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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Parliament Monsoon session highlights: From PM Modi ‘very big salesman’ to ‘return our old India’

While BJP working president J P Nadda sought the support of the Opposition for the smooth functioning of parliament, the Opposition leaders targetted the government over issues such as mob lynchings, Bihar AES deaths, water shortage and farm distress.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
June 24, 2019 9:25:57 pm
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Parliament members in both the Houses on Monday discussed the Motion of Thanks to President’s address. While BJP working president J P Nadda sought the support of the Opposition for the smooth functioning of Parliament, the Opposition leaders targetted the government over issues such as mob lynchings, Bihar AES deaths, water shortage and farm distress.

Here are the highlights of the parliamentary proceedings of the day.

TMC protest

TMC MPs held a sit-in protest in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue outside Parliament, demanding that elections be held using ballot papers instead of electronic voting machines (EVMs). The party, which has been crying foul over the use of EVMs in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha polls, Monday said their agenda for the protest was – “No to EVMs, Yes to paper ballots.”

TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had earlier raised questions over the EVMs used in the polls and urged opposition parties to unitedly demand the return of ballot papers. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo said a fact-finding committee should be constituted to find out the details about the EVMs used in the recent polls.

Water Crisis

Rajya Sabha MPs Monday raised the issue of the rising drinking water crisis in different parts of the country, and demanded immediate measures such as inter-linking of rivers and rain water harvesting to recharge ground water table. Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Satyanarayan Jatiya (BJP) said parts of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Karnataka have traditionally faced water crisis, but now the the problem has extended to more areas. “There has to be a permanent solution to drinking water crisis,” he said, suggesting five big river inter-linking projects need to be taken up on priority so as to make available excess water of one area to deficit regions.

Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Bill, 2019

Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal introduced The Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Bill, 2019. He lay on table an explanatory statement showing reasons for immediate legislation by promulgation of the Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019.

Amit Shah’s bill on J&K

Home Minister Amit Shah tabled his first Bill in Lok Sabha after his election to the Lower House. The Bill seeks to benefit the people living along the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir of reservation in direct recruitment, promotion and admission in professional courses on par with those living along the Actual Line of Control (ALoC). The Bill once passed by Parliament will amend the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004 to bring persons residing in areas adjoining the IB within the ambit of reservation, on par with those living in areas adjoining the ALoC.

Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill

Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tabled the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019. It will replace an ordinance issued in March and proposes stiff penalties for violation of norms. The Bill also proposes giving a child an option to exit from the biometric ID programme on attaining 18 years of age.

First time MP Pratap Sarangi moves motion of thanks on the President’s address

MoS in Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Pratap Sarangi moved the motion of thanks on the President’s address. Citing the failure of the Opposition in the recently concluded Lok Sabha election, Sarangi said: “I remember former PM Vajpayee had praised former PM Indira Gandhi whenever she had done good work. This too is an integral duty of the Opposition. But our current Opposition never does that – why, I wonder.”

Keep your New India to yourself, return Old India to us: Ghulam Nabi Azad

Attacking the government over incidents of lynching in the country, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said “keep your New India to yourself but return”.

He said: “In Old India, there was no enmity, no anger, hate, lynchings. In this New India, man has become man’s enemy. Give us that India where Hindu Muslim Sikh Christian live peacefully and are ready to give their life for each other.”

On Jharkhand lynching case, Azad said, “Jharkhand has become a factory of lynching and violence. Dalits and Muslims are killed there every week. PM, we are with you in the fight of ‘Sabka saath sabka vikas’ but it should be there for people to see it. We can’t see it anywhere.”

Adhir Ranjan Choudhary calls PM Modi ‘very big salesman’

Congress’ Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the BJP returned to power as Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a “very big salesman” and Congress failed to gain ground in the 2019 general election as it could not market its products.

“This Government has developed a new syndrome called political plagiarism… Congress party has been contributing to growth (since Independence), but one morning you suddenly say Congress has done nothing and you are doing all development work. It is nothing but travesty of truth…

“You are a government which can be called compliment addicted government driven by manipulation,” said Chowdhury

Azam Khan, Owaisi hit out at attack on minorities

Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan and AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi hit out at the government in Lok Sabha on the issue of attacks on members of the minority community.

Participating in the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address, Khan said Muslims had a choice to go to Pakistan during Partition but they chose to stay in India. “Our forefathers decided to stay here. They said this is our country. Graves of our forefathers are here … You (BJP) never had this choice (of going to Pakistan),” he said.

On the Triple Talaq Bill, Azam Khan said he will only believe in what is written in the Quran. Owaisi also raised questions over the Triple Talaq Bill and GDP figures.

Rajya Sabha adjourned for tomorrow

Rajya Sabha will remain adjourned on Tuesday after obituary reference to sitting member Madan Lal Saini.

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