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Thursday, September 24, 2020

Parliament HIGHLIGHTS: Govt declines oppn’s demand for discussion on China border row

Parliament Monsoon Session Today HIGHLIGHTS: The 18-day Parliament Monsoon session is being held amid strict social distancing protocols. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will address parliament on the India-China border row today, shows the list of business for the day.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 15, 2020 8:03:01 pm
parliament, parliament live, parliament live updates, parliament monsoon session, parliament monsoon session 2020 live, parliament today, parliament today live, parliament live news, parliament news, rajya sabha, india china, rajya sabha today live, lok sabha, lok sabha live, lok sabha live news, lok sabha live news updates, coronavirusMarkings to maintain physical distancing are seen on the ground outside Parliament building in New Delhi. (AP)

Parliament Today HIGHLIGHTS: Addressing the Lok Sabha on the border tensions between India and China border, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Tuesday said till now, there has been no mutually acceptable solution between the two countries as China continues to disagree on border. “China doesn’t recognise the traditional and customary alignment of the boundary. We consider that this alignment is based on well established geographical principals,” he said.

The opposition parties, meanwhile, submitted 10 adjournment motion notices over a range of issues. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, and Minister of Home, state, G Kishan Reddy will also be making statements in Lok Sabha today.

Rajya Sabha, on Tuesday, passed the Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020 that seeks to improve India’s aviation safety ratings and provide statutory status to regulatory institutions, including the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The Bill had got the approval of Lok Sabha in March. Earlier in the day, Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan said the image of the film industry is being tarnished by a few and that the government should support the industry.

This session of Parliament is being held amid strict social distancing protocols. From members arriving in masks to their seats rearranged in keeping seating with physical distancing norms, and from Opposition members’ criticism of the move to do away with Question Hour to repeated reminders by Speaker Om Birla that the House is meeting in an “extraordinary situation”, the pandemic loomed large over the proceedings on day 1.

Live Blog

Rajnath Singh to address Lok Sabha on China row. Here are the HIGHLIGHTS

17:53 (IST)15 Sep 2020
Govt brief House on coronavirus situation

The government prevented 14-29 lakh coronavirus cases and 37,000-78,000 deaths due to the disease by imposing the nationwide lockdown that was announced on March 24, the Lok Sabha was informed on Tuesday.

Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said the World Health Organisation (WHO) has observed, with regard to the lockdown measures taken by the government, that India's response to COVID-19 has been pre-emptive, pro-active and graded with high-level political commitment and a "whole government" approach to respond to the pandemic.

Rai said by imposing the countrywide lockdown, India successfully blunted the aggressive spread of COVID-19.

"It has been estimated that the decision of lockdown, by slowing down the progress of pandemic in India, has prevented 14-29 lakh cases and 37,000-78,000 deaths," he said in reply to a written question. (PTI)

17:47 (IST)15 Sep 2020
Shiv Sena has become 'Congress sena': BJP MP in Lok Sabha

Calling her the brave daughter of Himachal Pradesh, BJP MP from Mandi, Ram Swaroop Sharma, condemned the demolition of office of actor Kangana Ranaut in Mumbai, and told the Lok Sabha that Shiv Sena, which was formed on the ideals of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, has become "Congress Sena".

17:44 (IST)15 Sep 2020
Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill passed in LS

Lok Sabha passes Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

16:55 (IST)15 Sep 2020
223 people under detention in J-K, no one under house arrest now: Govt in LS

Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said the government of Jammu and Kashmir has reported that after the abrogation of Article 370 in August last year various measures were taken to maintain public order which included preventive detention of certain persons.

"As on September 11, 2020, 223 persons are under detention. No person is under house arrest in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir," he said in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.

Reddy also said after the bifurcation of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019, the number of terrorist incidents have reduced significantly. (PTI)

16:07 (IST)15 Sep 2020
Cases increased in post lockdown phase despite successful lockdown implementation: Ashwini Choubey

Lockdown from March 25 to May 31 successfully controlled aggressive progression of COVID-19 in India but there has been steady rise in number of cases in post-lockdown phase: Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Ashwini Choubey tells Rajya Sabha

15:56 (IST)15 Sep 2020
Congress MPs protest outside Parliament

Congress MPs protesting in front the Mahatma Gandhi statue after they walked out of Lok Sabha. Congress MPs demanded a discussion on India-China border issue after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's address.

15:54 (IST)15 Sep 2020
Congress stages walkout after Rajnath address

After Rajnath Singh finished his address in Lok Sabha, Congress MPs staged a walkout from the lower house, demanding discussion on India-China border issue. 

15:43 (IST)15 Sep 2020
Morale of the Army high after PM visit: Rajnath

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh: "I want to assure that the morale of our armed forces is high. No one should doubt it. PM's visit to Ladakh has sent a message that people of India stand behind Indian armed forces."

"The Chinese side created a violent face-off on June 15th at Galwan. Our brave soldiers laid down their lives and also inflicted costs including casualties on the Chinese side."

"In past too, we've had situations of prolonged stand-offs in border areas with China which were resolved peacefully. Even though situation this year is very different both in terms of scale of troops involved&number of friction points, we remain committed to peaceful resolution."

"I request this house to pass a resolution that we stand shoulder to shoulder with our armed forces who are guarding our borders to safeguard India's sovereignty and integrity."

15:35 (IST)15 Sep 2020
India would protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity: Rajnath Singh

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh: "In meeting with Chinese Defence Minister, I clearly stated that while our troops had always taken a responsible approach towards border management, but at same time there should be no doubt about our determination to protect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity."

15:30 (IST)15 Sep 2020
We are ready to deal with any situation: Rajnath Singh

Defence Minister Rajanth Singh: "There was a face-off in Galwan on June 15 in which Indian forces inflicted heavy casualties on Chinese forces."

"I want to assure you that we are ready to deal with any situation," he added.

15:28 (IST)15 Sep 2020
Violent conduct of Chinese troops is a violation of all past agreements: Rajnath Singh

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in Lok Sabha: "Violent conduct of Chinese troops is a violation of all past agreements. Our troops have done counter deployments in the area to safeguard our borders."

"China has mobilised a huge number of Army battalions and armaments along LAC and inner areas. There are many friction points in eastern Ladakh, Gogra, Kongka La, Pangong Lake's north and south banks. Indian Army has made counter deployments in these areas."

15:18 (IST)15 Sep 2020
China doesn't recognise traditional and customary alignment of LAC: Rajnath Singh

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in Lok Sabha: "China doesn't recognise the traditional and customary alignment of the boundary. We consider that this alignment is based on well established geographical principals."

"We have told China through diplomatic channels that the attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo were in violation of the bilateral agreements."

15:14 (IST)15 Sep 2020
Rajnath Singh speaks on India China border issue

Rajnath Singh on border row with China: "Both India and China agree that to maintain peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas, it is essential for the further development of bilateral relations: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on India-China border issue."

"India and China border issue remains unresolved. Till now, there has been no mutually acceptable solution. China disagrees on border: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in Lok Sabha."

14:40 (IST)15 Sep 2020
Adjournment Motion notices in Lok Sabha

At least 10 notices have been given for adjourning the proceedings to discuss “crucial issues”. This includes the Indian Express report on hybrid warfare by China. Congress leaders Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, K Suresh, and Manick Tagore have given separate notices to take up the issue of China surveillance in Lok Sabha. Congress MP Hibi Eden wants the house to discuss the government’s move to suspend MPLADS funds. Congress MP T N Pratapan, CPI-M’s A M Arif RSP’s NK Premachandran, and IUML’s Mohammad Basheer have given notices to discuss the Delhi police chargesheet against social and political leaders. K Muraleedharan of the Congress wants the house to discuss GDP decline suspending all other business

14:00 (IST)15 Sep 2020
Bills to be taken up in Lok Sabha

Bills for consideration and passing

  • The Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 2020
  • The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020
  • The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020
13:17 (IST)15 Sep 2020
Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day

Rajya Sabha has been adjourned and will resume at 9 am tomorrow. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will address Parliament on the India-China border row in Lok Sabha. The minister’s address is expected to take place around 3 pm — at the beginning of the proceedings in the Lok Sabha.

13:05 (IST)15 Sep 2020
Rajya Sabha to discuss COVID-19 tomorrow

Vice President Naidu asked if a short duration discussion on the pandemic can be taken up tomorrow. House agrees. Discussion will be held tomorrow.

12:47 (IST)15 Sep 2020
Battle against covid-19 far more over: Health Minister in Rajya Sabha

"COVID-19 testing is about 1 million tests per day which translates to 720 tests per million population per day, much higher than that stipulated by WHO which 140 tests per million per day. A total of 55189226 samples were tested as of Sept 11. I want to remind the members that battle against COVID-19 is far from over. I wish to inform the house that government is taking all necessary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in India," Dr Harsh Vardhan said. 

12:30 (IST)15 Sep 2020
India has been able to limit its cases: Dr Harsh Vardhan on Covid-19

The discussion in Rajya Sabha has now switched to coronavirus pandemic. Addressing Rajya Sabha, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, "COVID-19 fatality and recovery rates stand at 1.67% & 77.65% respectively. India has been able to limit its cases & death per million to 3,320 cases per million and 55 deaths per million which is one of the lowest in the world. Lockdown prevented approximately 14 lakh to 29 lakh cases & 37,000 to 78,000 deaths. These 4 months were utilised to created additional health infrastructure, enhance human resource & produce within Indian critical elements such as PPE kits, N95 masks&ventilators."

12:12 (IST)15 Sep 2020
Rajya Sabha passes Aircraft (Amendment) Bill

"A lot is being made out about six airports. Mumbai & Delhi, 2 airports privatised in 2006, account for 33% of our traffic & earning. The six airports that were awarded in 2018 together account for only 9%. When Delhi and Mumbai airports were privatised in 2006, all subsequent efforts and privatisation contained a stipulation to the effect that prior experience was necessary so we fell into a trap of our making," Civil Aviation Minister Dr Hardeep Puri said, as Rajya Sabha passed Airport (Amendment) Bill

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses media as he arrives at Parliament in New Delhi (AP)

Citing a heavy legislative agenda, the government avoided the Opposition’s attempts to raise issues like the India-China border row and economic crisis on the first day of the 18-day Parliament session on Monday.

In his customary remarks before the start of the session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in what was seen by the Opposition as a pre-emptive move, called on Parliament to send out a unanimous message that the entire country stands behind its Armed Forces. “This Parliament, particularly this session, has a special responsibility… when our brave soldiers are at the border… The faith with which they are standing, determined to protect the motherland, Parliament, and all its members, will send out a message in a unanimous voice, spirit and resolve that the country stands in support of them,” he said.

When the session began, Chowdhury tried to raise the issue of Chinese aggression at the border twice, but Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said the BAC would meet on Tuesday to fix a time for discussing the issue. Chowdhury also sought to refer to The Indian Express report on the “hybrid warfare”.

During the 30-minute zero hour, the treasury benches avoided issues like the India-China border row, unemployment, migrant crisis and economic slowdown. NCP’s Supriya Sule was the only MP who raised the issue of unemployment and economic crisis. Urging the Centre to assist Maharashtra, she said: “On the first day, we could have discussed the state of economy and unemployment. I don’t see the Centre talking much about them,” she said.

Meanwhile, the government introduced eight Bills in the Lok Sabha and passed two pending Bills.

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