Cong to corner Govt on prices, rail fares

Cong to corner Govt on prices, rail fares

The Congress is bracing to corner the Modi Government on price rise and hike in railway fare and freight charges during the Monsoon Session of Parliament opening on Monday.

  • To press for immediate debate on both issues
  • Seeks floor coordination with Trinamool Congress
  • Cong pushed to the wall by almost losing LoP and Dy Speaker posts
  • Polavaram among the priority Bills

New Delhi: The Congress is bracing to corner the Modi Government on price rise and hike in railway fare and freight charges during the Monsoon Session of Parliament opening on Monday. The session, from July 7 to August 14, apart from passing Railway and General Budgets, will also elect the Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with senior leader L K Advani, Arun Jaitley and Sadananda Gowda at a function to celebrate the birth anniversary of Shyama Prasad Mookerjee at Parliament House in New Delhi on Sunday. Photo: Thehansindia e-Paper
The Congress, which is the principal Opposition party in Parliament, is likely to be denied the Deputy Speaker post, apart from the post of Leader of Opposition.

The Opposition is insisting on a separate discussion on price rise and fare hikes soon after the presentation of the Railway and the General Budgets, but Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu does not favour it. Venkaiah Naidu said the railway fare hike could be raised during the Railway Budget debate and the price rise issue could be discussed during the debate on the Union Budget for 2014-15.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi met senior party leaders to chalk out the floor strategy over the weekend at her 10, Janpath residence.

The Congress will seek floor coordination with the other major Opposition party, Trinamool Congress, as another major party, the AIADMK, whose leader M Thambi Durai, is tipped to be the Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker, is bound to support the Modi Government.

Trinamool Congress leader Kalyan Banerjee demanded at the all-party meeting convened by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Saturday for an immediate discussion on the railway fare hike and price rise soon after the presentation of the Rail and Union Budgets. Railway fare and freight hikes were done behind the back of Parliament, he said, when the session was round the corner.

Kalyan Banerjee also demanded discussion on Demands for Grants of Home, Transport, Rural Development and Urban Development, while the Demands of Grants for other Ministries could be guillotined.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will make suo-motu statement in both Houses of Parliament on the situation in Iraq.

The Monsoon Session, having 28 sittings and 168 working hours, has to pass the Railway Budget and General Budget by July 31.

The priority Bills for the Modi Government are the Bill to replace the Ordinance with respect to Polavaram Project under Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2014; Bill to replace the Ordinance on TRAI; and Bill on the National Institute of Design to be brought by the Commerce Ministry.

The Polavaram Bill relates to transfer of 7 Mandals from Khammam District in Telangana to Andhra Pradesh. The TRAI (Amendment) Bill is to regularise the government’s decision to appoint Nripendra Misra as PM’s Principal Secretary, without the cooling off period, after serving as the head of the statutory regulatory authority.

All pending Bills lapsed with the dissolution of the previous Lok Sabha and the Government will have to bring fresh Bills to Parliament.

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