Oppn focuses on price rise, Agnipath, ‘misuse’ of agencies at all-party meet on monsoon session

NEW DELHI, 17 Jul: Leaders of various opposition parties on Sunday demanded that issues of price rise, the Agnipath scheme, as well as the alleged misuse of investigative agencies be taken up in Parliament, and also raised objections to the list of ‘unparliamentary words’ at an all-party meeting convened by the government ahead of the monsoon session.

Sources said the leaders were unanimous in their demand for immediate withdrawal of the Agnipath scheme for recruitment in the armed forces and called for a discussion on important issues like price rise and the status of the economy during the session starting Monday.

Addressing reporters after the meeting, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said that the government

is open to discussion on all issues under the rules and procedures of Parliament.

Leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge asked how 32 bills, lined up by the government, will get passed in 14 days in Parliament and said, “What is the government trying to do?”

“We raised 13 issues, including price rise, Agnipath, attack on the federal structure of the country, and misuse of investigative agencies such as ED and CBI,” Kharge told reporters after the meeting.

Leaders from almost all parties, including Congress’ Mallikarjun Kharge, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Jairam Ramesh, DMK’s TR Baalu and Tiruchi Siva, TMC’s Sudeep Bandyopadhyay and NCP’s Sharad Pawar, besides BJD’s Pinaki Misra, YSRCP’s Vijaysai Reddy, TRS’ Keshav Rao, RJD’s AD Singh and Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut were present.

The government was represented by union minister Rajnath Singh, who is also the deputy leader of the Lok Sabha, his cabinet colleague and leader of the house in the Rajya Sabha Piyush Goyal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi.

“Today, in the all-party meeting, many political parties, including those supporting NDA, pointed out the contradiction in the Modi government claiming credit for its presidential candidate on the one hand and killing off the Forest Rights Act, 2006 on the other hand,” Congress’ Jairam Ramesh tweeted after the meeting.

He earlier raised strong objections over the absence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the all-party meeting to discuss issues that will come up in Parliament.

IUML leader ET Mohammed Basheer said every opposition party raised the issue of Agnipath, price rise and the row over the words listed in a new booklet by the Lok Sabha secretariat that will be considered ‘unparliamentary’. (PTI)