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Unemployment, farmers distress must be discussed in Budget Session: Congress

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New Delhi, June 16: Asserting that the Congress is not opposed to bills which are in the interest of the people, senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Sunday said there should be a discussion on farmers distress, unemployment and drought during the Budget Session.

A day before the budget session is set to begin, an all-party meeting was convened by the government on Sunday. The first Parliament session of the 17th Lok Sabha will commence on June 17 and will continue till 26th of next month.

Ghulam Nabi Azad

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired the meeting which was attended by representatives of all parties, including Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, National Conference (NC) leader Farooq Abdullah and Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Derek O'Brien.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Azad said that all those bills which are in the interest of the people "we are not opposed to them". There should be a discussion on farmers distress, unemployment and drought, he said. He also called for early conduct of Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, currently under President's rule, asserting that if Lok Sabha polls can be held then why not state polls. It appears that the Centre wants to run the state through the Governor's administration, he alleged.

Congress' Adhir Ranjan Choudhary and K Suresh were also present at the meeting.

Among others who attended the meeting were Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Prahlad Joshi and leader of BJP in Rajya Sabha Thawar Chand Gehlot. V Vijayasai Reddy of YSRCP, NCP's Supriya Sule, Anupriya Patel of Apna Dal (Sonelal), AAP's Sanjay Singh and Jayadev Galla of TDP, were also at the meeting convened by the government.

During the meeting, the government sought the support of the opposition parties to ensure smooth functioning of both the Houses of Parliament.

[Opposition has no strategy in place as 17th Lok Sabha is set to commence]

TMC's O'Brien demanded that the Women's Reservation Bill, which seeks to reserve one-third of all seats for women in Lok Sabha and state Assemblies, be brought immediately in the session.

Besides Triple Talaq Bill, the bills likely to be introduced in Parliament are The Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers Cadre) Bill and Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill 2019.

The first session of the newly-constituted 17th Lok Sabha will be held from June 17 to July 26. President Ram Nath Kovind will address the joint sitting of both Houses on Thursday. The Economic Survey will be presented on the 4th of July and the Budget on the 5th of July.

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