PM Narendra Modi on Sunday assured political parties ahead of the monsoon session of Parliament that the government is ready to discuss all issues even as the opposition objected to a proposal that the PM would address all MPs on the Covid pandemic at the Parliament Annexe, insisting that he should speak in the two Houses or the Central Hall.
Opposition parties said it will be “highly irregular” for the PM to speak to MPs at the Annexe at a time when Parliament is in session. At the all-party meeting on Sunday, parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi said Modi will address MPs of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha on July 20 on the pandemic. “What is the need to go outside Parliament? Any address should be on the floor of the House. This is another idea to bypass Parliament. Stop making a mockery of Parliament,” Trinamool Congress MP Derek O'Brien said.
After the meeting of parties, the PM tweeted, “Took part in the all-party meeting before the start of Parliament’s monsoon session. We look forward to a productive session where all issues can be debated as well as discussed in a constructive manner.” Joshi said that at the meeting, attended by 40 representatives from 33 political parties, Modi said suggestions made by the MPs are invaluable as they are directly linked to people.
At a separate meeting, LS Speaker Om Birla assured that parties will be given adequate opportunities for discussion on issues of public interest and appealed to leaders to cooperate with smooth conduct of the House. He said he had requested leaders of parties in LS to respect the sanctity and dignity of the House.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the party's position has always been that when Parliament is in session, whatever the government has to say, it can do so on the floor of the House. “It is highly irregular for the government to do this (PM’s proposed address to MPs). When the Parliament is in session, any address or presentation the government wants to make, it has to be done from inside Parliament,” he said.