PM away in Paris as Lok Sabha takes up debate on intolerance

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Stormy scenes are likely to take place in the Lok Sabha, on 30 November, when Parliament takes up the intolerance issue. The opposition, on its part, will prey on the government, particularly five ministers, who made it to the headlines recently for their controversial remarks.

The ministers include Union ministers Giriraj Singh, Sadhvi Niranjany Jyoti, Mahesh Sharma, V K Singh and Sanjiv Balyan. “The PM should show that he means business by removing these ministers,” said KC Tyagi, of the JD (U).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be absent when the Lok Sabha takes up a debate on intolerance, as he will be away to attend the international climate conference, in Paris. However, he will be back in Rajya Sabha when the upper house takes up the debate, on 1 December.

Incidents such as, the killing of rationalists, mob attacks over cow slaughter and beef-eating in UP, rumours and irresponsible statements by the members of the BJP  or related groups, were shown to cite growing intolerance by the opposition.

A discussion without voting on intolerance is likely in the Lok Sabha, following demands by the oposition, including the Congress. Home minister Rajnath Singh is likely to reply to the debate

The debate comes after Modi had invited Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, and his predecessor Manmohan Singh, to his residence, which showed signs of thawing the ties between the government, and the opposition.

Similarly, in the Rajya Sabha, the NDA will face a tough time with several members of the opposition already being given separate notices for the discussion on intolerance, with or without voting. These include Congress, JD(U), Trinamool Congress, CPI, and CPIM.

There are differences among the opposition on whether the House should be allowed to disrupt, like they have in the past.
Samajwadi Party leader, Mulayam Singh Yadav, had spoken out against protests and disruptions, reflecting a sense within the opposition, that, the House should be allowed to function, and a change of atmosphere should be brought into the Parliament.

Sultan Ahmed of West Bengal’s Trinamool Congress (TMC), said, raising issues for debates should not transform into disruption of the winter session. “Disruptions are a kind of intolerance too,” said Ahmed.

Meanwhile, the government has lined up several bills, including the GST bill, a landmark tax reform, since Independence. Many senior opposition leaders may take to the floor, and Congress sources have said that, the party chief party or her deputy Rahul Gandhi may also speak, just as treasury benches will defend the government.

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