Parliament's Monsoon Session begins today: What to expect
The Monsoon Session of Parliament begins on July 17 and will continue till August 11. Photograph: (AFP)
The Indian Parliament's Monsoon Session commences today (July 17), the same day that Members of Parliament cast their vote to elect the President.
Both Houses of Parliament, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha will be adjourned today because of the death of sitting members.
The 19-day Session is expected to be stormy with the Opposition likely to corner the government over key issues including the stand-off with China in Doklam, the killing of Hindu pilgrims in the terrorist attack in Amarnath, farmer suicides in Madhya Pradesh, the roll-out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), and the communal violence in West Bengal.
On Sunday the Speaker held an all-party meet to iron out differences between government and opposition parties.
She said all political parties had assured a peaceful and constructive Session and said they would discuss several issues.
"I want this Parliament session to be fruitful. All political parties have assured me that they will help in conducting a peaceful parliament session. All political parties have urged that they want to hold fruitful discussions on various issues including the issues of the farmers," the Speaker said.
In an address to party leaders of the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked all political parties to support the government in conducting business in both Houses of the Parliament without disruption and in constructive discussion on issues of national importance.
The prime minister also said it would have been good had a consensus been reached on the presidential candidate ahead of the presidential poll.
On July 14 and July 15, the government briefed leaders of Opposition parties about the month-old stand-off with China and the situation in Kashmir in the aftermath of the killing of the seven Amarnath pilgrims.
The Opposition was informed about the situation on the ground in Doklam and what the government intended to do to de-escalate the tension in the disputed area. It assured them the issue will be resolved diplomatically.
The Opposition, that includes the Congress, CPI-M, Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party, Nationalist Congress Psarty, BSP, Janata Dal-United, the Rashtriya Janata Dal and DMK, is likely to ask for a debate on the matter but may not be very aggressive.
Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram has said in advance that GST roll-out will be raised during the session since the law in its present form is not the law that was originally drafted by his party, the Congress said on Sunday.
CPI-M leader Mohammad Salim said on Sunday that his party will raise the issues of cross border tensions with India and Pakistan, mob lynching by cow vigilantes, and the agrarian crisis.
The Trinamool Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal are likely to highlight the alleged targetting of Opposition leaders by central agencies like the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate.
The Monsoon Session concludes on August 11.