Parliament highlights: Sushma Swaraj says India wants good relations with China, but Beijing's actions a 'matter of concern'

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Parliament highlights: Sushma Swaraj says India wants good relations with China, but Beijing's actions a 'matter of concern'
  • 20:04 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha is adjourned for the day till 11 am on Friday

  • 20:04 (IST)

    Lok Sabha passes the National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development (Amendment) Bill, 2017

  • 20:03 (IST)

    IIIT Amendment Bill 2017 is passed by Rajya Sabha

  • 19:59 (IST)

    NCP's Vandana Chavan appeals for a permanent campus in IIIT Pune

  • 19:56 (IST)

    Students miss out on proper vocational training about hardware, says CPM's Ritabrata Banerjee


    CPM's Ritabrata Banerjee says the companies employ students who have only idea about software and not hardware. We must increase spending on education to improve the quality of engineering education. It is the lowest in India among the BRICS countries, he adds.

  • 19:41 (IST)

    Jairam Ramesh raises the question why big institutions like IIT, IIMs are not attracting best faculty

  • 19:35 (IST)

    There should be one common legislation covering all IIITs, says Jairam Ramesh

  • 19:33 (IST)

    Modi told Xi Jinping to not let 'differences result in dispute'

  • 19:26 (IST)

    'China's actions on tri-junction border a matter of concern'

    "India always wanted smooth relations on relations with China. But the alignment of boundaries of India, China and Bhutan has to always be finalised in consultations with all three. China's actions in the tri-junction is therefore a matter of concern, since we haven't had any dialogue in this regard," External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj tells Parliament.

  • 19:18 (IST)

    'India under Narendra Modi has the guts to stand up to anybody, even the US'

  • 19:12 (IST)

    'We have friends on every side of every geopolitical divide'

    "Our foreign policy has ensured we have friends all sides of every geopolitical divide. Both EU and Britain are India's allies; both Saudi Arabia and Yemen are our allies; both Israel and Palestine are on India's side," said Sushma Swaraj in Parliament, while praising India's foreign policy.

  • 19:08 (IST)

    'Most Arab countries consider India to be their closest ally'

    "People thought India doesn't care about the Arab world. But look how things have turned out. The Arab countries consider India to be their closest ally," Union external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj tells Parliament.

  • 19:05 (IST)

    Sushma Swaraj says bonhomie with Israel doesn't mean India will let down Palestine cause

    "There was once a time when India had Russia as a friend, but not the US. We can today count both Moscow and Washington as our allies. Furthermore, we are trying to be closer with Israel, but our solidarity with Palestine is as strong as ever. I spoke to Mahmoud Abbas and even he was happy with our efforts," said Sushma Swaraj, while addressing the Rajya Sabha.

  • 18:55 (IST)

    India has taken efforts to ease the standoff with China: Sushma Swaraj

    "Bhutan is our neighbour and it wants help with its development. Modi's 'sabka saath, sabka vikaas' policy is not just for Indians but also for our neighbours," Union external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj tells Rajya Sabha, while spelling out the government's stand on the Sikkim standoff.

  • 18:51 (IST)

    How Burhan Wani's killing spoilt relations with Pakistan

  • 18:50 (IST)

    Sushma Swaraj says Modi govt tried to be Pakistan's friend, until they called Burhan Wani a martyr'

    "Modi had been such a good friend to Pakistan that he didn't even think about protocol. He stopped off in Pakistan on his way back, just because it was Nawaz Sharif's birthday. Things didn't even worsen after Pathankot attack. That happened only after Burhan Wani was killed, and Pakistan said he was 'martyred'," said Sushma Swaraj in Parliament.

  • 18:45 (IST)

    Sushma Swaraj defends her government's foreign policy

  • 18:41 (IST)

    Narendra Modi first Indian PM in 17 years to visit Nepal: Sushma Swaraj

    "Under 10 years of Congress government, no prime minister ever visited Nepal. It took Modi to go there. Just because an Indian prime minister is visiting a friend in the neighbourhood, you are scorning him," said Union external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, while speaking in Rajya Sabha.

  • 18:38 (IST)

    India is the very definition of a 'friend' in the neighbourhood, says Sushma Swaraj

    "When Maldives faced floods, we sent them an entire ship with drinking water. When Sri Lanka and Nepal asked for our help, we sent the largest relief funds," said Union external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, while speaking in Rajya Sabha.

  • 18:38 (IST)

    India is the very definition of a 'friend' in the neighbourhood, says Sushma Swaraj

    When Maldives faced floods, we sent them an entire ship with drinking water. When Sri Lanka and Nepal asked for our help, we sent the largest relief funds.

  • 18:32 (IST)

    Watch: D Raja's speech on India's foreign policy

  • 18:08 (IST)

    External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to begin her address to Rajya Sabha

    External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is expected to inform Parliament about the government's stance on the standoff involving China at the tri-junction border with Bhutan.

  • 17:53 (IST)

    Watch: Union minister Piyush Goyal speaks about using LED bulbs to save power

  • 17:15 (IST)

    Punjab Municipal Corporation Law (Extension to Chandigarh) Amendment Bill, 2017 passed

  • 16:46 (IST)

    Modi's visits to US aren't yielding results: Yechury

    CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury tore into Narendra Modi for the prime minister's visits to Washington, saying these visits aren't yielding any results. "Narendra Modi has visited US five times, but no more FDI is coming in. There is zero investment in the defence sector. Furthermore, there are five lakh Indians in the US, but their future is in doubt because H1-B visas haven't been resolved," Yechury said.

  • 16:36 (IST)

    India's foreign policy should be determined by what suits our best interests: Sitaram Yechury

    Foreign policy is not about being aligned to one superpower or the other, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury. "India is moving towards the unipolarity led by the US, which is not a good idea. This is not in India's interests. We need to move towards a multi-polarity approach," Yechury told the Rajya Sabha.

  • 16:26 (IST)

    Watch: TMC leader Saugata Roy speaks in Lok Sabha

  • 16:19 (IST)

    Lok Sabha passes Banking Regulation Amendment Bill

    The Lok Sabha has passed the Banking Regulation Amendment Bill, 2017, which will replace the NPA Ordinance.

  • 16:12 (IST)

    Leaders of CPM and BJP clash in Lok Sabha over Kerala violence

    CPM and BJP MPs exchanged in heated exchanges in the Lok Sabha over political violence taking place in Kerala. BJP leaders had referred to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury as "terrorists" on Wednesday, and the ensuing din forced an adjournment of Lok Sabha. Protesting Left members then trooped into the well with Mohammad Salim of CPM heard asking Speaker Sumitra Mahajan not to "succumb to pressure tactics" of the ruling party members.

    — PTI

  • 16:02 (IST)

    Sharad Yadav of JD(U) addresses Rajya Sabha on India's foreign policy

    Sharad Yadav laments loss of Russia as a friend for New Delhi. "India managed to hold its ground through the 70s because a superpower like Russia was by our side. Indira Gandhi was secure in the knowledge that she had Moscow's friendship," the JD(U) leader told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

  • 15:48 (IST)

    Over 100 bridges in India on 'verge of collapse'

    Union minister Nitin Gadkari has said over 100 bridges across India need immediate attention. He told the Lok Sabha that his ministry has completed safety audit of 1.6 lakh bridges in the country and found more than 100 structures in dilapidated condition. "100 bridges can be collapse anytime and they need immediate attention,” he said.

    Referring to the delay in works on various road projects, the minister said this has been happening due to issues related to land acquisition, encroachment and environmental clearance.

    — PTI

  • 15:43 (IST)

    Watch: Congress MP Anand Sharma's speech on govt's foreign policy

    "Government should look at how we can meaningfully engage in China's OBOR initiative, while asserting our interests. We boast of isolating Pakistan, we mustn't up getting isolated ourselves," Congress MP Anand Sharma 

  • 15:35 (IST)

    Ram Gopal Yadav starts address on foreign policy debate

  • 15:25 (IST)

    Lok Sabha debates Punjab Municipal Corporation Law (Extension to Chandigarh) Amendment Bill, 2017

  • 15:21 (IST)

    Meanwhile... Modi to address NDA MPs on Friday

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address NDA MPs on Friday, ahead of the Vice President's election on Saturday.

    According to party officials, apart from the 81 National Democratic Alliance Rajya Sabha and 337 Lok Sabha MPs, MPs of AIADMK, YSR Congress and Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) will also be present.

  • 15:14 (IST)

    Dr Vinay P Sahasrabudhde lauds Modi for reforming foreign policy, slams Oppn for ridiculing PM 

  • 15:13 (IST)

    Dr Vinay P Sahasrabudhde of BJP speaks on foreign policy debate

  • 15:07 (IST)

    Anand Sharma concludes speech, urges govt to restore balance in foreign policy

  • 15:02 (IST)

    PM is very effusive in his mannerism, warm bear hugs are a key feature of his visits. But has it translated into diplomatic breakthroughs: Congress 

  • 14:54 (IST)

    India-Russia relationship is not in a healthy phase: Congress tells govt

    "Russia was an all weather ally; it has stood by us in difficult times too. But today, it appears that the government is not in good terms with Russia as well," Anand Sharma said.  

  • 14:50 (IST)

    "Government should look at how we can meaningfully engage, while asserting our interests, without isolating ourselves," Congress MP Anand Sharma 

  • 14:46 (IST)

    Deputy Chairman rules discussion to end on 6pm, EAM Sushma Swaraj to reply thereafter 

  • 14:45 (IST)

    Discussion on foreign policy disrupted as members disagree on time allotted for debate

  • 14:37 (IST)

    Govt willing to answer innumerable questions, we're ready to hold discussion for as long as the members want: Sushma Swaraj 

  • 14:32 (IST)

    We have concerns that China’s role in Pakistan is increasing. There are sovereignty concerns. China is being unusually aggressive. What did China deny that no meaningful discussion was held when our NSAs have met: Congress

  • 14:29 (IST)

    The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 passed in Lok Sabha.

  • 14:27 (IST)

    China is closing diplomatic doors, what's India's response: Anand Sharma asks Swaraj

  • 14:26 (IST)

    Congress talks tough on Modi's foreign visit

    "PM Modi has a hobby of making foreign tours on his own. He does not finds it necessary to take a minister along, or brief the Parliament or his Cabinet. He breaches protocol on his visits just to ensure no one else enters the frame of his photos. The picture perfect frame is a good thing but PM must be mindful that India does not drop out of frame," Anand Sharma said. 

  • 14:19 (IST)

    Your policy on Pakistan full of flip-flops, U-turns; do you have a roadmap: Congress asks Govt

    Congress flagged its concern over an inconsistent Pakistan policy amid deteriorating ties. "Why did you made that dramatic visit to Paksitan and till date you have not told us what conspired in the meeting? On one hand you get miffed and cancel talks after Pakistan invites separatists on a tea party, and on the other hand you make a dramatic visit breaching all protocols," Congress leader Anand Sharma said.  

  • 14:14 (IST)

    Pakistan is our neighbour; we can't change geography or history: Anand Sharma

    "The PM has said that we have isolated Pakistan. That is an irresponible and factually incorrect statement. There is a strong Chinese military presence in Pakistan; Russia has, for the first time, entered into a defence MoU in our history. So we should avoid making this boastful claim, nor should we ever intend to do such a thing. India, as the bigger country, must express its intent to engage," Anand Sharma said. 

The Income Tax Department raids on residences of Karnataka power minister DK Shivakumar are likely to echo in the House of Parliament on Thursday, as the Opposition refuses to accept government's claims that the searches were a routine action against corruption.

Over 60 locations linked to the Congress minister, tasked to look after the 44 Gujarat Congress MLAs holed up at the Eagleton Golf Resort in Bengaluru, were raided by the I-T officials on Wednesday, spurring Opposition protests, in and outside the Parliament.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi told the Karnataka leadership to fight against the "political conspiracy," while Opposition leaders kept up the offensive in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

The Opposition protests forced repeated adjournments in Rajya Sabha as little legislative business could be conducted. The Rajya Sabha was disrupted five times by angry Congress members before it was finally adjourned for the day.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Congress leader Anand Sharma said an attempt was being made to "derail and hijack" the elections to the Council of States and the raids were "targetted".

"Since morning they (ED and IT) have started the raids," Sharma said and questioned the timing and place of the raids.

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the elections to the Rajya Sabha should be held without fear in a free and fair manner.

"But in this election (in Gujarat) all these three things are not happening," he said, alleging that Congress MLAs were being "kidnapped". "This is against democracy," he added. Azad also asked why the raids on the minister were "taking place today and not a month later or before."

Finance minister Arun Jaitley, who spoke on the issue in both Houses of Parliament, asked the Opposition not to link the searches with Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat.

He also said that no search operation was conducted at the resort in Karnataka where Gujarat Congress MLAs have been staying. However, the minister, who had "gone and parked himself" at the resort, was picked up from there for questioning, he said, even as Congress members vociferously protested in both Houses of Parliament.

However, some legislative business was conducted in the Lower House after Congress members walked out around 12.30 pm. The Lok Sabha passed two bills: Extending Central GST and Integrated GST to Jammu and Kashmir, with Jaitley saying the step would ensure greater economic integration of the state with rest of the country.

Jaitley slammed the Congress for its allegation that GST would infringe upon the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. The finance minister said a national party such as the Congress should not have got itself entangled by taking such a stand which is the "argument of the separatists".

He asserted that special status of Jammu and Kashmir was "never meant to create economic impediment" and maintained that the GST was in the larger interest of traders and consumers of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Central Goods and Services Tax (Extension to Jammu and Kashmir) Bill and the Integrated Goods and Services Tax (Extension to Jammu and Kashmir) Bill passed by the House through a voice vote, aimed at giving effect to the formal amendments required in Central GST (CGST) and Integrated GST (IGST) Acts by removing the exemption that was carved out for Jammu and Kashmir.

However, the Opposition yet again castigated the government over the rising non-performing assets (NPAs), especially in the Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) banks, and accused it of failing to tackle the problem.

During a debate on The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in the Lok Sabha, Congress member Gaurav Gogoi questioned the government's "inability" to sort out the NPA problem despite measures such as the implementation of the Insolvency Code.

Gogoi quoted a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) report, stating that NPAs are only expected to increase. He also took a swipe at Jaitley, saying both the the finance and defence ministries — headed by Jaitley — are suffering.

Congress member Adhir Ranjan Chawdhury said the finance minister was bringing "ordinance after ordinance" to legislate and dubbed him 'Mr Ordinance.'

Updated Date: Aug 03, 2017 20:07 PM

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