Updated: November 21, 2017 5:12:15 pm
The second part of the Budget Session (technically new) is set to get underway on a stormy note from Monday.
The Congress and other Opposition parties are gearing up for taking on the Government over the Uttarakhand issue. The Panama papers’ revelations and the current drought and drinking water scarcity situation in several states would surely figure during the session. Aam Adami Party members are likely to take up the Vidarbha statehood issue in the Lok Sabha, as promised by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to former Maharashtra advocate-general Shrihari Aney.
A new element in the ensuing session will be the presence of three fresh members in the Rajya Sabha – Subramanian Swamy, Navjot Singh Sidhu and Swapna Dasgupta – who can be trusted to enliven the Upper House proceedings more.
Parliament will have a total of 15 sittings between April 25 and May 13, when the session is scheduled to conclude. Depending upon how the Uttarakhand case progresses, the Presidential Proclamation under Article 356 of the Constitution and the Uttarakhand Appropriation (Vote-on-Account) Ordinance,2016 may require a parliamentary nod, which would be a tough call, considering that the Government may not be able to mobilise adequate numbers in the Rajya Sabha.
A similar parliamentary stamp will be needed on The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Second Ordinance, 2016. The Government has lined up an elaborate legislative business for the two Houses – 13 bills for the Lok Sabha and 11 for the Rajya Sabha.
Congress leaders have given notices seeking to discuss Uttarakhand developments in the Rajya Sabha after suspending business and the adoption of a resolution condemning the imposition of President’s Rule on the state. The notices have been given by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and Deputy Leader of Congress in the House Anand Sharma under Rule 267.
The proposed resolution reads: “This House deplores the destabilisation of the democratically elected government in Uttarakhand and disapproves the unjustified imposition of President’s Rule there under Article 356 of the Constitution”.
The Congress is pursuing the issue because it has the BJP on the defensive and has the potential of isolating the ruling party even from its regional allies, who are, as a matter of principle, against any misuse ot Article 356 for removing a democratically elected state government.
As for the official business, the Lok Sabha will take up a discussion on Demands for Grants of the Ministry of Railways and the related Appropriation Bill for 2016-17 on April 26. This will be followed by discussions on Demands for Grants of the Ministries of Development of North-Eastern Region, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Social Justice and Empowerment and Civil Aviation.
The Rajya Sabha will discuss the working of the Ministries of Health & Family Welfare, Human Resource Development, Finance, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and External Affairs. Thereafter, Finance Bill,2016 and application of guillotine will be taken up.
The Legislative agenda planned by the Government for the Lok Sabha includes:
(1) consideration and passing of The Sikh Gurdwaras (Amendment) Bill, 2016 as passed by Rajya Sabha (April 25); (2) Consideration and Passing of the Regional Centre for Bio-technology Bill,2016 (April 25); (3) The Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2014 (Standing Committee submitted its Report); (4) The Electricity Amendment Bill, 2014 (Standing Committee submitted its Report); (5) The Lok Pal and Lokayuktas and other related laws (Amendment) Bill,2014 (Standing Committee submitted its report); (6) The Merchant Shipping Bill, 2015 (Standing Co-Your data has been truncated.
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