New Delhi: The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, chaired a Meeting of Party Presidents of all political parties having representation in Parliament. 21 Party Presidents attended the meeting.
Issues that came up for discussion included:
Ways to Improve productivity of Parliament
One Country, One Election
Building a New India in the 75th year of Independence
Programme and commitments to Celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary
Development of aspirational Districts
Union Minister for Defence, Rajnath Singh conducted the meeting. The Party Presidents appreciated the initiative of the Prime Minister to convene this meeting and seek their views on these important matters.
Various Party Presidents noted with concern, the frequent adjournments and disruptions in the Houses of Parliament. They observed that this impacts productivity and denies Members the opportunity to express their views on issues of the day. They emphasized that an atmosphere of discussion and dialogue must prevail in Parliament. Participants in the meeting also expressed the hope that approximately half of the members of the 17th Lok Sabha, are first time MPs, who would take this opportunity to carry forward the spirit of constructive dialogue in the House.
On the issue of One Country, One Election, several Party Presidents supported the proposal for simultaneous conduct of elections. Several parties were also of the view that all aspects of this proposal need to be examined carefully. Modi noted that this is not a single party’s agenda, but it is an issue of national importance and the views of all parties would be considered and given due importance. The Prime Minister announced that a committee will be formed to go examine the issue of ‘One Country, One Election’ threadbare, and come up with suggestions in a time-bound manner.
Several parties strongly expressed the view that the new generation must be made aware of the ideals and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, and the 150th
birth anniversary of the Mahatma, is an apt occasion to do so. Parties were also of the view that we can take some firm resolves for the development of the country, on this occasion, and aim to accomplish these goals by 2022, the 75th anniversary of independence.
On the issue of development of aspirational districts, all parties had a constructive view and gave a number of suggestions. Modi said that all State Governments must work in coordination with the Centre to bring the most backward districts in their States at par with the best performing districts. This way the goal of a ‘New India’ would be achieved by 2022, he added.
The Prime Minister thanked the Party Presidents for their participation and constructive suggestions. He said that the next few years represent a historic opportunity, to take the country forward on the path of progress and prosperity.
Other Cabinet Ministers who attended the meeting included, Union Minister for Home Affairs, Amit Shah, Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Thawar Chand Gehlot, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines, Pralhad Joshi, among others.