Home Minister Amit Shah will introduce the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2019. This is Mr. Shah’s first legislative business in the Parliament following the 2019 general elections and his subsequent appointment as a Cabinet Minister. The Minister will also speak on reasons for the ‘immediate’ passing of the Bill which was earlier introduced as an ordinance.
Rajya Sabha will discuss the Motion of Thanks to the Presidential Address.
Here are the updates:
“It appears from the figures given in the reply that domestic production of coal in the country is declining whereas supply of imported coal is rising, despite steps claimed to have been taken by the government,” says TMC MP Sukhendu Sekhar Ray.
He asks what the reasons for this decline in production are.
Pralhad Joshi, Minister of Coal says that coal production has considerably increased when CAGR (Compunded Average Growth rate) figures are considered. But because of overall growth of economy, demand has also increased.
Mr. Ray next asks if any action plan has been charted by Coal India limited in consultation with the coal producing States to stop illegal mining of coal.
To this, Mr. Joshi says that since law and order is a State government issue, the State governments should also take action.
Digvijay Singh asks how many greenfield projects have begun production of coal.
Answering a question by Rewati Raman Singh on the success of the Ganga river clean-up drive, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Minister of Jal Shakti said that the process of cleaning the river is a continuous one and the effect of the National Mission for Clean Ganga, started in 2015, is being experienced by pilgrims who visit the river.
Continuing with the Motion of Thanks to President’s Address, Minister Pratap Chandra Sarangi says:
“We have shown the majesty of our nation, shown our power to our neighbours under the leadership of PM Modi. Under which other leader could something like Balakot strikes be carried out? Who else could have gotten Wing Cmdr Abhinandan back so soon? And yet, why do you hesitate to appreciate that?,” asks Mr. Sarangi.
“To accept that your father as such, do you need DNA test from your mother,” asks the Minister, as ruling party members thump the desks in mirth. Do people who refuse to accept Vande Matharam have a right to live in India? They do not care about our country, he adds.
On India’s international image
He also points out that the image of India has gotten a boost under PM Modi’s leadeship, cites the awards Mr. Modi has been conferred with, including the one known as UN’s highest environmental honour. When the Opposition protests, he says “do you not feel pride for the achievements of your country? What a sad life you have, if that is not so.”
‘Bharat mata above everything else’
Support our government, or you know what the citizens will do, Mr. Sarangi says to the Opposition.
“We want to take everyone along with us in this journey to make a better nation, regardless of party or religion, but if any one stands against the Bharat Mata, they will not be forgiven. Bharat mata is above everything else. This nation was divided once because of a mistake, we will not let that happen again. The tukde tukde gang will not be tolerated here,” says Mr. Sarangi, winding up his speech.
The Deputy Chairman presides over the Question Hour in the Upper House.
On Defence budget
Deputy Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Anand Sharma asks if the Defence Minister will assure the House that the requirements of the armed forces for capital acquisition will be fully met to which Rajnath Singh, Minister of Defence, reiterates that he will not compromise of the defence preparedness at any cost.
To a question by DMK’s T.K.S. Elangovan on modernisation of defence equipment, the Minister answers that necessary steps are being taken.
Minister Pratap Chandra Sarangi continues with the Motion of Thanks to President’s Address
Our Prime Minister does unprecedented work, but our Opposition never appreciates them, says the BJP MP from Odisha.
“I remember former PM Vajpayee had praised former PM Indira Gandhi whenever she had done good work. This too is an intergral duty of the Opposition. But our current Opposition never does that – why, I wonder,” he says.
Also read: Who is Pratap Chandra Sarangi?
Mr. Sarangi says that our Opposition has not understood even now that the people do not like dynastic entitlement. When will you realise this, he asks, adding maybe it because life, that is a drama by God, needs both good and evil for it to be interesting.
PM Modi laughs, as Mr. Sarangi narrates a story about Lord Rama to illustrate his point.
Ask Modi for forgiveness: Sarangi tells Congress
Mr. Sarangi taunts Congress on their loss in the election, says they were not even able to form an Opposition leader. Smriti Irani chased former party chief Rahul Gandhi from his comfortable seat in Amethi – made him run till Kerala, says the Minister as Opposition fumes.
“At least start introspecting now,” he says, adding that they should ask PM Modi for forgiveness.
MP from Tamil Nadu Dr. V. Maitreyan stresses the urgent need to release funds to Tamil Nadu by the Centre to reduce its burden of revenue deficit.
“The Union government has to pay over Rs. 13,000 crore to TN under various heads such as mandatory devolution of funds to local bodies, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, IGST and GST compensation…,” he says.
Ghaggar river clean-up
Speaking about the pollution of the Ghaggar river, Sardar Balwinder Singh Bhunder asks for the pollution control board to pay attention to its clean-up. The Ghaggar originates in Himachal Pradesh and passes through Haryana and Punjab, ending in Rajasthan.
The NEET exam has deprived students from economically weaker sections, says Tiruchi Diva.
“The 6 lakh students who have passed the exams, have been successful because they have gone to coaching centres. Five students have committed suicide in Tamil Nadu because of their performance in the NEET exam,” he says.
He asks the government to expedite the process of bringing the two Bills, passed by TN seeking exemption of the State from NEET, in front of the President.
Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal seeks permission to introduce The Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Bill, 2019, and is granted it. He lays on table an explanatory statement showing reasons for immediate legislation by promulgation of the Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019.
Motion of Thanks to President’s Address
Deeply grateful to President for his Motion of Thanks, says Minister Pratap Chandra Sarangi. He is a BJP MP from Odisha. He thanks PM Modi and Speaker for providing him, a first-timer, an opportunity to deliver this speech.
As Mr. Sarangi goes on to praise PM Modi multiple times, opposition heckle and ruling party members heckle back.
Never heard of Skill Development in 10 years of UPA rule and 55 years of Congress rule, says Mr. Sarangi. But PM Modi brought it to the backward areas of Odisha that I come from.
Mr. Sarangi pauses to sings a poem. More chaos as he refers to corruption scandals, “Accidental Prime Minister” and such. He goes on to call Congress anti-women, anti-poor, anti-development and such.
Mr. Sarangi continues: People have voted for BJP which does what it says, and says only what it can do. Our PM says, don’t call me the Prime Minister, I am your Pradhan Sevak. We coined a term too, considering this “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas”.
Motions for elections to committees are being moved now.
Moving on to Legislative business, permission sought from to introduce Bills, including The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2019 by Home Minister Amit Shah.
PM Narendra Modi is in the House.
When Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad rises to reintroduce The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019, MP N.K. Premachandran says that reintroducing Aadhaar Bill would be a violation of the historic Supreme Court judgment on the right to privacy. The Bill will allow private entities to hold the Aadhaar data which the SC has explicity opposed. He says he strongly opposes the introduction of the Bill and suggests the govt to bring in the Personal Data Protection Bill.
Law Minister responds to this, says Aadhaar is in the national interest. He goes on to say that the people have accepted Aadhaar, I can’t satisfy Premachandran if he feels otherwise.
Speaker allows the introduction of the Bill after division.
BJP MP Shwait Malik says 20,000 cases of cheque-bounce, which have huge social ramifications for the victim, are pending in the courts. He asks the Finance Ministry to legislate stringent laws against this offence.
Anil Desai of the Shiv Sena gets a special mention. He brings up the issue of deportation of illegal Rohingya Muslims, calling them a security threat and compares the situation to the exodus of “lakhs of Bangladeshi Muslims into India.”
Dr. Pritam Munde, BJP MP from Maharashtra, asks on the New Education Policy.
Will the New Education Policy’s three-language proposal have space for Urdu, along with English and Hindi?
HRD Minister Dr. Ramesh Pokriyal responds, saying that that the Kasturi Rangan Committee was constituted 2 years ago to discuss this. No other issue has been debated as hotly as this particular policy has been, says the Minister as other MPs try to interrupt him. All Indian languages will be respected, because I believe that will strengthen our nation. Urdu, Tamil and every other language will be accorded full respect, he says.
Asaduddin Owaisi, President of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, responds to this, heatedly:
The answer given by the Minister is not to the point – the question asked was are you going to be make Hindi compulsoruy. Is the Minister aware of his own policy?, asks Mr. Owaisi.
The Minister replies that this is just a draft. Please read it and give suggestions – it is not a law, there is no need to get worked up.
Chaos ensue, even as Speaker says that the issue will be discussed during a designated time later, if required.
Question hour ends.
About repatriation of artefacts:
DMK MP Kanimozhi says that many idols in TN have been stolen, but since there is no record on what was available in the first place, the lists may be incomplete.
When the temples are reopened after many years, we are not able to understand what is available and what is not because of lack of record – what is the govt during with regard to this, asks Ms. Kanimozhi.
To this, MoS of Culture Prahlad Singh Patel responds saying that the temples have trusts which are under State govts, so they should have a record of it.
Lighter moment in the Upper House as Chairman tells the newly elected Members to learn how to conduct themselves from 91-year-old Motilal Vora, ex-Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh.
Mr. Vora raises the issue of pendency of cases in the judiciary and legal reforms.
Dr. Kirodi Lal Meena requests the Central government and the National Green Tribunal to take notice of the numerous deaths that occur every year in Rajasthan due to contaminated drinking water and seeks a remedy for the problem.
On BSNL woes
“…PSUs MTNL and BSNL are going to be shut down by the wrong policies of the government,” says Ripun Bora and that salaries of 45,000 employees of MTNL and 1,74,312 employees of BSNL haven’t been paid regularly for months now. He blames this on private companies being allowed to operate 4G and 5G spectrums, while these PSUs are still operating on 3G. He suggests the goverment bail out these PSUs with a recapitalisation package.
On the EPF-based questions:
West Bengal’s Saugata Roy (AITC) says that the wants a declaration on how much the pension will be increased from the current ₹1,000 and when?
The Minister replies to this with an explanation on the additional amount that will be required if the pension is increased by ₹1,500 as suggested, and says that the House will discuss whether this is possible.
In both Houses, Ministers lay Paper and Questions on the table.
In Lok Sabha, many questions pertain to GST, and is being answered by MoS Finance Anurag Thakur.
In Rajya Sabha, the paper being laid on table include ‘Status of Unaccounted Income /Wealth both Inside and Outside the Country – A Critical Analysis (A Preliminary Report)’ and ‘Rationalisation of Creamy Layer in Employment for OBCs in Services and Posts under the control of Government of India including Union Territories, PSUs etc.’
No EVM, bring back ballot paper: TMC MPs
TMC MPs are holding a sit-in in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue on the Parliament’s premises, demanding election be held by ballot paper 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, 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 electronic voting machines (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.
List of business
– Home Minister Amit Shah is set to introduce the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2019, meant to amend the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004.
– Information and Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad is set to introduce The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019, a Bill to amend the Aadhaar Act, 2016 and further to amend the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 and the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002.
– Railways and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal will introduce the Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
– Will discuss Motion of Thanks to the Presidential Address.
Meenakshi Lekhi pens debut novel, to release on July 8
BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi has written her debut novel, which talks of undercurrents of Delhi’s political landscape and attempts to lay bare what is influencing the course of the nation’s political trajectory.
The New Delhi Conspiracy, co-authored with Krishna Kumar and published by HarperCollins India, is slated for release on July 8.
According to the publishers, the book, which is set amid the current sociopolitical context, has an unusual storyline, full of intrigue and adventure that shifts from Hong Kong to Delhi.
Speaking about her book, Ms. Lekhi says: “This is my first foray into writing fiction and I’m very excited about it. Fiction is a format that reaches a much wider readership, and with my busy work schedule, collaboration was the natural direction to take for the book. I’m happy that, with Krishna as my co-author, it has truly shaped up the way that I wanted it to.”
Ms. Lekhi, a Lok Sabha member from Delhi and a Supreme Court lawyer, says she’s a little restive to see how her book is received by the reader.
Live: Parliament proceedings | Amit Shah to present his first Bill in Parliament – The Hindu