Defending the Special Session: Pralhad Joshi Counters Sonia Gandhi’s Critique

In a sharp response to a letter by Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi urged the Congress, along with the other opposition parties, to stop making a hue and cry over the special session of Parliament called by the Centre from September 18-22.

“The prerogative to call the special session of Parliament was that of the government. The procedure was followed. The government sought the approval of the President of Bharat. After her approval, the session was announced,”

– Pralhad Joshi

Joshi’s letter came in response to a letter Gandhi wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier in the day, asking about the agenda of the special session and demanding a discussion on issues, including price rise, unemployment, caste census, Manipur violence, and the India-China border dispute.

Yet another desperate attempt by Sonia Gandhi and the Congress Party to create an issue out of nothing. The government has convened the session as per the provisions of the constitution, and the due procedure has been followed.

Date Event
September 6, 2023 Pralhad Joshi’s Tweet

“This government and several governments of the Opposition parties, in the past, are aware of the procedures by which the list of businesses is announced. No agenda can be declared in advance as per the Parliamentary procedure… We will make public what is going to happen during the five days of session at an appropriate time,” Joshi said.

“All issues that were raised by the Opposition parties, including Manipur, have already been replied to by the prime minister during the reply to the no-confidence motion which was moved in the last monsoon session of Parliament,” he said.

Recently, through a post on X, previously Twitter, Joshi had informed that the government has decided to call a special session of Parliament.

“How much will you mislead Joshi-avare? On each and every occasion of a Special Session/Sitting, the agenda was well known in advance. It is only the Modi government that routinely disrespects Parliament and distorts Parliamentary conventions.”

– Jairam Ramesh

Since then, several reports have been doing the rounds in media circles about what could come up in the five days. From reports that the government may bring a bill on ‘one country, one election,’ to a bill to change India’s name to Bharat and women’s reservation bill, several discussions have happened. However, so far no official confirmation has come from the government on these bills.

After the announcement of the session, the opposition parties got together on Tuesday evening at the residence of Mallikarjun Kharge to strategize, after which Gandhi shot off the letter.

Key Points

  • The government defends its decision to call a special session of Parliament from September 18-22.
  • Union Minister Pralhad Joshi asserts that the government followed the proper procedure and received the President’s approval.
  • Sonia Gandhi and the Congress Party demand a discussion on various issues, including price rise, unemployment, caste census, Manipur violence, and the India-China border dispute.
  • Opposition parties raise questions about the session’s agenda, while Joshi promises to reveal it at the appropriate time.
  • Reports suggest potential bills, such as ‘one country, one election,’ changing India’s name to Bharat, and a women’s reservation bill, but no official confirmation has been given by the government.

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