COVID-19 forces Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha to consider options, Parliament monsoon session likely in September
Tuesday, 18 August 2020 After much brainstorming, Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha are on their way to finalising the modalities to ensure that the monsoon session of Parliament, which has already got delayed, is held at the earliest while following the protocol for Covid-19. Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla met on July 17 to discuss the options.
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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The Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad met President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan on September 23. Congress leader provided representation to President about farm bills claiming them to be passed in Upper House 'unconstitutionally'. Speaking to media, Ghulam Nabi Azad said, "There was no division of votes, no voice voting. Constitution was undermined in the temple of democracy." "We have given a representation to President that Farm Bills have been passed unconstitutionally and he should return these bills," he added.
Rajya Sabha passed the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020 on September 23. Lok Sabha had passed the bill on September 21. Minister of State MHA Nityanand Rai in Rajya Sabha said that the bill is a law to ensure national and internal security. Rai said, "The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020 is a law for the national and internal security. Its main motive is to ensure that foreign funds don't dominate the political and social discourse of India." MoS MHA further said, "Experience says that many organizations attempted to hide their identity and were successful in doing that. The reason behind this is that they had no fear because their identity wasn't established completely. So Aadhaar card has been brought in to establish their identity."
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."
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.
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.
Minister of State Railways Suresh Angadi dies due to Covid-19 on Wednesday aged 65. Tributes started pouring in after Angadi’s death. Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Angadi an “exceptional karyakarta” of the party. Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh called Angadi a “seasoned Parliamentarian”. Angadi was admitted to AIIMS in New Delhi after getting infected. The minister had urged those who came in his contact to get themselves tested. Anadi was seen as an influential BJP leader from the Mumbai-Karnataka region. Watch the full video for more details.
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The Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi passed away at Delhi's AIIMS on September 23. As per AIIMS top official, he tested positive for COVID-19. Speaking to media, BJP National President, JP Nadda said, "It is really a matter of pain for all of us. His soul will rest in peace. It is unfortunate that one of our senior leaders Angadi Ji passed away today." "Throughout his life, he worked for the welfare of people. I pray to the almighty to give strength to his family so that they can overcome this grief," he added. Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal added, "Words fail me at this time, he was an absolutely wonderful human being. It is a deep personal loss for me. He was elder to me and he always guided and supported me. Under his leadership, Indian Railways was taking many new dimensions."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level virtual meeting with Chief Ministers and Health Ministers of seven COVID-19 high burden (States/UT Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Punjab) to review response and management. While addressing in the meeting, PM Modi said, "There are more than 700 districts in the country but only 60 districts in 7 states are a cause of worry." "I suggest CMs to hold virtual conference with people at district/block level for 7 days. We have to learn from the best practices from across the states," PM Modi added.
Uttarakhand Congress President Pritam Singh on September 23 arrived at the state legislative assembly on a tractor as a mark to protest against the new agriculture reforms. The one-day monsoon session..
Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh broke his one-day fast against the ruckus in Rajya Sabha on Sunday during the passage of the contentious agriculture bills. Eight MPs from different..
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