Facing opposition attack ahead of Budget Session, BJP chief Amit Shah on Monday held a meeting with allies for better floor coordination in Parliament and also decided to hold one-to-one meeting with them, some of whom complained against lack of coordination.
Shah will meet Akali Dal and TDP leaders tomorrow and hold similar meetings with the other allies in the coming days. The Budget session is commencing on February 23.
Top NDA leaders, including union ministers Sushma Swaraj, Rajnath Singh besides Shah, TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu and SAD president Sukhbir Badal, attended the 90-minute long meeting held at the residence of Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu.
Shiv Sena and Akali Dal raised the issue of “lack of coordination” in the ruling coalition and noted that there was better cohesion during the previous NDA government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
While Sena has been raising this issue for some time, it was joined today by Badal who stressed on the need for better coordination in the view of upcoming Punjab polls.
Taking note of the concerns, Shah assured them of having more frequent meetings starting from tomorrow.
Briefing the media after the meeting, Venkaiah Naidu said the NDA leaders of nine parties deliberated over the issues likely to come up in the session and a common strategy.
Issues like Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula’s suicide in the Hyderabad Central Univerity, Malda violence, imposition of President’s Rule in Arunachal Pradesh were also deliberated.
A suggestion was also made to hold meeting of NDA MPs on the line of the BJP parliamentary party so that they could be informed about the government’s “pro-poor, pro-weaker sections, pro-farmer” initiatives and are in a position to counter the opposition attack.
The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister said the NDA meeting should be taking up larger issues concerning the nation and ideas to take it forward and not remain confined to party- specific matters which, he added, should be dealt in one on one meetings.
BJP allies also asked for taking the issue of the land bill to a conclusion at the earliest in view of the possibility of the opposition using it to target the ruling alliance.
An all-party meeting is also likely to be held ahead of the Budget session. The land bill is pending before a joint parliamentary committee which is likely to table its report in the Budget Session.
The attack from Opposition and even some allies forced the government to backtrack after it had brought an ordinance to push its amendments to the law brought by the UPA.
Various BJP allies also raised certain issues concerning them with Anupriya Patel of Apna Dal seeking constitutional status for the backward commission.
Seeking to buttress the government’s pro-farmer credentials, Naidu said some leaders also suggested a pension scheme for farmers.
The government’s initiatives for the uplift of Dalits and empowerment of farmers through the crop insurance policy were also discussed.
It was also decided to “strengthen” the interaction between the Prime minister and chief ministers.
The contentious GST bill also came up for discussion as it is stuck in the Rajya Sabha due to Congress’ relentless opposition and the government is likely to make fresh attempts to push it in the Budget Session.
Signaling that the upcoming Budget Session of Parliament could be stormy, Congress today said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should not expect the Opposition to “bend over backwards” when “so many charges are in public domain”.