New Delhi: In a bid to reach out to the Opposition, parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi along with Union ministers Arjun Ram Meghwal and Narendra Singh Tomar on Friday met Congress Parliamentary Party chief Sonia Gandhi, seeking her party’s cooperation for smooth functioning of the Parliament session beginning June 17.
The session, the first of the 17th Lok Sabha, will go on till July 26 and the Budget will be tabled on July 5.
Mr. Joshi’s visit to Mrs Gandhi’s residence is part of the government’s exercise to reach out to the opposition. The meeting lasted around 15 minutes, sources said.
“Our meeting with Sonia Gandhi was very cordial. We sought her cooperation for the smooth functioning of Parliament. She said they (opposition) also need cooperation from treasury benches. I told her that the government has always been ready to cooperate,” Mr. Joshi told.
Mr. Joshi has also met Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and DMK’s leader of house in the Lok Sabha T.R. Baalu.
Besides presentation of the budget, the government is planning to convert into law 10 new ordinances, including the one to ban the practice of instant triple talaq. The ordinances were issued in February-March this year by the previous government. After the new MPs take oath on the first two days, the Lok Sabha Speaker’s election is scheduled for June 19. President Mr. Ram Nath Kovind will address a joint sitting of both houses of Parliament on June 20.
According to Congress sources, the government has convened an all-party meeting in the Parliament on June 16, where it will seek the cooperation of all political parties to ensure a smooth session.
Earlier the Congress had stated that after the mandate on May 23 the party will play the role of a constructive opposition
Meanwhile, a core group of ministers on issues related to parliament session met at the residence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh here on Friday ahead of the first session of the new Lok Sabha. Home Minister Amit Shah was among the ministers who attended the meeting which comes days before the parliament session beginning June 17.
According to sources, discussions were held on coordinating with MPs during the session, updating the newly elected lawmakers about parliamentary procedures and constitution of parliamentary standing committee.