RS Chairman, LS Speaker explore options to conduct monsoon session of Parliament
Monday, 20 July 2020 Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla discussed on Monday the possibility of accommodating MPs in both the Houses during a session to ensure physical distancing among members, sources said.
Nation on Thursday remembered former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam on his 89th birth anniversary. Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to Kalam and said his life journey gives strength to millions. Taking to Twitter, PM Modi shared a video of his laudatory references to Kalam in past. President Ram Nath Kovind paid floral tribute to the former President at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Vice president Venkaiah Naidu also remembered Dr Abdul Kalam on his birth anniversary. Naidu recalled his words that dreams transform into thoughts and thoughts result in action. Born in 1931 in Tamil Nadu's Rameshwaram, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam was an aerospace scientist. Kalam had worked with India's two major space research organisations - DRDO and ISRO. India's 11th president, Kalam was awarded the highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna. The former president passed away on July 27, 2015, due to cardiac arrest.
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Vice President Venkaiah Naidu tested positive for the novel coronavirus on September 29. He took to Twitter to inform the news of being tested positive. Venkaiah Naidu has been advised home-quarantine. His wife Usha Naidu has been tested negative and is in self-isolation.
Chairman of the Rajya Sabha M Venkaiah Naidu on September 23 said that suspension of the members has taken place due to their conduct. "I am not happy about the suspension of the members. The action has been taken on their conduct. We have nothing against any member," said Naidu after eight Rajya Sabha MPs suspended for their 'unruly behaviour' in the Rajya Sabha.
JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar said he has no interest in what someone is saying about him. In a jibe at LJP, Kumar said "Ram Vilas Paswan is unwell. We want him to recover. Has Ram Vilas Paswan been elected to Rajya Sabha without the support of JDU? BJP and JDU gave him the ticket." The ruling NDA in Bihar on Tuesday announced its seat-sharing formula for the assembly elections under which JD(U) will contest on 122 seats and BJP 121 out of a total of 243 seats. BJP backed Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's leadership to the hilt and rebuffed LJP chief Chirag Paswan who has raised a banner of revolt. At a joint press conference of the top leadership of the JD (U) and the BJP, where Kumar who heads the former was also present, it was declared that the two partners have clinched a deal where both will have an almost equal share of the pie.
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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, ahead of state assembly elections announced the seat-sharing of NDA in a press conference on October 06. During the press conference, when questioned about LJP, Nitish Kumar said that BJP-JD(U) gave Ram Vilas Paswan the ticket to Rajya Sabha as LJP had only two seats. Kumar said, "Ram Vilas Paswan is unwell. We want him to recover. Did he reach Rajya Sabha without JDU's help? How many seats do they have in Bihar Vidhan Sabha? Two. So, BJP-JD(U) gave him ticket to RS. What do we have to do with what someone says?"
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on September 14 informed about the Monsoon Session, which has started from today. He said, "Around 400 MPs were present during the session today. Eight bills were introduced and two bills were passed." On September 13, Birla inspected the arrangements made at the Parliament and premises in wake of COVID-19 pandemic.
In wake of COVID-19 pandemic, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla inspected the arrangements made at the Parliament and its premises on September 13. The Monsoon Session of the Parliament will begin from September 14 (Monday). Meanwhile, the national capital has recorded over 28,000 active cases of coronavirus.
As the Parliament's monsoon session approaches, the Opposition is objecting to the cancellation of Question Hour for this sitting. Question Hour is when Members of Parliament get an opportunity to grill ministers on various governmental activities, policies, and decisions. The Opposition is calling this a bid to prevent accountability amid a pandemic and economic crisis. All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen party's Asaduddin Owaisi said that this was also a violation of the principle of separation of powers. He has written to the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Om Birla, that he has the power to restore the conduct of the Question Hour. However, the government has countered all criticism, claiming that almost all leaders of Opposition parties had agreed to cancellation of Question Hour during discussions. Parliament will hold the monsoon session from September 14 to October 1 with various new rules like shorter hours and sittings in shifts to ensure social distancing. Watch the full video for more.
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Speaking on the ongoing ruckus in the Rajya Sabha over contentious farm bills, Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Ramdas Athawale on September 22 said that they wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders to make a law for suspension of MPs who creates ruckus in the house. He said, "MPs should be suspended for a year not just for a session for their unlawful behaviour. Moreover, if they still behave like this then they should be suspended for the rest of their term. Such law should be formed in the house."
Congress Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad on September 22 said that the party will boycott Parliament sessions until the government will not accept their demands which is to bring another bill. Through the bill, opposition demanded for fixing MSP under formula recommended by Swaminathan Commission along with this, they also demanded that government agencies like FCI should not buy crops below MSP. Azad said, "We will boycott Parliament session until Government accepts our 3 demands, government to bring another bill under which no private player can purchase below MSP, MSP to be fixed under formula recommended by Swaminathan Commission and Government agencies like FCI shouldn't buy crops below MSP."
Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh brought morning tea for the suspended MPs who are protesting in the Parliament premises against their suspension from the upper house. The MPs were suspended by Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on September 21 for their 'unruly behaviour.' Congress MP Ripun Bora said, "Harivansh Ji said he came to meet us as a colleague and not as Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha. He also brought some tea and snacks for us." "No one from the government has come to enquire about us. Many Opposition leaders came to enquire about us and to show their solidarity with us," he added.
Indian National Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi intensified his attack on the Central government over the persisting tension with China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh. The Opposition leader was visiting his Lok Sabha constituency Wayanad in Kerala. He asked gathered reporters whether they had heard Prime Minister Narendra Modi mention China in his statements over the past couple of months. Gandhi said that forces of the neighbouring nation had occupied 1,200 sq km of Indian territory. Watch the full video for more.
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Facing flak for his "item" jibe about Madhya Pradesh minister Imarti Devi, state Congress chief Kamal Nath has expressed regret and claimed that he did not say anything disrespectful. While Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said earlier in the day that he did not appreciate the kind of language Nath used, Nath maintained that he would not apologise. Nath claimed the word "item' is used in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies, but the BJP tried to "mislead" by making it an issue to divert people's attention as it is sensing defeat in the November 3 bypolls in Madhya Pradesh.
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Sir Keir Starmer has said the worst thing Boris Johnson can do would be to“not act quickly and decisively enough”. He added: “Finally I want to say thisto the Prime Minister. I know that there will be some on his side who willoppose further restrictions, there will be those who look at the data and tellhim to disregard it or say the cost of acting now is too high. “I want to beclear – the worst thing the Prime Minister can do is not act quickly anddecisively enough, or to keep coming back to this House every couple of weekswith a new plan that doesn’t work and isn’t up to the scale of the task. “Weneed to break that cycle, finally get on top of the virus, rebuild publicconfidence. I hope the measures announced today will do so, but the House andthe country will be deeply sceptical whether they can.”
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The monsoon session of the Parliament, held under the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic, is ending earlier than planned amid a surge in infections. But rather than the unprecedented precautions and measures taken inside the two Houses, this session might be remembered for the fierce face-off between the treasury and Opposition benches, especially over the manner of passing of two controversial agricultural reform bills. The political clash caused by the fracas in the Rajya Sabha, the suspension of some Opposition MPs, the rejected motion against the Deputy Chairman, and the boycott of proceedings is now reaching the President of India's doorstep. Opposition parties are approaching the President, accusing the government of trampling on Parliamentary tradition while pushing through a number of legislations. Watch Hindustan Times senior editor Aditi Prasad decode the significance of this short, yet stormy Parliament session with deputy political editor Saubhadra Chatterji.
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Rajya Sabha MP V. Muraleedharan said that the House cannot function in the presence of non-members. "The suspended members have no right to be in the House. The House cannot function with the presence of non-members," said Muraleedharan. Meanwhile, Deputy Chairman Harivansh urged suspended MPs to not take part in the House proceedings. "I urge the members named by the Rajya Sabha Chairman to not take part in the House proceedings," said Harivansh.