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Saturday, February 27, 2021

Parliament Highlights: Shun arrogance over farm laws, Opposition tells govt

Parliament Today Live Updates: Shah said that central and local teams are leaving no stone unturned to save as many lives as possible in Uttarakhand; Rajya Sabha members observed silence for the victims of the disaster.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: February 10, 2021 10:26:50 am
Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day.

Parliament Highlights: Opposition members on Tuesday asked the government in Lok Sabha to shun its “arrogance” over the three new farm laws and repeal them. Refering to “Khalistani” and “Maoists” barbs used by some people against the protesting farmers, Congress’ Preneet Kaur said this was wrong and the “black laws” should be repealed.

Speaking about the Uttrakhand glacier burst in Parliament, Union Minister Amit Shah Tuesday said that the central and local teams are leaving no stone unturned in dealing with it and aiming to save as many lives as possible. Giving out details of the rescue operation, Shah said that 450 jawans of ITBP, 5 teams of NDRF, 8 teams of Indian Army, a Navy team and 5 IAF helicopters are engaged in search and rescue operations.” The Centre has also given Rs 4 lakh compensation to the kin of the diseased, he added.

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad in his retirement speech attributed his success to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and said that he was proud to be a “Hindustani Musalman”(Indian Muslim) and represent the minority community in a country like India. Azad expressed gratitude to opportunities given to him under the leadership of former PM Rajeev Gandhi, Congress party president Sonia Gandhi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. He also thanked the Prime Minister and other members for their respects.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi got emotional in parliament on Tuesday as he bid farewell to Congress veteran leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and said that his legacy in national politics will be hard to replace.  “As a leader of opposition, it’s easy to engage in party politics, but Ghulam Nabi Azad ji rose above this and always prioritised the prosperity of the country first.” Modi also said that he will be open to his suggestions on political matters even after his retirement. 

Meanwhile, leaders of the opposition parties and farm unions hit out at PM Modi on Monday for his andolan-jivi (survivors on protests) remarks , calling it an insult to the farmers. The opposition also countered Modi’s comments on “damaging” international interference. BJP members on the other hand asserted that Modi’s remarks resolved the confusion regarding the issue and laid out a clear direction for future. Replying to the Motion of Thanks on President Kovind’s address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the newly-passed farm laws should be given a chance and that the MSP system is here to stay.

Live Blog
01:44 (IST)10 Feb 2021
Lok Sabha adjourned for the day

Lok Sabha adjourned till 4 pm of February 10

00:05 (IST)10 Feb 2021
BJP LS members move privilege notice against Cong's Adhir Ranjan

Two BJP MPs in Lok Sabha have moved A notice of privilege against Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said on Tuesday. The notice has been given against the Congress leader for calling teen activist as Greta Thunberg 'persona non grata'. Chowdhury had made these remarks on Monday while participating in the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President's address. The notice of privilege has been moved against Chowdhury by BJP MPs Nishikant Dubey and P P Chowdhary. PTI 

21:42 (IST)09 Feb 2021
Govt has decided to close 2 pharma PSUs, disinvest other 3: Gowda

The government has decided to close two pharma public sector undertakings and disinvest the other three, Parliament was informed on Tuesday. "The Department of Pharmaceuticals has five public sector undertakings (PSUs). Out of the five PSUs, the government has taken a decision to close two pharma PSUs, namely Indian Drugs & Pharmaceuticals Ltd (IDPL) and Rajasthan Drugs & Pharmaceuticals Ltd (RDPL)," Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers D V Sadananda Gowda said in response to a question in the Lok Sabha.

The government has also decided to strategically disinvest the other three -- Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd (HAL), Bengal Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BCPL), and Karnataka Antibiotics & Pharmaceutical Ltd (KAPL), he added. The government has offered voluntary retirement benefits to all employees of IDPL and RDPL, Gowda said. "However, the Committee�of Ministers constituted on September 9, 2019, will take necessary decisions pertaining to closure/strategic sale of the pharma public sector undertakings, including the sale of assets and clearance of outstanding liabilities," he added. PTI 

21:05 (IST)09 Feb 2021
Opposition asks govt to shed its 'arrogance' over farm laws

Opposition members on Tuesday asked the government in Lok Sabha to shed its "arrogance" over the three farm laws even as BJP MPs hailed the Centre for its welfare and pro-farmer measures. 

Speaking during the discussion on the motion of thanks to the President's address, Preneet Kaur of the Congress dubbed the three Acts, which have triggered protests, as black laws and asked the government to repeal them. 

She referred to "Khalistani" and "Maoists" barbs used by some people against a section of protesting farmers and said this was wrong while adding that a brother of a protester was a soldier who had laid down his life in the Galwan Valley clash with Chinese soldiers in Ladakh. 

TMC's Saugata Roy alleged that several Union ministers are doing "political tourism" in West Bengal. 

In an apparent reference to the upcoming state assembly polls, he said it was a battle between "Bengali and outsiders" and said the state cannot be ruled from Gujarat. (PTI)

20:33 (IST)09 Feb 2021
Oxford included 'Atmanirbhar' in its dictionary, now it should include 'pappu' as well: Meenakshi Lekhi

BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi in Lok Sabha said there are international elements working against damaging the image of India, refering to the toolkit shared by teen climate activist Greta Thunberg on the farm laws. Lekhi said like Oxford included the word Atmanirbhar in its 2020 dictionary, it should include 'pappu' in its 2021 dictionary, adding that the world is not a 'pappu' (idiot) that it could not discriminate between propaganda and truth.

19:40 (IST)09 Feb 2021
Amit Shah rejects Chowdhury's claim that he sat on Tagore's chair

Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday rejected in Lok Sabha the claim by Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury that he sat on Rabindranath Tagore's chair during his visit to Visva Bharati.

The minister said the record pertaining to this should be set right, as he produced documents to support his statement and sought Speaker Om Birla's permission to lay them before the House. "I have a letter from Visva Bharati's Vice Chancellor where I have sought clarification from him and tell me after analysing the photos and videos whether I sat (on Tagore's chair) there or not.

"He has very clearly stated that nothing of this sort has happened. The reference to the place I sat is a window and anyone can sit there," Shah said.

Shah said that "a former president of the country, (another former President) Pranab Mukherjee, (former Prime Minister) Rajiv Gandhi...and even I sat there (window)". "And when Bangladesh's Prime Minister paid a visit, she also sat at the same place and penned her comments," Shah said. (PTI)

19:16 (IST)09 Feb 2021
RLD's Jayant Chaudhary takes jibe at PM Modi over emotional speech

RLD leader Jayant Chaudhary took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi getting emotional in the Parliament on Tuesday, saying had he shed some tears on the deaths of farmers during their protest, the situation would not have come to such a pass.

Addressing a farmer 'mahapanchayat' (large congregation) near Iglas in Uttar Pradesh's Aligarh district, Chaudhary said the farmers' protest had now turned into a people's movement that was gathering momentum with each passing day, adding that there was no turning back.

Pointing out to Modi's speech, Chaudhary said: "If the PM had shed some tears on the death of large number of farmers during the farmers protest, the situation would not have come to such a pass."

Chaudhary said they were are not against modernisation of the farm sector. "Every sector needs reforms, but the thrust of such reforms should take into consideration that the size of farm holdings in India is shrinking with the passage of time," he said. (PTI)

18:15 (IST)09 Feb 2021
Congratulate agitating farmers that they have awakened farmers across India: Akhilesh Yadav in LS

Samajwadi Party MP Akhilesh Yadav in Lok Sabha: "Yesterday I heard 'MSP tha, MSP hai, MSP rahega'. It's just in speech but not on ground. Farmers aren't getting it, had they been getting, they wouldn't have been sitting in Delhi. I congratulate agitating farmers that they have awakened farmers across India."

17:51 (IST)09 Feb 2021
Farm laws are not religious scripture that can't be changed, says Farooq Abdullah

Speaking over the new farm laws in the Lok Sabha, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah said these laws are not religious scripture to which changes cannot be made. 'If they (farmers) want it to be repealed, why can't you talk to them? I request that let's not stand on prestige. It's our nation. We belong to this nation, let's respect everybody in the nation,' he said.

On the coronavirus, Abdullah claimed India reported more deaths numbers than the US and UK even as the number of cases was comparatively less. 'Our medical services aren't that good that cause of deaths can be ascertained in villages. Still, vaccines have been developed for which I congratulate those in Pune,' he said.

'It is essential to distribute these vaccines in India. Even now, very few people are getting vaccines. Efforts should be made to vaccinate the maximum number of people so that people can be protected from this disease,' he said.

16:51 (IST)09 Feb 2021
Need political consensus to avoid ordinance route: Venkaiah Naidu

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday suggested that it would be "really good" if both central and state governments agree not to follow the ordinance route for enacting laws, but stressed that political consensus is needed for it.

"It is not going to help if political parties have an attitude that if I am in power, I will issue ordinances. When you are in power, don't issue ordinances," Naidu said in the Upper House after an opposition member expressed concern over the Centre taking the ordinance route.

The chairman said the "spirit of democracy" in the context of the ordinance mechanism should be understood and to the extent possible, the government should return to the legislative process for enacting laws.

CPI leader Binay Viswam alleged that the current government has a "tendency to bypass Parliament" and take the ordinance route to bring laws. Viswam, while participating in a debate on the NCT Delhi laws (special provisions) second amendment Bill 2021, said 42 ordinances were brought during the NDA-I tenure and 77 under NDA-II till now. However, during UPA I-II together, a total of 59 ordinances were promulgated. (PTI)

16:07 (IST)09 Feb 2021
Gross NPAs of PSBs decline to Rs 6.09 lakh cr in Sep 2020: Thakur

Gross non-performing assets (NPAs) of public sector banks (PSBs) declined from Rs 8.96 lakh crore in March 2018 to Rs 6.09 lakh crore in September 2020 due to various measures taken by the government, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur informed Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

There was record recovery of Rs 2.54 lakh crore during March 2018 and September 2020 and 11 out of 12 PSBs reported profit in the first half of 2020-21 amounting to Rs 14,688 crore, he said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.

Provision coverage ratio of PSBs is at over 8 years high at 85.06 per cent at the end of September 2020.

Asset quality review (AQR) initiated in 2015 for cleaning up banks' balance sheets revealed high incidence NPAs, he said. (PTI)

15:13 (IST)09 Feb 2021
Rajya Sabha passes bill to regularise unauthorised colonies in Delhi

The Rajya Sabha passed the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Bill, 2021 to regularise unauthorised colonies in Delhi.

The bill replaces the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 which was promulgated by President Ram Nath Kovind on December 30, 2020.

"1.35 crore people of Delhi, those living in unauthorised colonies, they will get their ownership right," Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri said in Rajya Sabha

He said that tenders have been floated for "Jahan Jhuggi Wahan Makaan". "Delhi will not only benefit from the improvement in living condition of 1.35 crore people but the Central Vista project will also make Delhi one of the finest cities in the world," Puri said. (PTI)

15:12 (IST)09 Feb 2021
Cong MPs from Punjab to move private member's bill in Lok Sabha to repeal farm laws

Congress MPs from Punjab will move a private member's bill in Lok Sabha to repeal the three contentious new farm laws.

Congress leader and Lok Sabha member Manish Tewari told reporters that the Repealing and Amendment Bill 2021 will be moved in the Lower House by a group of party MPs from Punjab including himself, Preneet Kaur, Jasbir Singh Gill and Santokh Chaudhary.

Tewari said they will seek the support of fellow MPs from other parties who have sympathies for the farmers and support their stand on the new legislations.

Asked whether a similar bill could be introduced in Rajya Sabha, he said they will request their counterparts in the Upper House to do so. (PTI)

14:22 (IST)09 Feb 2021
Rajya Sabha adjourned till 9 am tomorrow

Rajya Sabha stands ajourned till 9 am on 10 February. 

13:29 (IST)09 Feb 2021
Rajya Sabha members pay tribute to victims of Uttarakhand disaster

Members of Rajya Sabha observed silence to pay tribute to people who lost their lives during the Uttarakhand glacier disaster

13:27 (IST)09 Feb 2021
Doing everything possible to save lives: Amit Shah on Uttarakhand disaster

He gave assurance that the central and local teams are leaving no stone unturned in dealing with the situation to save as many lives as possible. Shah also expressed his condolences to the lives lost.

13:19 (IST)09 Feb 2021
ITBP, NDRF, Indian Army and Navy all working in rescue operations: Amit Shah in Rajya Sabha

To deal with the aftermath of the disaster, Amit Shah said that 450 jawans of Indo-Tibetan border force, 5 teams of NDRF, 8 teams of Indian Army, a Navy team and 5 IAF helicopters are engaged in search and rescue operations. The Centre has also given Rs 4 lakh compensation to the kin of the diseased, he added.

13:16 (IST)09 Feb 2021
Rescue operations in full swing: Amit Shah in Rajya Sabha

Union Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday gave out details of the people trapped in the tunnels of Tampovan power project and said the rescue work by all the teams is still ongoing and in full swing. Shah also said that he has been informed that the place is currently "out of danger."

13:09 (IST)09 Feb 2021
Union Minister Amit Shah address parliament over Uttarakhand disaster

Union Home Minister Amit Shah is addressing Rajya Sabha on the glacier burst in Uttarakhand's Chamoli district that has now claimed 30 lives.

13:05 (IST)09 Feb 2021
Ghulam Nabi Azad lauds Vajpayee for his ability to solve issues peacefully

Lauding Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayye for his ability to seek solutions by including everyone, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said “I learnt from Vajpayee how to solve problems by giving something to both the opposition and the ruling party.” “It was very easy to manage parliament under his leadership due to this,” Azad added.

Azad highlighted that people will keep their trust in us till the time we do work for them and pass laws. “If we only keep on fighting amongst ourselves, we will lose the trust of people,” he said.

R-Day violence a conspiracy by BJP govt, says Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury

Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Monday alleged that the violence that unfolded in Delhi on Republic Day was a conspiracy by the  BJP government. "The most important question is how could the miscreants reach Red Fort on a day like Republic Day? January 26 is a day in which the national capital remains under maximum security. Then, how can such an incident take place? I am sure that this was an incident staged by the government. You sent your people, who came disguised as farmers, and took part in violent activities," he said.

Bill to merge J&K cadre with AGMUT gets Rajya Sabha nod

As a Bill to merge the Jammu and Kashmir cadre of civil service officers with Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre was discussed and passed with voice vote in the Rajya Sabha, the Opposition on Monday questioned the intention behind the legislation when the government had earlier mentioned that statehood will eventually be restored to J&K.

Introduced by Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy, the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2021, replaces the ordinances to the effect promulgated in January.

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