Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi (File photo)
Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi (File photo)

Pralhad Joshi slams opposition decision to boycott President's address, says ready to discuss all issues

ANI | Updated: Jan 28, 2021 20:01 IST

New Delhi [India], January 28 (ANI): Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi on Thursday slammed Opposition parties for their decision to boycott the President's address to the joint sitting of two Houses of Parliament at the start of budget on Friday.
Joshi said that the government is ready to discuss all issues and they should reconsider their decision for boycotting President's address.
Sources said the government is reaching out to opposition parties for the smooth functioning of the session which will conclude on April 8 with a recess in between.
Joshi referred to Congress manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in which the party had promised to replace the Essential Commodities Act and to free the trade in agricultural produce from all restrictions, Joshi said the new farm laws implement these promises.
He said the government had made several offers to agitating farmers.
"It is most unfortunate. I am in the House for 17 years. We have never boycotted the President's speech. The President is above party politics. We have given so many offers. In any democratic system, you cannot say repeal laws. We had given options. We were ready for clause by clause discussion" Joshi told reporters here.
He said the incidents of violence during the tractor march called by farmers on Republic Day were "an assault on democracy".
"Whatever happened on January 26, this is an assault on democracy. Discussion took place in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha. According to me, amendments are an ongoing process. They should have tried to convince the farmer leaders, being a responsible opposition. From the day Modi government took over, they are creating a hurdle in running the House," he said.
Joshi said that Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has called a meeting of floor leaders on Friday and appealed to opposition parties to attend the meeting.
Business Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting of Lok Sabha is scheduled for Friday.
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad had said earlier in the day that 16 opposition political parties will boycott President Ram Nath Kovind's address. He said farm bills were passed in the last session "forcibly". (ANI)