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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Parliament Monsoon Session Highlights: Both Houses adjourned for the day amid uproar by Opposition over Pegasus

Parliament Monsoon Session Highlights: The Opposition has been relentless in its demand for discussions on the controversy, which took India by storm last week, as well as the highly-contested new farm laws.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: July 30, 2021 2:48:45 pm
Congress MP Ripun Bora arrives at the Parliament on a bicycle in protest against the rising fuel prices. (Photo: PTI)

Parliament Monsoon Session LIVE Updates: Proceedings of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha proceedings were adjourned for the day on Friday amid continued opposition protest over Pegasus and other issues. When the Lower House reassembled at noon, amid the din two bills — The Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Bill, 2021 and the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill — were introduced.

Ahead of the seventh day of the monsoon session of Parliament, Opposition Floor leaders from Rajya Sabha are slated to meet to chalk out a strategy to address the Pegasus snooping scandal, news agency ANI reported.

“We only want discussion on Pegasus issue. For that, PM Modi and Home Minister’s presence is necessary. This (snooping) is treason. If they let us discuss the issue, the House will function properly. We’ve also called an all-party meet today,” Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge said.

The Opposition has been relentless in its demand for discussions on the controversy, which took India by storm last week, as well as the highly-contested new farm laws. Yesterday, Opposition MPs were seen holding placards and raising slogans as they gathered in the Well of the Lok Sabha, leading to a series of adjournments.

But despite the Opposition’s protests, the Lok Sabha was able to pass the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill 2021 on Wednesday. After resuming proceedings at 3 pm, the House also passed two appropriation bills.

Live Blog

Lok Sabha adjourned till Monday; The Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Bill, 2021, and the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill passed. Follow this space for the latest updates:

14:44 (IST)30 Jul 2021
Rajya Sabha adjourned till Monday

Rajya Sabha proceedings adjourned till Monday.

14:36 (IST)30 Jul 2021
Bill to amend general insurance law introduced in Lok Sabha

A bill to amend the general insurance law to allow the government to pare its stake in state-owned insurers was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Friday, but Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman insisted that it will not lead to privatisation. Introducing the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, 2021, Sitharaman said its passage will help generate required resources from the Indian markets so that public sector general insurers can design innovative products. Several opposition members had opposed the introduction of the bill, saying it will bring in foreign investors and entail total privatisation of PSU general insurance companies. Sitharaman said, "The apprehensions mentioned by the members are not well-founded at all. What we are trying to do in this is not to privatise. We are bringing some enabling provision so that the Government can bring in public, Indian citizens, and common people's participation in the general insurance companies."

As per the statement of objects and reasons of The General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, 2021, it seeks to remove the requirement that the central government holds not less than 51 per cent of the equity capital in a specified insurer. (PTI)

12:42 (IST)30 Jul 2021
RS proceedings adjourned for 2nd time till 2.30 pm amid opposition uproar

The Rajya Sabha proceedings were adjourned till 2.30 pm on Friday, as Opposition members created an uproar over the Pegasus snooping row and other issues. When the House re-assembled at 12 noon after the first adjournment for the Question Hour, several Opposition members trooped into the Well, some of them carrying placards, and started raising slogans against the government.

In the meantime, the House took up a few of the listed questions and the ministers concerned replied to the members' queries. However, as the sloganeering by the Opposition members continued, Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh adjourned the proceedings till 2.30 pm. Earlier, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu had adjourned the proceedings till 12.00 hours just as the members of the Congress, TMC and other opposition parties stood up to raise the issues they have been pressing for since the start of the Monsoon Session of Parliament on July 19.

12:41 (IST)30 Jul 2021
LS proceedings adjourned for the day, two bills introduced

Lok Sabha proceedings were adjourned for the day on Friday amid continued opposition protest over Pegasus and other issues. When the House reassembled at noon, amid the din two bills — The Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Bill, 2021 and the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill — was introduced.

Rajendra Agrawal, who was chairing the proceedings, then asked protesting members to go back to their respective seats as a discussion on Covid-19 situation is scheduled under Rule 193. As sloganeering continued, Agrawal adjourned the House proceedings for the day. The Lok Sabha will now meet on August 2 after the routine weekend break. (PTI)

11:56 (IST)30 Jul 2021
Pegasus not a serious issue, urge Oppn to let House function: Prahlad Joshi

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi, while addressing the Lok Sabha, amid protests by Opposition parties, said, “More than 315 members of the House want the Question Hour to take place. Despite that, behaviour like this is extremely unfortunate. The IT Minister has given a detailed statement in both Houses regarding the Pegasus issue. This is not a serious issue at all. Kindly allow the house to function.”

11:40 (IST)30 Jul 2021
Rajya Sabha adjourned till noon12 pm

The Rajya Sabha proceedings were adjourned for almost an hour on Friday as opposition parties tried to raise the issue of Israeli-made, military-grade Pegasus spyware being used to snoop on political rivals, critics of the government and journalists as also the contentious farm laws and other issues.

Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu adjourned the proceedings till 12.00 hours just as the members of the Congress, TMC and other opposition parties stood up to raise the issues they have been pressing for since the start of the Monsoon Session of Parliament on July 19. Earlier, Naidu expressed concern over parliamentary dignity and prestige being compromised by MPs by conducts such as whistling and placing placards in front of the ministers speaking during their protests in the last few days. (PTI)

10:57 (IST)30 Jul 2021
Anurag Thakur praises Lovlina Borgohain over her win

Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, while entering the Parliament, praised Lovlina Borgohain over her win at the Olympics today. “Her fabulous performance has confirmed another medal for the country. Indians are sending their best wishes to Lovlina so that she can win the gold medal. We hope our contingent performs well in the remaining events at Tokyo Olympics.,” he said.

10:23 (IST)30 Jul 2021
Lok Sabha scheduled to hold discussion on Covid on Friday

A discussion on the Covid-19 pandemic has been listed in the business schedule of Lok Sabha for Friday. According to the revised order paper for Friday, N K Premchandran and Vinayak Raut will "raise a discussion on the situation arising out of Covid-19 pandemic in the country and various aspects related to it."

Rajya Sabha held a discussion on the pandemic in the beginning of the Monsoon session. The government put up a staunch defence of its handling of the coronavirus pandemic in the Upper House of Parliament. Lok Sabha has witnessed daily disruptions by opposition members over the Pegasus row and farmers' issues. (PTI)

10:20 (IST)30 Jul 2021
Parliament schedule for Friday

Lok Sabha

Bills yet to be introduced

  1. The Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Bill, 2021
  2. The General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, 2021

Rajya Sabha

Bills for introduction

  1. The Limited Liability Partnership (Amendment) Bill, 2021
  2. The Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee
  3. Corporation (Amendment) Bill), 2021
13:34 (IST)29 Jul 2021
LS proceedings adjourned for third time

Lok Sabha proceedings were adjourned for the third time on Thursday till 2 pm as opposition members continued their protest over Pegasus and other issues. When the House met at 12:30 pm, Rajendra Agrawal, who was chairing the proceedings, took up papers to be laid by ministers.

As protests continued, he adjourned the House till 2 pm. Earlier in the day, Speaker Om Birla had expressed his displeasure over unruly behaviour by some opposition members and said he was "very hurt" over Wednesday's incident. On Wednesday, when papers were being laid in the House, Congress members Gurjeet Aujala, TN Prathapan, Hibi Eden and some others had thrown business papers of the day as well as torn pieces of paper and placards at the Chair.

A piece of the torn placard landed in the press gallery just above the Speaker's podium. As opposition continued their protest on Pegasus snooping controversy and three farm bills, Birla adjourned the House till 11.30 am. (PTI)

12:49 (IST)29 Jul 2021
Lok Sabha adjourned twice since Thursday morning as Opposition parties unite to protest against Pegasus

The Lok Sabha was adjourned twice since Thursday morning as Opposition parties staged protests inside the House over the Pegasus snooping issue.

The united protests by all opposition parties come at a time when West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is in Delhi, intensifying her campaign to bring together all fronts to take on the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Sloganeering and showing of placards done in a coordinated manner by the Congress, TMC, DMK and other opposition parties, for the first time since the Monsoon session began on July 19, disrupted the proceedings. The Speaker, however, took up the question hour and the ministers replied amidst the din. Read the full report here. 

12:46 (IST)29 Jul 2021
Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2 PM as Opposition leaders gather in Well

As Opposition leaders continued to protest and gathered in the Well to voice their dissent, Rajya Sabha was adjourned till 2 PM. 

12:38 (IST)29 Jul 2021
'SP MP's observation that there is comparison between India and China is not accurate,' says Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on question by Samajwadi Party MP Rewati Raman Singh on India-US relations and human rights violations: "The MP's observation that there is a comparison b/w India & China is not an accurate one. We had a very detailed conversation on a number of issues." 

"We highlighted that in our approach to global issues we're guided by quest for perfect union but we seek to right historical wrongs.When it comes to freedom,we shouldn't treat it as non-governance or abdication of responsibilities. Our conversation on this should be balanced," he added. 

11:48 (IST)29 Jul 2021
'Can thousands of people be spied on? Rahul Gandhi doesn't understand,' says Pralhad Joshi

Addressing Rahul Gandhi's demand for a discussion on the Pegasus snooping scandal in Parliament, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi said: "A non-issue is unnecessarily being made an issue. Can thousands of people across the world be spied upon? What Rahul Gandhi says, he doesn't understand. That is his basic problem. He speaks most immaturely." 

11:11 (IST)29 Jul 2021
Rajya Sabha adjourned till 12 PM amid protest by Opposition leaders

Rajya Sabha was adjourned till noon after Opposition leaders started to protest soon after the session began for the day. 

11:09 (IST)29 Jul 2021
Pralhad Joshi, Piyush Goyal meet Oppn leaders, ask them to support House to pass bills

Union Minister Pralhad Joshi and Piyush Goyal met Opposition leaders during their meeting to chalk out a strategy on addressing the Pegasus snooping scandal in Parliament. The Union Ministers asked them to support the House to pass bills today. But the Opposition leaders insisted on a discussion on the Pegasus controversy, farm laws, and inflation. (ANI)

10:34 (IST)29 Jul 2021
Congress MP rides cycle to Parliament to protest against fuel price hike

Congress MP Ripun Bora rode a bicycle plastered with placards to Parliament to protest against the rise in fuel prices. 

09:55 (IST)29 Jul 2021
Oppn members throw papers, torn placards in Lok Sabha, three bills passed amid din

The Opposition intensified its noisy protests in Lok Sabha on Wednesday over Pegasus snooping, farm laws and other issues with some unruly members even hurling papers and torn placards in the House, but the government went ahead with its legislative agenda and three bills were passed amid the din.

The House was adjourned repeatedly as an unrelenting opposition created uproar, repeating the scenes of the last over one week. As the proceedings began, opposition members trooped into the Well of the House, raising slogans and holding placards against the government over a number of issues including snooping allegations linked to Israeli spyware Pegasus.

Speaker Om Birla continued with the Question Hour despite disruptions. This was for the first time that Lok Sabha completed the Question Hour in the Monsoon session which began on July 19. (PTI)

09:30 (IST)29 Jul 2021
Congress Lok Sabha MPs to meet at Congress Parliamentary Party office at 1030 hours today

Congress Lok Sabha MPs are slated to meet at the Congress Parliamentary Party office at 1030 hours today. 
 

09:29 (IST)29 Jul 2021
Congress MP B Manickam Tagore gives adjournment notion demanding discussion on Pegasus issue

Congress MP B Manickam Tagore has given an adjournment motion notice in Lok Sabha demanding a discussion in the presence of Prime Minister or Home Minister on the Pegasus issue. (ANI)

Nishikant Dubey accuses Mahua Moitra of name-calling at IT panel meet, she says not quite

THE STANDOFF between the opposition and ruling BJP MPs over the Pegasus snooping issue spilled on to the Parliamentary standing committee on Information Technology, with the latter blocking proceedings of the panel’s meeting on Wednesday, citing lack of quorum.

The confrontation continued outside as well with BJP MP from Jharkhand Nishikant Dubey alleging that TMC MP Mahua Moitra called him “Bihari Goonda” thrice during the meeting. Moitra responded in a tweet, saying she was “amused” by the charges of name-calling as the meeting did not take place and, as per record, the BJP MPs were not present there.

Moitra was referring to what transpired when the committee met earlier in the day.

Rajya Sabha passes Juvenile Justice Bill amid din, no discussion

The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday passed the Juvenile Justice Amendment Bill, 2021, in less than half-an-hour amid protests, and without any discussion.

The Bill seeks to expedite adoption of children by transferring the power to issue adoption orders from civil court to the district magistrate.

In her introductory remarks, Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani called on all MPs to set politics aside and help children who “deserve” and “need” Parliament’s protection. In an attempt to demonstrate the Centre’s commitment towards protecting children, Irani drew a comparison between budget allocation for this purpose during the UPA regime and under the incumbent government. “In 2009-10, a meagre Rs 60 crore was given to protect children across the country. However, it is a compliment not only to the vision but humanity of the Prime Minister that in 2021, over Rs 1,500 crore has been given only to the protection of children,” she said.

United Opposition resolves to not let House function till Pegasus on table

A UNITED Opposition Wednesday resolved to lift the blockade of Parliament only if the NDA government agreed to a discussion in the House on the Pegasus scandal in the presence of either Prime Minister Narendra Modi or Home Minister Amit Shah. Leaders of 14 Opposition parties of both the Houses met at Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge’s chamber to coordinate their floor strategy.

This could mean a complete washout of the Monsoon Session of Parliament. The Houses could not function for the eighth successive day on Wednesday amidst Opposition protests.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who had earlier called for parties to set aside differences at the state level, called the experience of the joint Opposition meeting extremely humbling. “Amazing experience, wisdom and insight in everyone present,” he said. Addressing the media with other leaders, he added, “If we say now that we will not do a discussion on Pegasus… and agree to a discussion on some other issue… then (the issue of) Pegasus will be over.”

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