Parliament Updates: Shiv Sena MP takes jibe at Centre over demonesation; BSP's Danish Ali raises concern over JNU protests

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Parliament Updates: Shiv Sena MP takes jibe at Centre over demonesation; BSP's Danish Ali raises concern over JNU protests
  • 18:55 (IST)

    The Rajya Sabha has also now been adjourned for the day.

  • 18:16 (IST)

    The Lok Sabha has been adjourned till 11 am on Tuesday

  • 17:42 (IST)

    JNU students' protest figures in Lok Sabha

    Raising the issue of protest by JNU students, BSP member Danish Ali demanded in the Lok Sabha on Monday that the government should ensure that poor students were not denied the facility of higher education for an affordable fee.
    He regretted that the education system of the country was being privatised and corporatised under the rule of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
    The government should look into the demands of poor students and take appropriate action, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) member said during the Zero Hour.
    Earlier in the day, hundreds of JNU students took out a protest march from the university campus towards Parliament amid a heavy police deployment.
    The students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) here have been protesting for nearly three weeks against the draft hostel manual, which has provisions for a hostel fee hike, a dress code and curfew timings.
    Initially, the barricades outside the gates of JNU were removed and the students were allowed to march. The police later stopped the march around 500 metres from the university's gates.
    The protesters were seen carrying banners with messages such as "save public education", "fees must fall" and "ensure Affordable hostels for all". ​

  • 17:33 (IST)

    Financial education need of the hour, says NCP's Supriya Sule

    Speaking in the context of the Chit Funds (Amendments) Bill, NCP MP Supriya Sule said in the Lok Sabha, "Along with the regular education system, financial education should be included so as to generate awareness among the common people."

  • 17:21 (IST)

    Several suicides have taken place due to chit fund scams, says YSRCP MP Adala Prabhakara Reddy

    YSRCP MP Adala Prabhakara Reddy said in the Lok Sabha, "In the past, many people have committed suicide due to chit fund scams. This is a pathetic situation...At present, there is no law that can help investors recover their money in such cases."

  • 16:48 (IST)

    Common people's money not safe, says Shiv Sena's Shrirang Barne

    Shiv Sena MP Shrirang Barne said in the Lok Sabha, "In the previous government as well as the present one, many people have been duped in chit fund scams. The worst affected are the common people, including farmers and those in the service sector.

    Barne also took a dig at demonetisation saying, "Today, the money of the common people is not safe. It is not safe at home due to demonetisation, and it is not safe in banks due to bank scams."

  • 16:41 (IST)

    'Why should this kind of business be indulged?': TMC Kalyan Banerjee in Lok Sabha

    The Lok Sabha is presently continuing with the discussion over the Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill. TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee said, "With the passage of the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2019, there is no need to continue with the Chit Funds Bill."

    Banerjee further said, "Why should this kind of business be indulged?"

  • 16:32 (IST)

    India continues to be fastest growing economy in the world: Anurag Thakur

    India is not facing 5 percent economic slowdown and continues to be the fastest growing economy in the world, Union Minister Anurag Thakur said in Lok Sabha on Monday.

    During Question Hour, Thakur also said that a number of steps are being taken by the government to strengthen the economy that includes merger of banks and tax concessions to industries.

    "There is no 5 percent slump. Where did you get the figure. Show us," he countered when Aam Aadmi Party MP Bhagwant Mann said the country is facing slump in the economy.

    The Union minister of state for finance said India continues to the fastest growing economy in the world even though many countries in the world are facing economic slowdown.

    "By 2025, India will be a five trillion dollars economy," he said.


  • 16:23 (IST)

    Distinction must between checking and clogging, Narendra Modi in Rajya Sabha

    With disruptions in Rajya Sabha in the past hindering passage of crucial legislations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said the Upper House of Parliament was essential for checks and balance in democracy but a distinction needs to be drawn between checking and clogging.

    "The Rajya Sabha is about checks and balances. This is absolutely essential for our democracy. Debates have to be many and effective. But, there is also a difference between checking and clogging (and between) balance and blocking," he said.
    With some within the ruling party questioning the effectiveness of Rajya Sabha as crucial legislative work got stalled because NDA lacked majority in the House, Modi​ recalled the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's words that the Upper House "may be the second house but no one should think of it as a secondary house."

  • 16:01 (IST)

    Lok Sabha discusses Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill

    The Lok Sabha is presently discussed the Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill. Speaking on the Bill, Congress MP Saptagiri Ulaka said, "The Bill requires a chit to be drawn in the presence of at least two subscribers, and allows these subscribers to join via video-conferencing. In many areas in Odisha, there is no proper telecom facility. I suggest that subscribers may also be allowed to join through platforms like WhatsApp."

  • 15:44 (IST)

    NK Premachandran, Kanimozhi raise alarm about IIT Madras student’s death

    Speaking in the Lok Sabha, RSP’s NK Premachandran sought a high-level probe in the case of the death of IIT Madras student Fathima Latheef.​

    DMK’s Kanimozhi informed the Lower House that 52 suicides have been reported in IITs in last 10 years. She added that no arrests have been made in the case even though the deceased student named a professor in her suicide note. “Who is being protected?” she asked, pointing out that nearly 72 cases of caste discrimination have been filed in the institutions of higher education in the country.

    In response, HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' said that a probe into the student’s death has been ordered and the due course of law will be followed.

  • 15:40 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha has given country several PMs, says BJD's Prasanna Acharya

    BJD MP Prasanna Acharya, in his opening remarks, said, "The Rajya Sabha is now in its 67th year. We need to introspect on whether we have done justice to the vision of the Constituent Assembly in forming this House."

    Acharya added, "It is a matter of pride that this House has given us several prime ministers. When Indira Gandhi first became prime minister, she was a member of the Rajya Sabha. IK Gujral and Manmohan Singh have also been members of the Rajya Sabha."

  • 15:39 (IST)

    Bhagwant Mann seeks action in Dalit labourer's death case, Manoj Tiwari raises concerns about Delhi's water quality

    BJP MP from North East Delhi Manoj Tiwari spoke in the Lok Sabha about the quality of water in Delhi, adding that the national capital is seeing a health emergency. “In rankings released by Bureau of Indian Standards on quality of tap water, Delhi is at the bottom. Action should be taken against those responsible,” he said.

    Meanwhile, AAP MP Bhagwant Mann sought serious action into the incident in Punjab’s Sangrur where a Dalit labourer was tortured and killed over a dispute. Hitting out at the Congress government in the state, he urged the Centre to take action as the state leaders “were busy taking vacations”.

  • 15:34 (IST)

    Water quality issue should not be politicised, says Ram Vilas Paswan in Lok Sabha

    Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan responded to MPs concern about the deteriorating water quality in Delhi by saying that there should be no politics on an issue like this.

    “I will appoint two to three senior officials and the Delhi government should also appoint officials who can conduct an inquiry and get water samples checked. Once this is done, we will put out a report in public,” he told the Lok Sabha.

  • 15:31 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha members' job not merely to give assent to what happens in Lok Sabha: Ram Gopal Yadav

    Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav responded to Modi's statement that the Rajya Sabha will never be a "secondary" House, and said, "If the members of the Rajya Sabha remain inactive. the Rajya Sabha will indeed be called the secondary House. We are not here to merely give our assent blindly to whatever happens in the Lok Sabha. It is our duty to protect the rights of the states that we represent."

    Yadav also took a dig at the BJP's members of the Rajya Sabha, saying, "As soon as the prime minister finished his speech, half the BJP legislators went away... Is this how we will earn the respect of the people?"

  • 15:30 (IST)

    Lok Sabha: MPs raise issues relating to water supply, agrarian crisis

    • Ram Vilas Paswan and Hans Raj Hans spoke about piped drinking water standards. Hans also urged the government to find a solution to the air pollution woes in Delhi, adding on a lighter note that it is putting a pause to the art being practiced by musicians.​
    • Pratima Mondal of the Trinamool Congress said that most private sector companies have long hours of work plus commute time impacting people's health and organisations' productivity, seeking a law to restrict the same.​
    • Supriya Sule of the NCP urges all farm loans in Maharashtra to be waived. She said that if the government can help MSMEs, it can help farmers too.​
    • Jaydev Galla of the TDP spoke about the media gag by the YSR Congress government in Andhra Pradesh.

  • 15:27 (IST)

    Lok Sabha: MPs raise issues ranging from highways to piped water

    • BJP’s Jugal Kishore Sharma claimed that the National Highway project connecting Jammu to Poonch is progressing in a slow pace.
    • Congress’ SS Chowdhury raises the issue of demolition of Guru Ravidas temple in Delhi.​
    • Faizal PP Mohammed, Lakshadweep member, said most bureaucrats appointed to his UT are entry-level cadre. Language is a huge problem and seniors are not willing to travel this far. He suggested that Lakshadweep be removed from DANIC cadre and start a separate cadre for them. He appealed to the Home ministry to consider his demand.
    • Congress’ Hibi Eden spoke against government's move to privatise Bharat Petroleum. “The BPCL is doing well, why privatise it?” he asked, likening the move to the tale of a greedy man who kills the goose to get more eggs.​
    • Shrirang Appa Barne asked for a Bharat Ratna for Jyotiba Phule and Savitribai Phule.​
    • Anto Antony of the Congress spoke against India joining the RCEP.
    • Shriniwas Patil spoke about very few Kendriya Vidyalayas in Maharashtra.

  • 15:16 (IST)

    Former prime minister Manmohan Singh rises to speak in Rajya Sabha

    Former prime minister Manmohan Singh began by quoting BR Ambedkar's statement in the Constituent Assembly where he deemed the Rajya Sabha an essential component in maintaining the Constitutional system of checks and balances. "It is our responsibility to ensure that no law is passed in haste or in an atmosphere of heightened emotion," he said.

    He suggested that the Rajya Sabha should find time to debate Centre-state relations. The Rajya Sabha is designed to be a permanent House, without the need to start afresh after every general election, Singh said.

    He assures full cooperation in making the House a more effective instrument of legislation.

  • 14:54 (IST)

    Narendra Modi praises NCP, BJD's conduct in Rajya Sabha while addressing landmark 250th session

    Addressing the Rajya Sabha on the first day of its landmark 250th session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the House has risen to the occassion in taking decisions about the nation's good. "This House approved reservations for the less privileged. It is here that one nation, one tax became a reality. This House was mature to pass the Triple Talaq Bill," he said.

    Rajya Sabha strengthened Constitutional institutions, he said. "In 2003, Atal (Bihari Vajpayee) ji had remarked that Rajya Sabha may be the second House but it should not be called a secondary House. Today, I agree with the thoughts of Atal ji and add that the Rajya Sabha must be an active supportive House for national development," he said. He also called for the state and central governments to work together in harmony.

    The Prime Minister also made a special mention about the NCP and BJD's disciplined conduct in the House. "These parties have strictly adhered to parliamentary norms. They have never gone into the well. Yet, they have raised their points very effectively. Other parties, including mine, should learn from them," Modi said.

  • 14:36 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha is eternal and diverse in nature, Narendra Modi says during 250th session of Upper House

    Speaking in the Rajya Sabha during the first day of its 250th session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called it a journey of ideas and thoughts, which reflects India’s journey of progress.

    “If the Lower House is close to the ground, the Upper House can see till far away. Far sightedness and being close to the ground situation gives us an overall view. The House has made history and has seen history being made,” Modi said.

    The Prime Minister called the Rajya Sabha the soul of India’s federal structure, hailing its eternal and diverse nature, which has been graced by stalwarts.​

    Rajya Sabha allows non-politicians to contribute to the nation, Modi said. “Babasaheb Ambedkar is a shining example of what leaders have given to our country through this House. He could not sit in the Lok Sabha for some reason, but it is this Rajya Sabha that recognised his work,” he said.

  • 14:07 (IST)

    Lok Sabha adjourned till 3 pm

    The Chit Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2019, will be introduced by MoS Finance Anurag Singh Thakur at 3pm.

  • 14:05 (IST)

    Narendra Modi to address Rajya Sabha after 2 pm

    To mark the 250th session of the Rajya Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a special discussion of the Upper House on the topic ‘Role of Rajya Sabha in Indian Polity: Need for Reform’.

    To mark the landmark session, celebratory functions will be held, including the release of a publication titled ‘Rajya Sabha: The Journey since 1952’ providing glimpses of various aspects of functioning of the House and its Hindi version.

    Also, a commemorative volume on the evolution of Rajya Sabha and its functioning with 44 articles in Hindi and English by the sitting and former members and those associated with the functioning of the House will be released.

    A silver coin of Rs 250 and a postal stamp of Rs 5 will also be released.

  • 13:54 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha leaders break convention to pay tribute to departed Parliamentarians

    In a departure from convention, the Rajya Sabha allowed leaders of various political parties to speak and pay tributes to five late members, including former finance minister Arun Jaitley, instead of just the Chairman making obituary references.

    In his obituary reference, Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu described Jaitley as a "quintessential politician" and a "man of impeccable integrity" whose stellar contribution is a matter of record. ​Jaitley, he said, left an inedible mark on all ministries he headed and was the force behind many landmark legislations including the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, Benami Act and the merger of Rail Budget with General Budget.
    Naidu also mentioned passing away of Ram Jethmalani on 8 September at the age of 95 as well as former member Jagannath Mishra (82) on 19 August, Sukhdev Singh Libra (86) on 6 September and Gurudas Dasgupta (82) on 31 October.
    While Leader of the House Thaawarchand Gehlot said Jaitley's death was a personal loss to him, Leader of the Opposition and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the personal relationship that the deceased member shared with other members turned political bitterness into sweetness on most tense issues.

    "We haven't seen such a media savvy minister and leader," he said, adding Jaitley did not stop meeting media personnel and friends even when he was ill during his last days. He said loss of some persons is not just a loss to the party to which they belong but to the entire nation.
    Derek O'Brien (TMC) said Jaitley was a mentor to many of the new entrants in Parliament despite having diagonally opposite political ideology. He recalled how Jaitley had taken positively his comment on him being a "plantation manager who planted stories" in media sitting in Parliament.
    Azad described Jethmalani as perhaps the only practising lawyer and a player in his mid-90s. In his obituary reference, Naidu said Mishra was a two term Rajya Sabha member from April 1988 while Libra represented the state of Punjab in the Upper House from July 1988 to May 2004.
    Senior NCP leader Sharad Pawar recalled the contribution of Jaitley to sports. He said Jaitley often used to discuss issues related to cricket with him. He also talked about the contribution of Gupta to the wellbeing of farmers and labourers. ​Tiruchi Siva (DMK) said Jaitley was a person of great integrity. He said Jaitley was magnanimous to waive off GST on sanitary napkins.

    Terming Jaitley as "bridge builder", senior Congress MP Anand Sharma the Modi-government would not have been able to pass a big legislations like GST without him.


  • 13:32 (IST)

    Congress, NC leaders walks out of Lok Sabha

    Congress and National Conference leaders walked out of Lok Sabha over the issue of Jammu and Kashmir lockdown and detention of its leaders.

  • 13:23 (IST)

    JNU students stopped during march towards the Parliament

    In protest against the fee hike, students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University marched towards the Parliament, where the first day of the Winter Session is underway.

    HRD Ministry constituted a committee on JNU will initiate dialogues with students and administration, submit recommendations on resolution of all issues.

  • 12:56 (IST)

    Being in Parliament is Farooq Abdullah, P Chidambaram’s Constitutional obligation, says Congress MP

    Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury questioned the absence of the Prime Minister, Home Minister and other Union Ministers in the House before pointing out that Amit Shah had assured the Opposition earlier that Farooq Abdullah was not detained.

    “Despite bad health, he is still in custody. We want Farooq Abdullah, P Chidambaram to be in House as that is their Constitutional obligation,” Chowdhury said.

    He added that Congress MPs wanted to visit Jammu and Kashmir too, but the government chose to stop them and not the European MPs. He called this attempt to paint the situation to make it look normal an insult to the MPs.

    “I also want to raise the issue of withdrawal of SPG cover of Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra,” Chowdhury said.

    DMK’s TR Baalu echoed Chowdhury, asking for Farooq Abdullah’s presence in Parliament for his take on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

  • 12:44 (IST)

    Environment minister Prakash Javadekar reached the Parliament in an electric car

    He urged people to fight pollution by switching to electric cars and public transport.

  • 12:33 (IST)

    Shiv Sena MPs walk out of Lok Sabha over farmers' distress in Maharashtra

  • 12:27 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2 pm

    MPs paid tributes to departed lawmakers and politicians before the adjournment.

  • 12:23 (IST)

    'We want justice': Oppn leaders demand Farooq Abdullah's release

    Chants of 'we want justice' rang through the Lok Sabha as members from Opposition benches, including from the Congress, National Conference and DMK. Hitting out at the government for the scenario in Jammu and Kashmir, MPs raised slogans like ‘Nakli case wapis lo’ (take back fake cases), ‘Tanashahi nahi chalegi’ (dictatorship will not be accepted) and ‘vipaksh pe hamla bandh karo’ (stop attacking the Opposition).

  • 11:58 (IST)

    Shiv Sena MPs protest at Parliament; demand declaration of unseasonal rains in Maharashtra a natural calamity

    The party had earlier given an Adjournment Motion Notice in the Look Sabha on the same grounds.

  • 11:54 (IST)

    Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi wore a mask to highlight the air pollution crisis

  • 11:49 (IST)

    Section 144 has been imposed near the Parliament ahead of the JNUSU protest march

    The HRD Ministry on Monday appointed a three-member committee to recommend ways to restore normal functioning of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), officials said. The Ministry's committee on JNU will initiate dialogues with students and administration as well as submit recommendations on resolution of all issues.

  • 11:43 (IST)

    BJP MP Mansukh Mandaviya reached the Parliament riding a bicycle.

  • 11:42 (IST)

    Delhi BJP MP Manoj Tiwari arrived at the Parliament on a bicycle

    He raised his voice during the Question Hour, when Ravi Kishan posed a question seeking a database of artists and provisions for their income, pension and housing.

  • 11:34 (IST)

    TMC has given Adjournment Motion Notice in Lok Sabha over detention of National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah

  • 11:26 (IST)

    Sloganeering begins in Lok Sabha

    As Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla invites TDP MP Kesineni Srinivas to pose the first question during the Question Hour, sloganeering erupts in the House seeking the release of detained Jammu and Kashmir National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, apart from the various detained leaders in the newly-formed Union Territory.

    Opposition MPs are continuing the chanting of slogans protesting against the lack of stability in Jammu and Kashmir, even as Birla conducts the House and Union Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal responds to Srinivas.

  • 11:19 (IST)

    Issues concerning people's interest must be discussed, says Congress MP

    Speaking after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address seeking open discussion and healthy debates in the Winter Session, Congress' Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, "We also expect from the PM and the ruling party that all the issues concerning to the interest of the common people must be allowed to be discussed inside the Parliament. Parliament is meant for discussion, debate and dialogue. It is incumbent upon the govt to run the House smoothly so that Opposition parties will be able to express their views, articulate their opinion in an appropriate manner. This is the essence of Parliamentary democracy."

  • 11:12 (IST)

    Revocation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status, abolition of triple talaq among important bills passed in last session

    In the previous session of parliament, three key bills were passed - one to withdraw special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 (and re-organise the former state into two Union Territories). The second bill was to amend the National Investigation Agency Bill and the third was to make 'triple talaq' - the practice of Muslim men uttering "talaq" thrice to get a divorce - a punishable offence.

    The Winter Session of parliament will see a total of 20 sittings spread over 26 days; this includes four Private Members' days. A joint sitting of both houses of parliament will be held in the Central Hall on November 26 to mark the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of India by the Constituent Assembly.

  • 11:08 (IST)

    Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha sessions commence

    Prince Raj from the Samastipur parliamentary constituency in Bihar, Himadri Singh from Shahdol in Madhya Pradesh, Shriniwas Dadasaheb Patil from Satara in Maharashtra and DM Kathir Anand from Vellore in Tamil Nadu take oaths as Lok Sabha MPs.

    Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha chairman P Venkaiah Naidu begins session with obituary references, including Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Ram Jethmalani.

    Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla mentions obituary references.

  • 11:03 (IST)

    Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, legislation to protect doctors among 50 bills to be introduced

    Nearly 50 bills are scheduled to be presented in the Winter Session of Parliament, including the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to grant citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan if they fled their respective countries due to religious persecution.

    Also listed for discussion is the Healthcare Service Personnel and Clinical Establishments Bill, which aims to protect doctors and healthcare personnel from violence.

    Other key bills which will be tabled are The Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, The Pesticides Management Bill, The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill and The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill.

    In addition, a total of 10 bills are pending in the Rajya Sabha, including one to protect the rights of transgender persons and amendments to The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order 2019, which lists the tribal communities to be included.

  • 10:51 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha MPs Nazir Ahmad Laway and Mir Mohammed Fayaz protest over Jammu and Kashmir issue

    MPs Nazir Ahmad Laway and Mir Mohammed Fayaz protested in the Parliament premises over the issue of the instability in Jammu and Kashmir. Their protest and an adjournment notice in the Lok Sabha came at the heels of the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Sunday shifting all 34 political prisoners, lodged at Centaur Hotel since 5 August, to the MLA Hostel as the facility lacked proper heating arrangements.

    National Conference, PDP and People's Conference leaders and prominent social activists were detained at the hotel when the central government announced its decision to abrogate Jammu and Kashmir's special status under Article 370 of the Constitution and split the state into two Union territories. Among the political prisoners are Sajjad Lone of People's Conference (PC), Ali Mohammad Sagar of National Conference (NC), Naem Akhtar of the PDP and former IAS officer Shah Faesal.

    Former state chief minister Mehbooba Mufti was shifted to a government accommodation in the city from a tourist hut located at the foothills of Zaberwan range.

  • 10:41 (IST)

    Congress, Shiv Sena give adjournment notices in Lok Sabha

    Ahead of the Winter Session's commencement, the Congress has given an Adjournment Motion Notice in Lok Sabha over the "instability in Jammu and Kashmir post abrogation of Article 370".

    The Shiv Sena has also given an Adjournment Motion Notice in Lok Sabha over the loss of crops due to heavy rainfall in Maharashtra.

  • 10:36 (IST)

    Home minister and BJP chief Amit Shah arrives at the Parliament Complex for the Winter Session

  • 10:35 (IST)

    Parliament should witness quality debates, open discussions, says Narendra Modi

    Addressing mediapersons ahead of the Winter Session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that what makes the session special is that it is the last one in 2019 and is the 250th Rajya Sabha session.

    "In the past few days I had the opportunity to meet leaders of almost all political parties. The last session was phenomenal due to the support of and active participation all MPs, that is an achievement of not only the government or the treasury benches, but the entire Parliament," Modi said.

    Calling for open discussions on all matters, Modi emphasised on the importance of quality debates. "There should be dialogues and discussions, everyone should contribute to enrich the discussions in the Parliament," he said.

  • 10:27 (IST)

    Chidambaram urges Congress to expose mismanagement of economy during Winter Session

    Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said his party must lead the Opposition in Parliament to expose the "utter mismanagement" of the economy by the Narendra Modi government at the Centre. He also alleged that the government refuses to accept valid criticism.

Parliament LATEST Updates: Raising the issue of protest by JNU students, BSP member Danish Ali demanded in the Lok Sabha on Monday that the government should ensure that poor students were not denied the facility of higher education for an affordable fee.

India is not facing 5 percent economic slowdown and continues to be the fastest growing economy in the world, Union Minister Anurag Thakur said in Lok Sabha on Monday.

Speaking in the Lok Sabha, RSP’s NK Premachandran sought a high-level probe in the case of the death of IIT Madras student Fathima Latheef.​

DMK’s Kanimozhi informed the Lower House that 52 suicides have been reported in IITs in last 10 years.

The Parliament's Winter Session started on a stormy note in the Lok Sabha with Opposition leaders raising slogans over the detention of leaders in Jammu and Kashmir, including National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah and the instability in the former state. Slogans like 'we want justice' and those calling the government at the Centre to stop lodging 'fake cases' against the Opposition were raised. Debates on the Maharashtra agrarian crisis, Delhi water woes, death of IIT Madras student Fathima Latheef and torture and death of a Dalit labourer in Punjab's Sangrur were witnessed in the Lok Sabha.

The Rajya Sabha was adjourned till 2 pm after obituary references to leaders like Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, apart from other Parliamentarians.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his customary remarks at an all-party meeting held on Sunday, asserted that the government is ready to discuss every issue and exhorted everyone to make the Winter Session as productive as the last one, when Parliament gave its nod to the bifurcation of the then state of Jammu and Kashmir and nullifying Article 370, besides several other important bills.

The previous session of Parliament created a record for maximum Bills passed in the last 67 years. During the session, the Lok Sabha worked for 281 hours, or 135 percent of the scheduled hours. This figure is higher than any other session in the past 20 years. The Centre had extended the session in order to complete the legislative business. The Rajya Sabha also saw high productivity, at 100 percent.

On Sunday, Opposition leaders, including Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Congress, raised the continuing "illegal" detention of mainstream leaders in Jammu and Kashmir like Farooq Abdullah, who is also a Lok Sabha member, and said they will take up issues like economic slowdown and unemployment in the session, which ends on 13 December.

In the previous session, the BJP-led NDA had left the Opposition stunned by winning over independent regional parties, especially in the Rajya Sabha where the treasury benches lacked majority, and wooing a number of rival leaders to get a host of bills passed. However, this time, the Congress-led grouping has some reasons to feel emboldened over recent political developments.

The Opposition's better-than-expected show in the recent Assembly polls, the BJP's break in ties with the Shiv Sena and reports of an economic slowdown have put wind in the sails of Opposition parties.

The 18 Sena MPs in the Lok Sabha and three in Rajya Sabha have now been allotted seats in the Opposition rows after the party severed ties with its longtime ally BJP and is in talks with the Congress-NCP alliance to form government in Maharashtra.

Despite the setback, numbers favour the treasury benches, with the BJP appearing determined to get Parliament's approval on its legislative agenda that was stonewalled in the Modi government's first term when the Opposition outnumbered it in the Upper House.

The Supreme Court verdict in the Ayodhya case favouring a Ram temple at the disputed site has also come has a boost to the saffron ranks.

Key legislation on agenda

The government has listed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, a key BJP plank which is aimed at granting nationality to non-Muslim immigrants from neighbouring countries, for passage.

The Modi government introduced the bill in its previous tenure but could not push it through due to vehement protests by Opposition parties, which criticised the bill as discriminatory on religious grounds.

The legislation seeks to grant Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan if they have fled their respective countries due to religious persecution.

There has been opposition to the bill in Assam and other Northeastern states, where most of these immigrants, mostly Hindus, have been living. Student organisations, political parties and socio-cultural bodies have been protesting on the grounds that it seeks to grant nationality to non-Muslims, mostly Hindus, who have come into India up to 31 December, 2014, thereby increasing the deadline from 1971 as per the Assam Accord.

The government also plans to seek Parliament's nod to two crucial ordinances. An ordinance reducing corporate tax rate for new and domestic manufacturing companies to arrest slowdown in the economy and boost growth was issued in September to give effect to amendments in the Income Tax Act, 1961 and Finance Act, 2019.

The second ordinance, also issued in September, banned sale, manufacture and storage of e-cigarettes and similar products. Other key bills such as Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, Anti Maritime Piracy Bill 2019 and Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019 are among the 47 items expected to be taken up during the House proceedings.

The Personal Data Protection Bill is about handling and processing of consumer information by corporate organisations and introducing strict regulations and penalties. The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019, that was passed in the Lok Sabha in July, seeks to prohibit discrimination against transgender persons, including in matters of employment and provides for giving certificates of identity to them.

The Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement) Bill, 2019 is also expected to come up in the House and would replace an ordinance that was approved by the Cabinet in September. The ordinance prohibits the manufacture, trade, and advertisement of e-cigarettes in India.

The ban includes e-hookahs and online sale and advertisement of e-cigarettes. Violations constitute a cognisable offence, punishable with an imprisonment of up to one year or fine up to Rs 1 lakh or both for the first offence and imprisonment of up to three years and fine up to Rs 5 lakh for a subsequent offence.

Other important bills to come up during the Winter Session of Parliament are: The Industrial Relations Code Bill, 2019, The Companies (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019, Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill, 2019, Arms Act (Amendment) Bill 2019, Central Sanskrit University Bill 2019, Insolvency and Bankruptcy (Second Amendment) Bill 2019, Disaster Management (First Amendment) Bill 2019, Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill 2019 and Arms Act (Amendment Bill) 2019.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Nov 18, 2019 18:56:03 IST