Government ready for healthy, meaningful discussion in Parliament: PM at all-party meet

NEW DELHI: Various parties, including the Congress and the TMC, on Sunday demanded restoration of MPLAD funds, in an all-party meeting chaired by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, sources said.

He assured them that he will raise the issue with the government and its top functionaries, they said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and floor leaders of various parties were present in the customary all-party meeting on the eve of the Monsoon session of Parliament.

The session will begin on Monday and conclude on August 13.

Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, TMC leader Sudeep Bandopadhyay, YSR Congress leader Midhun Reddy were among those who raised the issue of MPLAD funds during the meeting in the presence of Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, the sources said.

Birla also told members that they will be given adequate opportunity for discussion on issues of public interest and appealed to them to cooperate with the Chair in the smooth conduct of the House.

In the meeting, Speaker Birla lauded the leaders for their support during the last five sessions, an official statement said.

He also appealed to them to continue their cooperation during the Monsoon Session too, it said.

Leaders of political parties assured the speaker that they will extend all cooperation in smooth functioning of the House.

Later, talking to reporters, Birla said he has requested leaders of parties in Lok Sabha to respect the sanctity and dignity of the House and sought their cooperation for the smooth conduct of the proceedings of the House.

He said that the House represents the collective will and aspirations of the country and it is the responsibility of members to voice the concerns of the people they represent, while maintaining the decorum and rules of the House.

The speaker said that the House belongs to all members and he will give all of them ample opportunity, including those from smaller parties and single member parties, to participate in the proceedings so that more and more issues of public interest can be discussed.

Birla informed that for the session, extensive arrangements have been made for safety of members, officials and the media according to Covid protocols.

He also noted that an app is being developed which will be an “one stop solution” for all parliamentary matters.

The Monsoon session of Parliament is the sixth session of the 17th Lok Sabha and subject to exigencies of government business, would conclude on August 13.

There would be a total of 19 sittings.