Ahead of the monsoon session of parliament, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar Monday met leaders of political parties who informed her they will raise issues like Assam's communal violence, drought and floods across the country and crisis in the economy.
The meeting in Parliament House complex was attended, among others, by the Bharatiya Janata Party's L.K. Advani and Sushma Swaraj, Janata Dal (United) chief Sharad Yadav and Left parties' Basudeb Acharya, all from the opposition benches.
The government was represented by Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who is also Leader of House in the Lok Sabha, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Harish Rawat.
They were joined by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for lunch.
After the meeting, Meira Kumar told reporters that the monsoon session would have a 20-day sitting that will allow 120 hours of business when both government agenda and issues that the opposition parties may raise would be accommodated.
"I hope I will be able to accommodate the issues and the calling attention motions that the opposition may want to raise during the sitting," the speaker said.
Noting that opposition parties had assured her cooperation during the session, Meira Kumar said her work would not be "difficult" in running the house.
Swaraj, who informed the media about the issues that the opposition would raise, listed the Assam ethnic violence as the top priority.
She said the opposition, particularly the National Democratic Alliance, would raise the issue of the killing of six Sikhs in a Gurudwara in Winconsin,US.
Other issues she listed were the recent tripping of the power grids on two consecutive days, exorbitant fertiliser prices, the death of devotees during the Amarnath yatra this year, and the plight of weavers. Besides, calling attention motions on the centre-state relations and the national water policy would also be tabled.
Swaraj said the economic crisis and foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail will be two key issues on which the opposition would want to put the government on the mat.
Sharad Yadav, who came out midway during the meeting, told reporters: "Floods, drought, economic condition, media accountability, population explosion, farmers' suicides and land acquisition are issues we have listed and informed (speaker) that we may move calling attention motions on."
Sudip Bandopadhyay, leader of the Trinamool Congress in the Lok Sabha, said his party would oppose any central government policy that might affect the common man, including FDI in retail and pensions.