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Heated debate likely in Rajya Sabha as Opposition plans to corner government

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As the Parliament is all set to reconvene on Monday after a brief interval during the Budget Session, the Opposition is gearing up to corner the government over various issues.

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New Delhi: As the Parliament is all set to reconvene on Monday after a brief interval during the Budget Session, the Opposition is gearing up to corner the government over various issues.

The Congress strategy committee met on Sunday to discuss the issues to be raised in the House.

Ahead of the second leg of the budget session, Congress parliamentary party chairman Sonia Gandhi chaired a virtual meeting of the party leaders on Sunday.

In the meeting, the members of G-23 Anand Sharma and Manish Tewari joined in along with newly appointed Leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge and Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary who is the floor leader in the Lok Sabha.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, AK Antony and Jairam Ramesh also attended the meeting in which the Congress discussed the strategy to counter the government on key issues such as farmers' agitation, petroleum prices and unemployment.

On Sunday, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi also targeted the government on farm laws and tweeted: "Livelihood is right not favour, PM Modi, please give MSP."

Recently Sonia Gandhi had targeted the government over the disinvestment of PSU by the government. In an article, she wrote: "The Modi government is using the economy's collapse since the pandemic to rush headlong into its mission of handing over large portions of India's wealth to its favourite crony capitalists. It has announced its intent to become cash rich by selling the family silver, through hasty privatisation of India's public sector undertakings (PSUs)."

She said the Modi government has explicitly embraced "privatisation", instead of "disinvestment".

On the issue of newly floated social media rules, the Congress has demanded answers from the government.

Congress Spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said: "It is absolutely certain that at the time of corona, when the entire world including all of us were standing rock solid with the Government and hoping that the Prime Minister is thinking about our lives, our livelihood, he was thinking about how to sort out this crisis, he was actually preparing to stab us in the back by first compromising with the freedom of speech and expression in the country by first controlling free press."

Mallikarjun Kharge, the newly appointed Leader of Opposition, said: "They are choking agriculture and most importantly, they have no plan to address the growing concern of unemployment in the country."

Monday will be the first day of Kharge as Leader of Opposition since his appointment on the post and he has been a fierce critic of the Narendra Modi-led Central government.

The Opposition is expected to raise various issues such as petroleum prices, farmers agitation, social media rules, disinvestment and unemployment.

According to a Rajya Sabha bulletin, the reports of Standing committees of Health, Energy, Science and Technology, Forests and climate change will be presented in the Upper House.

On the first day of the Parliament, the newly appointed members will take oath and reports of parliamentary committees will be presented. Besides, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will move the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, which has been passed by the Lok Sabha.

The Congress and Left MPs are planning to move a Resolution that this House disapproves the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 (No. 14 of 2020) promulgated by the President of India on November 4, 2020.

While the Law Minister will move the Bills for consideration and passing, to amend the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, as passed by the Lok Sabha, be taken into consideration.

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