Centre may bring in Citizenship (Amendment) Bill

New Delhi: With the Opposition preparing to corner the government over the economic slowdown, joblessness and farmers’ distress, among other issues, Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged on the eve of the Winter Session starting Monday that the government was ready to discuss all issues on the floor of the House. Also, the Rajya Sabha will be celebrating its 250th session.

A series of meetings took place on Sunday, which also included an all-party meeting called by the government and a meeting of the ruling NDA, that the PM hailed as an alliance representing “India’s diversity and the aspirations of 130 crore Indians”. The BJP’s oldest ally, the Shiv Sena, was incidentally missing from the NDA meet as the two parted ways over the chief minister’s post in Maharashtra.

The Winter Session, starting two weeks after the Supreme Court’s landmark judgment on the centuries-old Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute, is likely to see the government’s managers trying to push through some key bills, including the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

“Attended the all-party meeting earlier today. This time, we mark the 250th session of the Rajya Sabha. In both Houses, we shall have constructive debates on ways to empower citizens and further India’s development,” the PM tweeted on Sunday.

At the all-party meeting  on Sunday morning, Mr Modi said the most important job of the House was to discuss and debate and this session should also be as productive as the last one.

However, some Opposition MPs demanded that fellow MP and National Conf-erence president Farooq Abdullah, who is under detention in J&K, should be allowed to attend the House. The government, sources said, gave no definite response on this matter. Former Jammu and Kashmir CM Farooq Abdu-llah was detained under the Public Safety Act in September.

Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad also sought to know how an MP can be detained illegally and also demanded that former finance minister and senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram be allowed to attend Parliament. The LoP said there had been instances in the past when in similar cases MPs have been allowed in the House.

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