Parliament Updates: Congress MP Preneet Kaur slams govt over defence budget. Stating that the 10 percent increase in defence budget will be meaningless due to inflation, Kaur said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has failed to address the needs of India’s defence forces.
BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh’s Kaushambi praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship initiative of the Swachch Bharat Abhiyan. “Naamdar log (dynasts) don’t know the value of the toilets (made under Swachch Bharat Abhiyan).
“When a woman is newly married, she is only worried about where she can use the toilet. Modi has given such women the opportunity to live with dignity,” he said.
The Rajya Sabha stands adjourned till 11 am on Wednesday as protests from Opposition MPs refused to let the debate proceedings in the House continue after repeated adjournments. The Upper House was meant to debate on the Union Budget which was presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
The Chairman made repeated attempts to bring order to the House, but to no avail. “I urge you to go back to your seats, the Budget is a very important topic,” he said, adding that Congress leader Chidambaram was going to weigh in on the topic in the session. “Chidambaramji has been the finance minister in the past, he will have very important inputs on the topic, I urge you to let him speak,” he said to the protesting MPs.
He added, “What message are you sending out by protesting like this in the well of the Rajya Sabha, when we are supposed to debate on the Budget?”
The political crisis surrounding the Congress-JD(S) coalition government in Karnataka continues to unfold as the parties struggle to resolve the issues, however, ruckus caused by the main Opposition party, Congress, in the Rajya Sabha disrupted proceedings of the House resulting in almost no business being conducted on Tuesday.
The House was adjourned till 2 pm immediately after the MPs assembled at 12 pm due to continued sloganeering against the ruling BJP, as the Congress blamed the saffron party for “poaching politics” in Karnataka. The Congress MPs also trooped into the well during the protest.
“We are completing our responsibility as the Opposition by questioning the government, says Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, after being admonished by Speaker Om Birla on sloganeering. “Arun Jaitley used to say that disruption is a legitimate weapon,” he said.
He also brings up the political crisis unfolding in Karnataka and says that “elected governments” in states are being “threatened”. “Poaching politics should be stopped!,” Chowdhury said.
Congress MPs then staged a walk-out from the Lower House.
Supriya Sule asks how the government will reduce the cost of cultivation for farmers and reduce farmers’ suicides. “Though it is a State subject, what intervention is the Centre planning,” she asks. A member asks about the waiving off farm loans. Minister says that it is not necessary to politicise farmers’ suicides.
In Rajya Sabha, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan moves a motion for election to All India Institute of Medical Sciences in several cities across the country.
A member of the House tries to raise a matter for discussion, which was already brought up. “We are scheduled to discuss the budget today, you cannot bring this up without permission,” says Chairman Venkaiah Naidu.” Members troop into the Well of the House. Naidu adjourns the House for an hour.
Parliament session will commence at 11 am today. In Rajya Sabha, Prahalad Singh Patel of Ministry of Culture; Raj Kumar Singh of Ministry of Power; ashwini kumar choubey for Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; Anurag Singh Thakur for Ministry of Finance, will be laying papers on the table.
In Lok Sabha, Question Hour will pertain to the following ministries: Agriculture and Farmers Welfare; Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries; Chemicals and Fertilizers; Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution; Food Processing Industries; Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises; Home Affairs; Panchayati Raj; Rural Development; Social Justice and Empowerment.
On Monday, the Rajya Sabha passed the Aadhaar Amendment Bill which allows the voluntary use of Aadhaar as proof of identity to open bank accounts and get mobile phone connection.
The Bill, which was passed by the Rajya Sabha by a voice vote, also provides for a Rs 1 crore penalty and a jail term for private entities violating provisions on Aadhaar data. The amendments provide for use of Aadhaar number for KYC authentication on a voluntary basis under the Telegraph Act, 1885, and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002. The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019, was passed by the Lok Sabha on 4 July.
Meanwhile, in the Lok Sabha, a Bill seeking an amendment to the existing Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) to allow an individual suspected to have terror links to be designated as a ‘terrorist’ was introduced and termed draconian by the Opposition. As of now, only organisations are designated as ‘terrorist organisations’.
Opposing the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, NK Premchandran (RSP) claimed that in the name of tackling terror, fundamental rights of an individual cannot be foregone, while Shashi Tharoor called the bill “hastily brought”.
Another Bill seeking to further strengthen the National Investigation Agency (NIA) by giving it powers to probe terror attacks targeting Indians and Indian interests on foreign soil was also introduced in the Lower House. The legislation will also allow the NIA probe cyber crimes and cases of human trafficking. Tharoor alleged that the Bill was “not based on logic”, was “piecemeal” legislation and does not insulate the NIA from political interference, he said.
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