New Delhi, Aug 3 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday expressed hope that the monsoon session of parliament, starting Aug 5, would be "constructive and productive" and sought cooperation of all political parties for this.
Meanwhile, responding to the opposition's contention that the session, scheduled to last till Aug 30, would, in practice, have just 12 working days available against the estimated 16 to take up the 44 listed bills, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath hinted it could be extended, if needed.
"We expect a constructive and productive session of parliament...I sincerely hope all sections of the house will cooperate in making this a very productive, constructive session," the prime minister told reporters after an all party meet called by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar to ensure smooth running of parliament.
He said disruptions in the past few sessions have blocked key bills.
"A lot of time was wasted in the previous two-three sessions, and a lot of legislative agenda is pending before parliament," the prime minister said, adding that the government was ready for any debate.
"Government on its part is willing to discuss any issue which may agitate the opposition, but all that we respectfully ask of the opposition is its cooperation in passing the essential legislative work, the primary responsibility of parliament," said Manmohan Singh.
He flagged the food security bill as the most important legislation pending before parliament.
"Of all the five or six ordinances before parliament, the most important is the food security ordinance. I sincerely hope parliament in its wisdom will find it productive, and justified to pass the bill, to convert the ordinance into a bill in an active parliament," he said.
The government has listed around 44 bills for the monsoon session. The list of pending bills with exceeds 100.
The session could be extended, if necessary, hinted Kamal Nath while dismissing suggestions that this will be the last session and there might be early national elections.
"There are still three sessions left, including the monsoon session, the winter session and budget session for the vote-on-account," he told reporters.
His remark came after Samajwadi Party MP Shailendra Kumar expressed apprehension that the session may not run smoothly.
"It seems it is an election session due to the kind of bills the government is bringing. It appears that the government is looking at its benefit by bringing all these measures," Shailendra Kumar while referring to the food security ordinance and the recent Congress decision to create Telangana state out of Andhra Pradesh.
The SP lawmaker indicated that his party's support to the food security ordinance was not readily available.
"We will talk about the rights of the farmers and see that their interests are not ignored and the state's authority is not violated. Our leadership has maintained that the bill should not be passed without a thorough discussion," he said.
There was consensus on the food scurity ordinance, Kamal Nath claimed.
"Political parties have some point to make but there is a very large consensus," he said.
Referring to the creation of Telangana, Kamal Nath it was not a new issue and there has been a debate for long on it.
"The bill for creation of Telangana should be brought in this session," senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Lok Sabha Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj said in a tweet.
Kamal Nath said there will be discussion on the flood-hit Uttarakhand and the condition of the economy.
--Indo-Asian News service