New Delhi: A day before of the budget session is to begin, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu met Congress President Sonia Gandhi as part of the government’s efforts to reach out to opposition parties.
Short of numbers in Rajya Sabha, the government will need the help of Congress, the largest opposition party, to help push legislation considered crucial to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reform agenda.
Mr Naidu said Mrs Gandhi had expressed “concern” regarding the issue of land acquisition. “I said we will discuss these while debating it in the House,” he said. “She was very receptive and it was cordial meeting.”
The government is hoping to pass legislations to replace certain Ordinances, including the one on land acquisition. The issue had generated a lot of protests from the Opposition and farmers’ organisations.
Sources told NDTV that the government was doing a rethink, spurred by the decisions of the Congress and anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare to take up the matter. Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi is expected to lead protests on land acquisition on February 25 at New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar.
Later in the day, the government held an all-party meeting, which was attended by PM Modi.
Calling for the cooperation of the opposition parties, the Prime Minister said, the country looks at Budget session “with hopes and aspirations”. “It is the collective responsibility of all parties to ensure it runs smoothly,” he added.