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A day after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley defended his government on various issues including black money amnesty and the JNU row, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday replied to the debate on the motion of thanks to the President’s address.
Ahead of the day’s session, the BJP parliamentary board met this morning, where they are likely to have discussed their strategy in Rajya Sabha, where they lack a majority.
Seeking to embarrass the government, the Congress issued a whip asking all its members in the Upper House to be present during the Prime Minister’s reply on the motion. With a majority in Rajya Sabha, the Opposition is looking to move amendments to the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address – seen as an embarrassment to the government.
3:00 pm: PM Modi concludes his speech.
2:55 pm PM “Safar Mein Dhoop To Hogi” by Nida Fazli in Rajya Sabha.
2:52 pm: Congress has the know-how, lacks the will, says PM Modi.
2:50 pm: We have to start focusing on value addition in farming sector, says PM Modi.
2:49 pm: I am not an economist like Manmohan Singh, that’s why I am not that knowledgeable. But I know some things: PM in RS
2:49 pm: Committed to improving farmer income: PM Modi
2:48 pm: De-centralisation key to good governance: PM Modi
2:46 pm: Previous government skilled at forming commissions, says PM Modi.
2:43 pm: There are two types of people in the world, one who work and the other who take credit for the work: PM Modi
2:38 pm: Govt is ensuring that benefit of subsidy goes only to those deserving, it is not issue of saving money, says PM in RS.
2:35 pm: When you (Congress) were in power, you should have looked through a binocular at least: PM Modi
2:35 pm: I am grateful to GN Azad, he brought a record of people who didn’t have accounts under Jan Dhan Yojna. He worked as if with a microscope: PM Modi.
2:33 pm: Targeted subsidy has saved millions, says PM Modi.
2:30 pm: Have reviewed at least 300 pending projects personally, says PM Modi.
2:27 pm: Our focus on transparency in governance, says PM Modi.
2:25 pm: Policy drive government needed for sustainable growth, says PM Modi.
2:21 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi appeals for passage of all pending bills in RS, says it will give momentum to country’s progress.
2:19 pm: This is a chamber of ideas, it must guide nation. Coordination between Houses is essential. Nation is waiting for us to pass many bills: PM
2:16 pm: Upper House is a chamber of ideas, says PM Modi.
2:16 pm: Congress seems blessed to never be blamed, says PM Modi.
2:14 pm: Appeal to Congress to give poll tickets to uneducated, says PM Modi.
2:13 pm: Close to 72 hours working hours lost in last Parliament session, says PM Modi.
2:11 pm: Sometimes I feel Congress has a boon like that. It always said “attack on opposition”, never said “attack on Congress”: PM in RS
2:08 pm: There is a funny thing about “death”, no one blames death. they blame the reason why people die: PM in RS
2:06 pm: You must have noticed that LS worked till late night yesterday, even after that everyone was happy with the work that happened: PM in RS
2:06 pm: Thank Opposition MPS for allowing Parliament to function, says PM Modi.
2:05 pm: President’s address sent out a positive message, says PM Modi.
2:00 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi now responding to the Motion of Thanks to the President for his address in Rajya Sabha.
1.00 pm: Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till 2 pm.
12.10 pm: No lapse on part of govt, says Rajnath Singh on Jat reservation issue
On the violence that erupted during the Jat reservation protests, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said there was intelligence shared about the protest and that there was no lapse by either the state or the Centre.
“I don’t think there have been any lapse on the part of State and Central government with regard to the Jat reservation issue. The state government was under the impression that talks between their (Jat) representatives were underway with Centre and that the matter will be resolved. Centre had also issued an advisory to state in time.”
“As far as intelligence is concerned, the state government was aware that a protest was going to be held,” Singh said.
The Home Minister also added that a three-member committee has been constituted to probe the entire matter Jat reservation. “We await their report. Calling it a failure of State Govt before the committee submits its report, would be injustice to the state government.”
11.30 am: Matter is in NGT, shouldn’t discuss here, says Jaitley
Leader of the House Arun Jaitley said as the issue is currently before the NGT, the issue need not be discussed in the House.
“If a matter is pending with Tribunal, ordinarily chair doesn’t allow issue to be raised here,” he said.
MoS Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the event is being held adhering to all rules and laws. “Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is committed towards protecting environment. It would be wrong to doubt his commitment towards nature,” Naqvi said in the House.
11.15 am: Sri Sri comes up in Parliament
“Highly irregular that the Army is summoned to set up facilities for a private function,” says Sitaram Yechury, raising the issue in Rajya Sabha.
Dy Chairman PJ Kurien, however, refuses to give in saying the issue can be taken up during zero hour.
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad questioned the government over its hypocrisy on the environment saying how could a minister who went to Paris for the climate change conference not care about the environment violations along the Yamuna flood plains.
Azad said the function lacked necessary security as well as environment clearances needed for the event. He also raised concerns over the security facilities in the national capital given the event will be hosting several high-profile dignitaries.
— ANI (@ANI_news) March 9, 2016
11. 00 am: Sushma Swaraj on racial attacks
“We do take up issues of racial attacks on Indians with countries where such cases take place,” Swaraj tells the House.
As far as Iraq is concerned, those Indian nationals are kept hostages by terrorists. Had they been stranded, I would’ve brought them back by now. I still believe that they are alive. Hence I’m making all possible efforts to find them and bring them back.
10.10 am: AAP MP Bhagwant Mann moves adjournment motion in Lok Sabha on Centre demanding Rs 6 cr from Punjab government as expenditure on deployment during Pathankot attack. Mann says Centre should treat Punjab as a part of India, “Pathankot attack was on India and not on Punjab.”
BJP Parliamentary Party meet underway in the Parliament. (inside visuals) pic.twitter.com/7mHT4y2uvC
— ANI (@ANI_news) March 9, 2016
PM Narendra Modi arrives for BJP Parliamentary Party meet in the Parliament. pic.twitter.com/oYNshdLw9K
— ANI (@ANI_news) March 9, 2016
“A whip has been issued by the party asking all its members to be present in the Rajya Sabha tomorrow (Wednesday) during the Prime Minister’s reply to the motion of thanks to President’s address,” a senior Congress member told PTI.
Sources said the amendments are likely to be moved by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and its senior member Ashwani Kumar.