 19 and would conclude on August 13.

The government has listed 17 new bills for introduction in this session.

Six other bills are pending at various stages in the two Houses and before parliamentary panels.

During parliament sessions, besides answering questions, ministers of state at time also pilot bills in the absence of Cabinet ministers.

This was the second meeting of the Union Council of Ministers after the recent rejig of the Cabinet.

The Congress will seek to corner the government on the issues of Covid mismanagement, border disputes with China, farmers’ agitation, the Rafale deal and fuel prices in the upcoming session of Parliament, with party leaders Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Mallikarjun Kharge leading the charge in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha respectively.

Sources said the issues to be raised during the monsoon session of Parliament starting July 19 were discussed at a meeting of the Congress parliamentary strategy group on Wednesday, which was chaired by party chief Sonia Gandhi and attended by former prime minister Manmohan Singh and former Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

The leaders also decided to raise the issues of unemployment, price rise and the condition of the economy during the monsoon session and demand a discussion on those.

The opposition party will also raise the issue of an alleged attack on cooperative federalism and constitutional rights.

Besides Chowdhury and Kharge, the virtual meeting was also attended by the Congress’s deputy leaders in both houses, Gaurav Gogoi (Lok Sabha) and Anand Sharma (Rajya Sabha), and AICC general secretary K C Venugopal.

Congress chief whips in both houses Jairam Ramesh and K Suresh, besides Manickam Tagore and Manish Tewari also attended the meeting that lasted over an hour.

Chowdhury will lead the charge in the Lok Sabha, contrary to reports that he may be replaced as the leader of the Congress in the Lower House of Parliament.

The opposition party had rejected such reports as unfounded.

The sources said the Congress would soon work out its floor coordination strategy with other opposition parties to strongly raise the issues in Parliament.

A meeting of opposition leaders is also likely later this week.

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