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Mudda debates stormy scenes in the highest panchayat of the land, says government should take opposition on board vis-à-vis agenda before session opens

The parliament witnessed stormy scenes on the first day of the Monsoon Session on Wednesday. The major success for the opposition came when Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan accepted its demand for a debate on a no-confidence motion, which could lead to embarrassment for the four-year-old BJP-led NDA government. The debate is slated for Friday even though the opposition is expected to lose the motion.

The opposition did not heed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal for cooperation in the smooth running of the house. The BJP-led government desires that important pending bills are cleared during the current session, scheduled till August 10.

The pending bills include triple talaq, which must be passed in the Rajya Sabha, a bill extending constitutional status to the Backward Class Commission, a bill on a National Commission for Medical Education and a bill related to the rights of transgenders.

The government also has to bring a legislation against mob killings as directed by the apex court. Amendment to the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), having a provision of the death sentence for rape of girls under 12 years of age, and a law against those who leave the country after committing economic offences are expected to come up during this session.

APN chose to conduct a healthy debate on the issue during its popular afternoon show Mudda on Wednesday. The participants of the debate were Ashok Thakur, spokesman of BJP, Hilal Naqvi, spokesperson of Congress, Sayed Afzal Abbas, leader of Janata Dal United (JD-U), Sanjay Agarwal, spokesman of Samajwadi Party (SP), Dushyant Nagar, a political commentator and Govind Pant Raju, the consulting editor of APN. Anant Tyagi anchored the show.

Naqvi, while initiating the debate, said the government has the responsibility of running the house smoothly. He alleged the government does not follow rules and accused the opposition of creating hindrances. However, people are witnessing all their moves, he said.

Thakur said that he did not agree with Naqvi’s statement. He said that the opposition was also responsible for cooperating in running the house without interruption. In fact, it should help the government in conducting a healthy debate in the house, he said.

Agarwal, the spokesperson of Samajwadi Party (SP), alleged that the BJP government has indulged in making false promises to the people during the last four-and-a-half years. The Modi government has done nothing during this period, he said.

Sayed Afzal Abbas, leader of JD(U), said that smooth functioning of the parliament decides the destiny of the nation. “I think there should be no conflict on the proposed anti-lynching bill because the treasury benches and the opposition are together in opposing such incidents. He said that he considers that government would take necessary action on the issue,” he said.

Nagar suggested that lawmakers belonging to the ruling and opposition parties should work with coordination which will provide an opportunity to conduct a healthy debate on issues of national interest. The government should take the initiative for consulting the opposition over agenda, so they do not create uncomfortable situations.

Raju said that Congress is the largest opposition party, which also has the experience of running the government. Hence it should behave in a more responsible manner. It was not necessary for Congress to replicate what BJP did while they were in opposition.

—Compiled by MA Kazmi

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