Speaker Sumitra Mahajan convenes all-party meeting on November 22
New Delhi: An all party meeting has been convened by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Nov 22 to ensure that the month-long winter session beginning next Monday is a smooth affair.
Mahajan has called leaders of various parties for discussions over dinner. The winter session of Parliament, which has a huge legislative agenda, is scheduled to end on December 23.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu has already said that government will go the extra mile to accomodate the opposition on debates on different issues.
Government managers hope that opposition will extend its cooperation to make the session a "more meaningful and constructive" affair.
Congress has been giving indications of its unhappiness with the government. A senior leader, who declined to be identified, said that despite the Congress being a constructive Opposition, the government has been less than reciprocative.
The absence of Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh during the expansion of the Union Ministry two weeks back is being seen as a pointer in this regard.
Congress has been denied the Leader of the Opposition status in the Lok Sabha on the contention that its numbers 44 were less than one tenth strength of the House.
The session is also being held at a time when leaders of various political parties belonging to the 'Janata Parivar' are talking about joint floor management strategy and also for exploring a joint front against a resurgent BJP.
The parties including -- JD-U, RJD, JD-S, INLD and Samajwadi Party- have said that they would pool their resources in Parliament to be more effective.
Together, these parties account for barely 15 seats in the Lok Sabha, but have 25 seats in the Rajya Sabha, which, looking at the way numbers are balanced in the Upper House is far more significant. In the session, government plans to pass most of the old pending bills as well as some key new bills.
The BJP-led NDA does not have a majority in the Rajya Sabha and will have to depend upon the cooperation of the Opposition to get key bills passed.