Sonia Gandhi writes to PM Modi seeking agenda of special session of Parliament | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

‘We most certainly.…’: Sonia Gandhi writes to PM Modi seeking agenda of special session of Parliament

Sep 06, 2023 01:21 PM IST

Congress' Sonia Gandhi stated that the session was called without any prior discussion with the Opposition.

Congress parliamentary party chief Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking details of the government's agenda for the upcoming special session of the Parliament. In the letter to the prime minister, Sonia Gandhi said the session was called without any prior consultation with the Opposition.

Congress Parliamentary Party Chairperson Sonia Gandhi (ANI/File)
Congress Parliamentary Party Chairperson Sonia Gandhi (ANI/File)

The government will hold a ‘Special Session’ of Parliament from September 18-22, parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi announced on last week while keeping the agenda under the wraps.

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In her letter, Gandhi wrote, “You have convened a special five-day session of the Parliament beginning 18 September, 2023. I must point out that this Special Session has been convened without any consultation with other political parties. None of us have any idea of its agenda.”

She added that the only information that the Opposition had received was that five days had been allocated for “Government Business”.

Gandhi said that the Opposition would definitely participate in the upcoming session to raise public concerns, and listed nine issues hoping it will be taken up during the special sittings. She wrote, “We most certainly want to participate in the Special Session because it will give us an opportunity to raise matters of public concern and importance. I earnestly hope that time will be allocated under the appropriate Rules for a discussion and debate on these issues.”

Congress leaders earlier told The Hindustan Times that the plan for Gandhi to write to Modi was endorsed by all Opposition's 24 INDIA bloc constituents with a presence in Parliament. This came after the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) decided in two meetings – one of the 28-member group and another of the Congress – that it wants to discuss fresh allegations against the Adani Group, price rise, unemployment, the Manipur situation and Centre-state relations in the five-day session beginning September 18, sources said.

The Congress leader listed out several matters of importance ranging from Manipur violence, Adani row and Caste census. Highlighting several issues, Gandhi wrote, “I earnestly hope that in a spirit of constructive cooperation, these issues will be taken up in the forthcoming Special Session.”

Issues mentioned by Gandhi in the letter were:

  1. Current economic situation with focus on increasing price rise of essential commodities, growing unemployment, rise in inequalities and distress of MSMEs;
  2. Commitment made by the Government of India to farmers and farmer organizations in regard to MS and other demands raised by them;
  3. Demand for a JPC to investigate the transactions of the Adani business group in light of all revelations;
  4. The continued agony faced by people of Manipur and breakdown of; Constitutional machinery and social harmony in the State;
  5. Rise in communal tension in different States like Haryana;
  6. Continued occupation of Indian Territory by China and challenges to our sovereignty on our borders in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh;
  7. Urgent need for a Caste Census;
  8. Damages being inflicted on Centre-State relations;
  9. Impact of natural disasters caused by extreme floods in some States and drought in others

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on the Sonia Gandhi's letter

Speaking to reporters after Sonia Gandhi sent a letter to the PM Modi, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said that nobody had any information about the special session of the Parliament and suddenly, during one of INDIA bloc's meet, a special session was announced.

Ramesh said, “Sonia Gandhi in a letter (to PM Modi) mentioned that the session has been called without any discussion with the opposition. No discussion was held with other political parties. Suddenly, during the INDIA bloc's meet in Mumbai and we hear that a five-day Parliament session has been called. Nobody had any information about it. Usually when special sessions are held, it is through mutual consent and discussion among several political parties… This is for the first time that we do not have any details for the agenda.”

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    Sanskriti Falor is a Senior Content Producer at the News Desk of HT Digital. Having worked in Digital Media for the past two years, she is interested in covering civic issues and global affairs.

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