New Delhi: Union Budget and legislations like triple talaq will be in focus as the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha begins from today. Ahead of the session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired an all-party meeting on Sunday where he invited heads of all parties for a meeting on June 19 to discuss the “one nation, one election” issue and other important matters.

The PM hoped for the session to begin with “fresh zeal and new thinking” as there were many new faces in the Lok Sabha this time. At the all-party meeting, the Congress is reported to have raised issues of unemployment, farmers distress, drought, and press freedom, while also calling for early conduct of assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Opposition parties also demanded a discussion on all such issues in Parliament, with the Congress asserting that it is still a “fight of ideologies”.

Those present at the meeting were Prime Minister Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress lawmakers Adhir Ranjan Choudhary, K Suresh, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah and TMC leader Derek O’Brien.

On Sunday, the BJP also held its parliamentary party meet with the PM assuring that his government will facilitate a legislation that manifests the spirit of “sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas”. The same day, an NDA meeting was also held.

Meanwhile, in this session of Parliament, the first two days of the session will be used for administering an oath of office to all Lok Sabha MPs. The oath will be
administered by pro-tem Speaker Virender Kumar. The Speaker will be elected on June 19 and the next day, the President will address a joint sitting of both Houses.
The Union Budget will be introduced on July 5.

Among the bills that will be introduced, the one on triple talaq could be a contentious one. Addressing the media after the all-party meeting, Parliamentary Affairs minister Prahlad Joshi said the Prime Minister urged leaders of all parties to “introspect whether members of Parliament are able to fulfil people’s aspirations as their representatives and the manner in which last two years of the 16th Lok Sabha were wasted”.

Joshi said the government has requested all parties, especially the opposition, for their cooperation for the smooth functioning of both Houses of Parliament.
The June 19 meeting that the PM has called will discuss “one nation, one election” issue, celebrations of 75 years of India’s Independence in 2022 and 150 years of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary this year, he said.

It will be followed by a dinner meeting with all MPs of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on June 20 to freely interact and exchange views with the government, Joshi said, adding that these two novel initiatives would go a long way in building team spirit among all parliamentarians.