AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi on Monday put the Congress in a spot in Lok Sabha. Although the Congress had taken on the government on various controversies associated with the NIA, and questioned the validity of the NIA Act, the party was largely in support of the Bill to amend the Act. During passage of the Bill by voice vote, Owaisi demanded a division, a move supported by Home Minister Amit Shah, who said this would expose who are supporting terrorism. When Speaker Om Birla gave a go-ahead, the Congress appeared rather uncomfortable, and its leader in the House Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury even requested Birla to let the Bill be passed via voice vote. “We are supporting it anyway,” he said. Birla, however, said once the chair had granted division, it could not be revoked.
In what seems to be the season of defections, one more leader who may jump the ship is former Maharashtra deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal. The state BJP leadership sees gain in taking the NCP leader given his influence among backward castes. But it cannot do so without a green signal from the party high command in view of the cases against him
Question On Questions
Trinamool Congress leaders in both Houses have written to the respective presiding officers — Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla — on the number of questions being taken up in both Houses on the law and order situation in West Bengal. The letter states that repeated questions on one topic in both Houses amount to “butchering Parliamentary democratic process”. Why is the West Bengal government being unfairly targeted, the party asks in the letter signed by Sudip Bandopadhyay in Lok Sabha and Derek O’Brien in the Upper House.
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