At All-Party Meet, Opposition Flags Economy, Detentions In Kashmir

The meeting this morning was called by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, who later said 37 parties had attended it.

PM Modi with opposition leaders at all-party meeting.

New Delhi:

The opposition today flagged several key issues including economy, unemployment and the continued detention of Kashmiri leaders at the all-party meeting ahead of parliament's winter session that was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Winter Session, which will continue till December 13, begins tomorrow.

"Unemployment,economic crisis...we will raise issues connected to the common man.Already number of members have raised the issue specially, about the detention of Farooq Abdullah. He should be allowed to attend the discussion in the house," said Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, the Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha.

"Farooq Abdullah has been illegally kept under detention. He should be allowed to attend the parliament session," Congress's Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters after the meeting. He also said the party has reiterated its call to allow P Chidambaram, the former union minister who is in jail, to attend the proceedings.

"How can a parliamentarian be detained illegally? He should be allowed to attend Parliament," said Mr Azad, the Leader of Opposition in the upper house, where Mr Abdullah is a member.

Mr Abdullah, 83, has been one of the three former Chief Ministers from Jammu and Kashmir placed under detention since the government's move to end the state's special status granted under Article 370 of the constitution and bifurcate it into two union territories.

The meeting this morning was called by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, who later said 37 parties had attended it.  PM Modi said the session should be as productive as the last one. "The government is ready to discuss all issues within the framework of rules and procedures of the Houses," the Prime Minister was quoted as saying by Prahlad Joshi.

In the budget session of Parliament, the government introduced and passed a record 28 bills -- the highest for any session in a decade -- including the controversial Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation bill. But the road is likely to be tougher for the BJP this time, with old ally Shiv Sena joining the opposition benches.

Allies like Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party expressed concern about the matter. "Shiv Sena is one of the oldest allies of NDA. We will be raising all issues concerning the NDA alliance," said Chirag Paswan, theson of Mr Paswan and one of the senior leaders of the party.

Twenty-seven bills are scheduled to be presented before the house in this session of parliament. The list includes the crucial The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to grant Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan if they have fled their respective country due to religious persecution.

The BJP-led NDA government had introduced the bill in its previous tenure too but could not push it amid protests by opposition parties, which criticised the bill as discriminatory.

More News