On Wednesday, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi penned a letter to Sonia Gandhi, the leader of the Congress Parliamentary Party. In his letter, Joshi clarified that the special session of Parliament slated for September 18-22 adheres to all rules and regulations. He also criticized her for generating a “controversy” around this matter.
“It is regrettable that you are attempting to politicize and stir up an unnecessary dispute regarding Parliament, which is the cornerstone of our democracy,” remarked Joshi.
The minister’s letter was a reply to a letter sent by Gandhi to Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier that day. In her letter, she requested information about the agenda for the special session and called for discussions on nine key issues, including inflation, unemployment, the Adani group controversy, caste-based census, the situation in Manipur, and the India-China border dispute.
On Wednesday morning, Congress General Secretary (Communications) Jairam Ramesh highlighted that Gandhi’s letter had underlined the “absence of transparency” in the government’s agenda for the special session, which was officially announced on August 31.
The Congress stated that Gandhi penned the letter following extensive discussions among opposition parties regarding the topics they intend to address during the special session.
“This session has been convened without prior consultation. Typically, when a special session is called, the government seeks to establish a broad consensus on the session’s agenda. However, this marks the first instance where the agenda has not been disclosed,” remarked Ramesh.
In his letter directed to Gandhi, Joshi stated, “Perhaps you are not acquainted with the established traditions and procedures. Prior consultation with political parties is not necessary before convening a session, and neither is the agenda subject to discussion.”
The minister explained that a meeting with leaders of all parties takes place before the commencement of the session, during which the agenda and the issues to be addressed are deliberated upon. He affirmed that the session has been convened in accordance with the established procedures.
Regarding the session’s agenda, he mentioned that it will be disclosed in accordance with standard procedures. Joshi added, “The agenda has never been made public prior to the session, regardless of which political party has been in power.”
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In response to Gandhi’s request to address nine issues, the minister stated, “Our government is consistently prepared to engage in discussions on any matter. The concerns you’ve raised were already addressed during the monsoon session when the no-confidence motion discussion occurred, and the government provided its response.”