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Winter session of Parliament likely to have a heated start over demonetisation programme

News Agencies | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:37 IST

Government on 15 November braced itself for a stormy Winter Session of Parliament beginning from 16 November with the opposition presenting a united face in seeking to corner it over the demonetisation issue calling it a "currency scam" that needs to be probed.

The opposition also has a string of other issues like the surgical strikes across LoC, the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, OROP and the plight of farmers to rake up during the session that will last a month. A demand for constitution of a JPC to go into the demonetisation is also on the opposition agenda.

Ahead of the session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met opposition leaders and sought their cooperation in the fight against black money and corruption for which, he said, the demonetisation exercise was undertaken.

In his concluding remarks at an all-party meeting on the eve of the Winter Session, PM Modi spoke in support of simultaneous Lok Sabha and state assembly polls. He pitched for state-funding of elections and asked parties to debate the issue.

The government is willing to discuss all issues and answer the questions raised by the opposition, PM Modi said, hoping for a fruitful session as he recalled the passage of the GST Bill in the last session with the cooperation of all parties.

"We have launched a crusade against corruption, black money and fake currency, which is also behind cross-border terrorism. All parties should come together on this issue of national interest," he said.

However, an unrelenting opposition decided to step up its fight against the government during the session. Presenting a united face, arch rivals TMC and Left parties and SP and BSP, got together at a meeting convened by the main opposition Congress to formulate a joint strategy.

There were some reservations in the opposition over TMC's proposal for a march to Rashtrapati Bhawan today to petition the President against demonetisation.

The majority of the parties did not want to exhaust the option of going to the President on the very first day of the session and instead wanted to keep it for a later stage.

An unfazed TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, however, asserted that she would go ahead with around 40 of her MPs to the President.

Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad alleged the decision to invalidate Rs. 1000/500 currency notes was leaked in advance to some people, including BJP leaders, and called it probably the "biggest scam". He, however, added that his party is not for a rollback of the drive.


First published: 16 November 2016, 8:09 IST