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Saturday, December 14, 2019

Parliament Winter Session highlights: Both Houses adjourned for the day

Parliament Winter Session 2019 highlights: The Rajya Sabha discussed the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill and the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill. The Lok Sabha passed the Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill. 

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: November 20, 2019 7:29:33 pm
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Parliament Winter Session 2019 Highlights:

At least 5,161 people in Jammu and Kashmir have been arrested since August 4, the Ministry of Home Affairs told Parliament today. Reiterating that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is “normal”, Home Minister Amit Shah told Rajya Sabha that internet facilities will be restored at an “appropriate time after inputs from the local administration.” The Home Minister also pointed out that not a single person has died due to police firing since the Centre’s decision.

In the morning, the withdrawal of Special Protection Group cover to former prime minister Manmohan Singh and the Gandhi family was the focus of discussion. While Congress urged the government to put issues of personal safety above “partisan politics,” the Centre said there was nothing political about the decision. “According to the threat perception, security is given and withdrawn. This is not done by a politician, it is done by the Home Ministry,” BJP leader JP Nadda said. Before the session began, Sonia Gandhi chaired a meeting of Lok Sabha MPs to discuss Parliament strategy. The Opposition wants to corner the government over issues like economic slowdown, farmer issues, unemployment among others.

The Rajya Sabha discussed the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill and the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill. The Surrogacy Bill bans commercial surrogacy and allows only altruistic surrogacy by close relatives for married, infertile couples.

The Lok Sabha passed the Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill.

The Winter Session of Parliament began on November 18 and will continue till December 13. This marks the 250th Session of Rajya Sabha.

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Parliament Winter Session 2019 highlights


    19:25 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    Lok Sabha adjourned for the day

    The Lower House of Parliament has been adjourned till 11 am tomorrow. 

    19:09 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    No proposal for one nation-one language: MoS Home

    Union Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy in a written reply to a question on 'One Nation-One Language' said: "There is no proposal for one nation-one language. Constitution accords equal importance to all the languages of the country." (ANI)

    18:37 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    Lok Sabha session extended till 7pm

    Lok Sabha session on the third day of the Winter Session has been extended till 7 pm.

    18:26 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla inaugurates MP health check-up centre

    Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla inaugurates the MP health check-up centre in Parliament. Union Ministers Harsh Vardhan, Anurag Thakur and Ashwini Kumar Chaubey also present. 

    18:14 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    Chit Funds (Amendments) Bill, 2019 passed in Lok Sabha

    Lok Sabha passes Chit Funds (Amendments) Bill, 2019.

    18:14 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day

    The Upper House of Parliament has been adjourned for today. 

    17:53 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    No proposal to link people's social media accounts with Aadhaar: Prasad

    The government has no proposal of linking Aadhaar with social media accounts of individuals, Parliament was informed on Wednesday. "There is no such proposal with the government for linking Aadhaar with social media accounts of individuals," Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.

    Prasad was replying to a specific query on whether the government proposes to enact a law for linking Aadhaar with social media accounts of individuals. (PTI)

    17:33 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    Jaya Bachchan says provisions in Transgender rights Bill discriminatory and humiliating

    Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan in Rajya Sabha on Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill: The provision of certification as a transgender is discriminatory and humiliating. We can't segregate them this way. The Bill doesn't pay attention to sensitive details. Let it please go for revision. 

    17:25 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    Orientation Programme for Lok Sabha MPs tomorrow

    Orientation Programme for Lok Sabha MPs to be held on November 21, from 9:30 - 10:30 am at PRIDE (erstwhile BPST), Main Lecture Hall, First Floor, PLB, New Delhi. V Muraleedharan, MoS, External Affairs, and Shashi Tharoor, MP,  to deliver lecture on 'In the larger context of Indian Foreign Policy - Role of Parliamentary Diplomacy'. 

    16:22 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    Land availability hurdle in setting up more CNG pumps in Delhi: Pradhan

    Amid concerns over long queues at IGL gas stations in the national capital, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday said in Rajya Sabha that the government is in the process of setting up 69 more stations, but land availability has been a big
    constraint.  (PTI)

    16:18 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    RS Prasad: WhatsApp believes 121 Indians may have been targetted by spyware

    Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in Lok Sabha on whether the government had received prior intimation about spyware targetting Indians from social media owners like WhatsApp, Facebook: 'WhatsApp believes it is likely that devices of approximately 121 users in India may have been attempted to be reached.'  (ANI)

    15:26 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    Standing Committee meet on Information Technology begins

    Meeting of Standing Committee on Information Technology begins in Parliament. To deliberate on issues of citizens’ data security and privacy. Union Home Secretary Ajay K Bhalla and Secretary Ministry of Electronics and IT Ajay Prakash Sawhney to brief the Committee. 

    14:53 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut questions why his seating position in Rajya Sabha changed

    Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut in a letter to Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu: Astonished to know that my seating position in RS chamber is changed from 3rd to 5th row. This decision was taken by someone deliberately to hurt Shiv Sena's sentiments and suppress our voice. I also fail to understand the reason for this unwarranted step, since there is no formal announcement about our removal from NDA. This decision has affected the dignity of the House. I request to allot us 1/2/3 row seat and uphold House decorum. 

    14:51 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    Govt committed to protecting right to privacy: RS Prasad in Lok  Sabha on Pegasus spyware

    Union Minister RS Prasad in Lok  Sabha on 'whether govt has taken cognizance of reports of alleged use & purchase of Pegasus spyware by govt agencies': Some statements have appeared, based on media reports, regarding this. These attempts to malign govt for reported breach are misleading. Govt is committed to protect the fundamental rights of citizens, including the right to privacy. Govt operates strictly as per provisions of law & laid down protocols. There are adequate provisions in IT Act, 2000 to deal with hacking, spyware etc. (ANI)

    14:47 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    NRC different from Citizenship Bill, will cover everyone irrespective of religion: Amit Shah

    Home Minister Amit Shah says in Rajya Sabha NRC different from Citizenship Bill, will cover everyone irrespective of religion.  "NRC has no such provision which says that certain religions will be excluded from it. All citizens of India irrespective of religion will figure in the NRC list. The NRC is different from Citizenship Amendment Bill," said Shah. 

    14:22 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    Sena MP seeks re-look at 'national security' definition

    During the Question Hour in Lok Sabha, Rahul Shewale, Shiv Sena MP, demanded that the definition of "national security" be re-looked at.

    "I am an MP and my father was a Naval officer... but I am unable to repair my own house," Shewale said. The House was discussing a question about defence establishments and restrictions on buildings in their vicinity. Finance Minister and former Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the situation is not that no permissions have been given for projects. (PTI)

    13:53 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    Lok Sabha adjourned till 2.30 pm

    Lok Sabha adjourned till 2.30 pm

    13:10 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2 pm

    Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2 pm

    13:06 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    NRC different from CAB, includes all religions: Shah

    Addressing the Rajya Sabha Wednesday, Home Minister Amit Shah said the National Register of Citizens (NRC) has no provision that excludes certain religions.  All citizens of India irrespective of religion will figure in the NRC list. The NRC is different from Citizenship Amendment Bill, he said. 

    "Hindu, Buddhist,Sikh,Jain, Christian, Parsi refugees should get citizenship, that is why Citizenship Amendment Bill is needed so that these refugees who are being discriminated on basis of religion in Pakistan, Bangladesh or Afghanistan, get Indian citizenship."

    12:44 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    Amit Shah's Kashmir challenge to Ghulam Nabi Azad

    While talking about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, Amit Shah had a challenge for Ghulam Nabi Azad. "I challenge Ghulam Nabi Azad sahab to counter these facts which I presented, why don't you object to these figures on record? I am willing to discuss this issue for even an hour."

    12:38 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    No civilian killed in Jammu Kashmir since August 5: Amit Shah

    "Not a single person has died in police firing since August 5 in Jammu and Kashmir. There has been a dip in the incidents of stone pelting. All newspapers are in circulation, all TV channels are running and all banks are operational in Kashmir," says Amit Shah.

    12:36 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    How long will the draconian measures continue in Kashmir: Azad in Rajya Sabha

    Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad highlighted the plight of those in the Valley. "Schools and colleges have been opened, but there is negligible attendance. There is no provision to ensure that students are able to commute from school to their homes safely."

    He also added that threat from Pakistan has always prevailed, but how long can the lockdown continue in the Valley. "There has been a threat from Pakistan for several years, there is nothing new about the situation. Then why such draconian measures? How will students continue their education without integral internet services?"

    12:34 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    Everything is normal in Kashmir: Amit Shah

    Stating that "everything is normal in Kashmir," Home Minister Amit Shah said, " Availability of medicines is adequate, there is no problem. Mobile medicine vans have also started. The administration has taken care of health services. Availability of petrol, diesel, kerosene, LPG, and rice is adequate. 22 lakh metric ton apples are expected to be produced. All landlines are open."

    12:26 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    Internet will be restored on appropriate time: Amit Shah

    Union Home Minister Amit Shah addressing Rajya Sabha spoke about the communication blockade in Jammu and Kashmir after the revocation of Article 370. "Section 144 is removed from Jammu and Kashmir. We agree that mobile and internet are important facilities and needs to be restored soon. But we must remember that it was the BJP that had brought mobile to the Valley. But when it comes to the safety of the country, we have to set a priority.  As we all know, the situation in Kashmir remains tensed due to threats from across the border. As far as the internet is concerned, its restoration will be carried out at an appropriate time on admin inputs," he said. 

    12:16 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    Anyone can meet the PM: Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut on Pawar-Modi meeting

    Saying that PM Narendra Modi is the Prime Minister of the entire nation, Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut said "anybody can meet the PM, inside or outside the Parliament." He was responding to a question of NCP chief Sharad Pawar's meeting with PM Modi on farmers' crisis in Maharashtra. "If Uddhav Thackeray comes to Delhi regarding farmers issue, and all MPs meet PM 'toh kya khichdi pakt hai'? Be it inside the Parliament or outside it, anyone can meet the PM. Pawar sa'ab is very well known in the agricultural arena, he knows the situation in the state," he said.

    11:58 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    What is the SPG cover that has been withdrawn from Gandhi family?

    The SPG was started in 1985 in the wake of the killing of PM Indira Gandhi in 1984. It is an elite force, specifically raised for the protection of the country’s Prime Minister, former PMs and their immediate family. The force is currently 3,000 strong. Prime Minister Modi is the only one under SPG cover now. 

    The SPG is highly trained in physical efficiency, marksmanship, combat and proximate protection tactics and is assisted by all central and state agencies to ensure foolproof security. SPG Special Agents assigned to the PM security detail wear black, Western-style formal business suits, with sunglasses, and carry a two-way encrypted communication earpiece, and concealed handguns. Read more

    11:55 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    Home Minister Amit Shah to address Rajya Sabha today

    Home Minister Amit Shah to address Rajya Sabha today

    11:42 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    Prakash Javadekar to speak on air pollution in Parliament

    Parliamentary panel on urban development will meet at 3 pm on air pollution in Delhi. This comes after many members were rapped for not showing up at the last pollution meet called on Friday. Union Minister Prakash Javadekar will also speak on the air pollution crisis in Parliament.

    11:41 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    Subramanian Swamy on withdrawal of SPG cover for Gandhi family

    Countering Sharma's argument, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said that the threat surrounding the Gandhi family disappeared with the end of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who were responsible for the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on 21 May 1991. "The second this is the attitude of the protectees towards those accused of the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. They have been asking for a reduction in the punishment."

    11:32 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    Nothing political in withdrawal of SPG cover: JP Nadda

    Responding to Congress leader Anand Sharma, BJP leader JP Nadda said, "There is nothing political, security hasn't been withdrawn. Home Ministry has a very set pattern & there is a protocol. It is not done by a politician, it is done by the Home Ministry and according to threat perception, the security is given & withdrawn. "

    11:06 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    Anand Sharma talks about withdrawal of SPG cover of Gandhi family

    Congress leader Anand Sharma raises the issue of withdrawal of SPG cover to Gandhi family and former prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. "All have been vulnerable to threats. It is the duty of the state to protect its leaders. When UPA was in office, the security cover of Dr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was not disturbed. We urge the government that issues of personal safety, lives politicians has to be beyond the partisan political considerations."

    11:03 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    BJD MP gives zero-hour notice in RS over 'increasing incidents of acid attack'

    Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP Prasanna Acharya has given zero-hour notice in Rajya Sabha over 'increasing incidents of acid attack.'

    10:57 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    Parliamentary panel meet on pollution today

    Parliamentary Meeting will be held today in Parliament House Annexe Extension building, over the issue of Delhi pollution and climate change. 

    10:36 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    Sonia Gandhi chairs Congress Lok Sabha MPs to meet to discuss Parliament strategy

    Congress interim president is charing a meeting of Lok Sabha MPs, to discuss Parliament strategy. The meeting is underway at the Congress Parliamentary party office in Parliament.

    10:07 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    Sharad Pawar to meet PM Modi today

    Ahead of a Congress-NCP meeting over government formation in Maharashtra, Sharad Pawar will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday to discuss the issue of farmers’ crisis in the state. The meeting will take place in Parliament today. Follow LIVE UPDATES here

    09:45 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    Congress gives suspension notice in Rajya Sabha over withdrawal of SPG cover to Gandhi family

    Congress has given a Suspension of Business Notice in Rajya Sabha under rule 267, over "withdrawal of Special Protection Group (SPG) cover of certain persons". Centre had downgraded the security cover for Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her children, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra, from Special Protection Group (SPG) to CRPF Z-plus. The three were under SPG cover since the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991. Two months ago, the government had similarly downgraded the security cover for Congress leader and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

    09:34 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    Lok Sabha panel to discuss Delhi pollution today

    A meeting of a parliamentary committee on the issue of air pollution in the national capital is scheduled for Wednesday. The last meeting, scheduled for November 15, was cancelled as most members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee of Urban Development and senior officials gave it a miss.

    Only four of the 29 members were present for the last meeting, including Chairman Jagdambika Pal (BJP) and three MPs — C R Patil (BJP), Sanjay Singh (AAP) and Hasnain Masoodi (National Conference). The absentees included East Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir, Digvijaya Singh, M J Akbar, Hema Malini, Ramcharan Bohra, Kalyan Banerjee, PC Mohan and S P Singh Baghel. According to sources, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla had taken a dim view of the absence of senior officials and told them to ensure that it was not repeated.

    09:13 (IST)20 Nov 2019
    Uniform of Rajya Sabha marshals: Why and how it was changed

    Uniform of Rajya Sabha marshals: Why and how it was changed

    On Monday, Rajya Sabha marshals appeared in a dark-coloured suit and a peak cap. Amid the criticism that followed from former Army officers and Opposition leaders, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu ordered a review of the new uniform on Tuesday.

    Rajya Sabha sources told The Indian Express that the marshals themselves had sought a change to a uniform that would be user-friendly, and have a modern look. There was unhappiness, according to the sources, among marshals as their existing uniform was the same as that of chamber attendants who are junior to them and assist MPs in the House.

    The new uniform resembles that worn by Army officers. Former Chief of the Army Staff Gen V P Malik tweeted: “Copying and wearing of military uniforms by non military personnel is illegal and a security hazard. I hope @VPSecretariat, @RajyaSabha & @rajnathsingh ji will take early action.”

    08:48 (IST)20 Nov 2019

    Welcome to The Indian Express' live blog on Parliament Winter Session. The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill and the Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill will be discussed in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha today respectively. Follow this space to track the latest on proceedings from both the Houses 

    Opposition protests adjournment, government reaches out to Congress JNU protest issue was raised in Lok Sabha

    Noisy scenes prevailed in Parliament Tuesday as Opposition raised Jammu and Kashmir issue in Rajya Sabha and the removal of SPG cover of the Gandhi family and the JNU protest in Lok Sabha.

    Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu adjourned the House in the morning after disallowing notices given by some Opposition members to suspend all business and discuss issues such as the JNU students’ protest and the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

    Soon after the House was adjourned till 2 pm, senior Opposition leaders including Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, Sharad Pawar, Anand Sharma, Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, Tiruchi Siva and Sanjay Singh met Naidu and conveyed their anguish over the adjournment without Opposition members getting a chance to raise issues of concern to them.

    Opposition leaders insisted on an informal mechanism between the government and the Opposition to address such issues. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi then met Azad and Sharma at the Leader of the Opposition’s chamber. Sources said Azad and Sharma emphasised the need to establish a regular informal dialogue between the Opposition and government to ensure better coordination.

    In Lok Sabha, raising the SPG issue during Zero Hour, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, “There is a threat to the lives of our leaders.” Chowdhury, who had given a notice on the issue, said that the Gandhi family was given SPG security from 1991 to 2019, and two earlier NDA governments had not removed it. Later, the Congress members staged a walkout.

    Raising the issue of police action on protesting JNU students, BSP’s Danish Ali demanded an inquiry into the incident and an apology from the government.

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