Open to debate all issues

Open to debate all issues

Let’s work together to frame policy solutions: PM Modi

New Delhi: A day before the Parliament winter session is set to begin, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday assured that the government will discuss all issues as the Opposition demanded that detained Lok Sabha MP Farooq Abdullah be allowed to attend the House.

The demand was raised during an all-party meeting attended by the Prime Minister on Sunday. "Government is ready to discuss all issues within the framework of rules and procedures of the Houses," the PM assured the meeting.

Modi said the government would work together with all political parties in a constructive manner to address pending legislation as well as to frame policy solutions for wide-ranging issues.

He observed that the winter session will be a special occasion as it will mark the 250th session of the Rajya Sabha.

The Opposition flagged several key issues including economy, unemployment and the continued detention of Kashmiri leaders at the all-party meeting. "Unemployment, economic crisis...we will raise issues connected to the common man.

Already, many members have raised the issue specially, about the detention of Farooq Abdullah. He should be allowed to attend the discussion in the house," said Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, the Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha.

"Farooq Abdullah has been illegally kept under detention. He should be allowed to attend the parliament session," Congress's Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters after the meeting. He also said the party has reiterated its call to allow P Chidambaram, the former union minister who is in jail, to attend the proceedings.

"How can a parliamentarian be detained illegally? He should be allowed to attend Parliament," said Azad, the Leader of Opposition in the upper house, where Mr Abdullah is a member.

Abdullah, 83, has been one of the three former Chief Ministers from Jammu and Kashmir placed under detention since the government's move to end the state's special status granted under Article 370 of the constitution and bifurcate it into two union territories.

The meeting was called by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, who later said 37 parties had attended it.

In the budget session of Parliament, the government introduced and passed a record 28 Bills -- the for any session in a decade -- including the controversial Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill.

But the road is likely to be tougher for the BJP this time, with old ally Shiv Sena joining the Opposition benches.

Allies like Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party expressed concern about the matter. "Shiv Sena is one of the oldest allies of NDA. We will be raising all issues concerning the NDA alliance," said Chirag Paswan, the son of Paswan and one of the senior leaders of the party.

Twenty-seven Bills are scheduled to be presented before the house in this session of Parliament. The list includes the crucial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to grant Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan if they have fled their respective country due to religious persecution.

The BJP-led NDA government had introduced the Bill in its previous tenure too but could not push it amid protests by opposition parties, which criticised the bill as discriminatory.

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