A day after the Rajya Sabha passed the SEZ (Amendment) Bill, and the Lok Sabha passed The Homeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, both Houses will reconvene to take up private Members business as it is a Friday.
Home Minister Amit Shah will also move a statutory resolution, extending the President’s rule under Article 356 in Jammu and Kashmir for six more months, from July 3, 2019.
Here are the updates:
AITC’s Pratima Mondal repeats the core points mentioned by those who spoke before her: Why elections were not conducted, why the blame game never ends, and such.
BJP-PDP coalition was an attempt to preserve democracy
Speaking on the issue, BJP MP Poonam Mahajan asks the Congress why is it that the Kashmiri Pandits were ousted from Jammu and Kashmir, even as the Congress patriarch proudly proclaimed his Kashmiri Pandit identity. She says that the Modi government is working to rehabilitate the Kashmiri Pandits, and blames Congress’ appeasement politics for the inability of Kashmiri youth to come back to the mainstream.
“As many as 30,000 Kashmiri youth have been trained as part of Udaan programme. Around 18,000 of them have obtained placement,” she says, adding that Amit Shah was the first one to go to Srinagar after Sardar Vallabhai Patel.
Responding to the criticism on the BJP-PDP coalition, Ms. Mahajan says that even though they were ideologically incompatible, it was an attempt to preserve democracy.
“This Reservation Bill will integrate the youth to the mainstream. Insaniyat, jamhooriyat, Kashmiriyat is a priority of the Modi government,” she adds.
On the J&K reservation Bill
Congress MP Manish Tewari too speaks opposing the President’s rule and Amendment Bill.
“In 1996, National Conference government was formed which continued till 2002. The PDP- Congress government was formed in 2002. From 2005 to 2008, terrorism reduced in Kashmir. The atmosphere of fear was relieved by Manmohan Singh’s government. I cite this history because in 2014, when the BJP government was formed, a stable and progressive region had been passed on to them,” says Mr. Tewari.
“The BJP-PDP government was an alliance of ideologically incompatible people. If we are having to extend the President’s rule now, it is because of that alliance,” he adds.
“Where terrorism is concerned, I am completely in agreement with the BJP. But the battle against terrorism can only be won if the people support you,” says the Congress MP adding that if a democratically elected government operates in Jammu and Kashmir, terrorism and separatism can be fought better.
‘Why no simultaneous elections?’
Mr. Tewari continues: “Why did simultaneous elections not happen in Jammu and Kashmir? The challenge from Pakistan is never going to end. We need to build consensus on that matter. It is important that the people of Jammu and Kashmir not be alienated. The greatest mistake made by the BJP government is that they have alienated the people of Jammu and Kashmir who need to be reintegrated now, for which, the government may now have to walk extra miles.”
Repeating Mr. Premachandran’s stance that he does not oppose the spirit of the Bill, Mr. Tewari says taht it would have been better if Vidhan Sabha elections happened in the State.
“We understand the condition of people on LOC and international borders; we do not oppose their getting reservation, but we oppose the way in which such reservation is given,” he says adding that if the BJP continues to look at Jammu and Kashmir with “ideological blinkers”, the problem will never be solved.
Land for railway stations
In the Upper House, Railways and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal is answering the questions with regard to acquisition of land for railway stations, Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor project, etc. Mr. Goyal clarifies that the land acquisition is done by State government, not Central government, and hence he cannot conclusively answer some of the questions asked.
On reports about midday meals
An MP draws Food Minister’s attention to the reports against Akshaya Pathra. “For the midday meals, the organisation is not providing basic items like milk and onion. Is the government looking into this?,” he asks.
The question was clubbed with two other questions – Minister Ram Vilas Paswan answers the previous two questions and does not answer this question.
Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2.30 p.m.
On President’s rule in Kashmir
Home Minister Amit Shah rises to move that a resolution be passed to extend President’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir by six months. On November 21, 2018, horse trading was exposed and the State Governor decided to shut down the Vidhan Sabha.
Mr. Shah says that the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution Section 5 and 9 (on reservation) should get some additions. When there is shelling, schools close and children have to stay in shelter homes. Along the Line of Control, people should also get reservations. The villages on international borders too should come under this.
Opposing the resolution, MP N.K. Premachandran says that while he fully supports the Bill, he is opposed to the government taking the ordinance route to pass it.
“When we say Kashmir is a part of India, we are trying to protect only the territory but never the people. It is only seen as a territory issue. Our attitude needs to change to win the confidence of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he says. The PDP-BJP coalition has failed miserably to win the confidence of the people, he adds.
The J&K reservation amendment Bill is a long-pending demand, says Mr. Premachandran. “The Ordinance was passed only in March, not in the past five years [when the BJP was in power] – this has been done only for political gains,” he says.
Mr. Premachandran also reminds the House that when BJP withdrew support from PDP-BJP coalition, Congress and other parties had extended support to PDP, but the opportunity to form an alternative government was not given by the Governor. “Unilateral dissolution of the Assembly was arbitrary and undemocratic, ” he says.
‘Why no security for Assembly elections?’
Continuing his opposition to the resolution, MP Premachandran points out that since the Parliamentary elections were conducted smoothly in the State, the Election Commission should not cite security concerns as a reason for not holding the Assembly elections.
“If security can be provided for Parliament elections, why can’t the same security be provided for Assembly elections?,” he asks. If you impose the President’s rule, the Assembly elections cannot be conducted for another 6 months – ‘security reason’ is not sufficient to postpone the assembly elections so long, he adds.
Question Hour begins.
On housing for poor people
Satyanarayan Jatiya wants to know the numbers of the PM Awas Yojana. He also wants to know how many houses are yet to be built. Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti lists the government’s targets. Vijay Goel says that no houses have been allotted in Delhi. Minister Narendra Singh Tomar says that funds were relased and houses were also built. He wants the State to ensure that houses are allotted soon.
On TRI-NETRA system for trains
A Member asks what other new technologies have been introduced in the Railways. He also wants to know about the number of train robberies. MoS Railways Suresh Angadi says that these details can be provided later.
Sanjay Singh of the AAP asks about people who died on trains. Mr. Angadi says information can be given to the Member.
Binoy Viswam of the CPI says that there is water shortage on trains. Minister Piyush Goyal says that the government has taken a policy decision to change the system to high-pressure pumping for tanks.
On empanelment of hospitals under Ayushman Bharat
Dushyant Singh asks if Ayushman Bharat will be completely implemented in Rajasthan? It has not happened so far, he says. Mr. Choubey says that Rajasthan government is one of the 33 governments to have signed MoUs. Punjab is another of them. In July they will implement it, they have assured, says the Minister.
On cases of H1N1 virus
A Member asks if the government will strengthen the public health system in India. The outbreak of AES claimed 150 lives in Bihar, he says. Nipah virus struck panic in Kerala but was controlled by a strong public health system. Mr. Choubey says that in 2019, when cases of H1N1 were reported, entire State was alerted. In Kerala, Nipah was contained in 15 days. AIIMS doctors, reputed doctors in Bihar have all been engaged to fight AES, says the Minister.
Adoor Prakash Sampath says thet Kerala is vulnerable to viral diseases. Will the government set up virology institutes in the State, he asks. The Minister says that there are no such plans yet.
On impact of air pollution on life expectancy
One out of every seven deaths in India is attributable to air pollution, says Suresh Kodikunnil. He asks if the government is aware of this. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar says that the government is aware. Vehicle pollution has to be contained immediately, he says. We are giving out clean fuel in Delhi from this year and entire country from next year. The peripheral highways have been built completely in 4 years. 60,000 vehicles now don’t have to come to Delhi to pass through. Bhagalpur thermal power plant has been closed. 5 State coordination committees have been created. All polluting indistries now have online monitors. Emmission level reports have to be submitted by them every 15 minutes.
The Minister says that air pollution is a global problem, not restricted to India. We are part of the global solution. PM 2.5 which causes the problem has been reduced by 15% in the last 3 years. In Delhi, the problem started from 2007 but has been addressed only in 2014.
Surendra Singh Nahar of the SP says that crimes against Dalit women are increasing.
Derek O’Brien of the Trinamool Congress speaks in Bengali about Vande Mataram, and its writer Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, whose birth anniversary is coming up soon. The Member wants a statue of the poet in Parliament House.
The AIADMK’s Vijila Sathyananth speaks about the merging of BSNL’s Tirunelveli telecom district with the Nagercoil telecom district.
Special Mentions are up now. Satyanarayan Jatiya speaks about river-linking. A.K. Selvaraj speaks on devolution to States under the Finance Commission. Sanjay Seth speaks about judge vacancies and empty courtrooms.
Chair says that the discussions over the last two days on the water crisis and climate change made people happy and improved the image of the House. The Vice President also asks what should be done about 33 Bills pending in Rajya Sabha.
Hemant Godse says the most innovative countries like US blend research and training. Our institutions have been slow in building teaching capacity, he says. Is the govt planning to expand NCL, DRDO and ISRO into research institutions, he asks. Minister says there is a Rashtriya post-doctoral fellowship. “We give 135,000 student loans. Startup India is being expanded.”
Satyapal Singh says that global surveys say around 82% of world discoveries have been made by young scientists. “Most of our funds are for senior scientists. Is the govt planning to reserve 50% for young scientists?”
Mr. Choubey responds thar 37% of scientists below the age of 45 get funding from some organisations.
Manoj Kumar Tiwari says that in Delhi, Ayushmann Yojana has been stopped by Delhi government. “Hence Delhi has fallen in health index. Is the Central government taking any step to implementing Ayushman Bharat in Delhi?” Mr. Choubey says that on September 23, Ayushman Bharat was implemented. 11 crore families out of which over 50 crore fall within its ambit are being benefited, he says.
BJP Member Ram Vichar Netam rises to speak about naxalism in Chhattisgarh. He says two common people were killed and called Naxalites. Chair interrupts him and says that while the topic he has given notice on is important, but he shouldn’t use the platform to politicise it. Chair also adds that this should be discussed by both sides. He says Zero Hour is to highlight the issue and not have politicial arguments.
Navaneethakrishnan of the AIADMK brings up the Cauvery issue and the Mekedatu dam. He says the Karnataka government has applied for environmental clearance. The dam cannot be constructed without the consent of Tamil Nadu, he says. He urges the Prime Minister to intervene and see to that no clearance will be granted to Karnataka.
B.K. Hariprasad of the Congress says there needs to be positive cow protection scheme, as there is a milk shortage.
Rupa Ganguly, a nominated Member, says that criminal activities are flourishing in border States. She wants subjects on the State list to be shared by the Union government if the State is not fulfilling it properly.
Subsidy is not a right but a facilitation given by the government, says the Minister. Any application where a company gives flawed information is struck down immediately, she says, adding that every joint inspection committee will release subsidy within the first seven days of application provided the claims are not false. “At my level, I meet industry representatives from Tirupur and Coimbatore every week. Any segment of textile where employment can be generated is currently under study.”
On Young Scientist Research Programme
Lallu Singh of the BJP says that women’s participation in the field of science is very little. Mr. Choubey says that under this government they have programmes even for the youth who have gone abroad.
House reconvenes. Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu is in the Chair.
Mos for Parliamentary Affairs V. Muraleedharan reads out the government business for next week. Zero Hour begins after this.
Congress Member Ronald Sapa Tlau says lack of air connectivity in his State (Mizoram) hampers tourism opportunities. He wants more flights and reduce high rates.
Shanta Chhetri of the Trinamool Congress wants more opportunities to be given to senior citizens in the country.
Manoj Kumar Jha of the RJD wants to draw the House’s attention to the plight of ad-hoc teachers in universities.
Independent Member M.P. Veerendra Kumar speaks about people in Wayanad facing the threat of eviction because of their inability to repay loans from banks. He says publishing pictures, names and addresses of common people has led to suicides.
House is in session. Speaker Om Birla is in the Chair.
Question Hour begins.
On earthquake resistant buildings
Ashok Mahadeorao Nete of the BJP asks what the government has done after the Gujarat earthquake of 2001. Mos for Health and Family Welfare Ashwini Kumar Choubey says that steps were taken after that earthquake.
On schemes for development of knitting and knitwear sector
Shiv Sena Member Shrirang Appa Barne asks what the production of knitwear is, and what government has done to improve it. Textiles Minister Smriti Irani says that production numbers vary from day to day.
List of business
– Statutory resolution on extending President’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir by six months.
– The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2019 to be moved by Home Minister Amit Shah for consideration and passing.
– The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 to be moved by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad for consideration and passing.
Private Members’ business
– Resolution on construction of canals through the Ken-Betwa river-linking project to overcome the problem of water scarcity and stray cows in the Bundelkhand region by Kunwar Pushpendra Singh.
– Resolution on formulation of more effective schemes for the welfare of small and marginal farmers of the Bundelkhand region in the State of Uttar Pradesh by Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma.
– Resolution on implementation of a stringent population control policy by Shrirang Appa Barne.
– Resolution on immediate steps to provide direct air connectivity between Gopalganj and New Delhi by making the Saveya Airport, Gopalganj in the State of Bihar functional by Alok Kumar Suman.
– Government business for the next week to be tabled.
Private Members’ business
– Resolution on ending manual scavenging by Manoj Kumar Jha.
– Resolution to remove the constraint of maximum age limit for joining government service by Chhaya Verma.
– Resolution on finding a solution for the agrarian crisis by Vijay Pal Singh Tomar.
– Resolution on formulating and implementing a stringent population control plan by Harnath Singh Yadav.
Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar not doing his job, says Jairam Ramesh
The debate on climate change in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday got heated when Congress MP Jairam Ramesh hit out at Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, saying that an Environment Minister’s “job is not to clear projects, it is to protect environment”.
“My basic question [is] — how can you be serious on climate change if you are going to [be] liberalising all your environmental policies, you are weakening Forest Conservation Act, neglecting the Forest Rights Act, you are liberalising [the] Coastal Regulation Zone…” Mr. Ramesh, who was Environment Minister in the United Progressive Alliance regime between 2009 and 2011, said during the debate.
No plan to phase out AN-32 aircraft: Rajnath
The AN-32 aircraft is the workhorse of the IAF transport fleet and has not met with frequent accidents, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has said.
“A part of the AN-32 fleet has been upgraded with better avionics and airframe reinforcement. The remaining aircraft are planned to be upgraded in a phased manner. There is no plan to phase out AN-32 aircraft presently as they have useful residual life,” Mr. Singh said in a written reply in Parliament on Wednesday.
Parliament proceedings live: If Parliamentary elections can be conducted safely in J&K, why not Assembly elections, asks Premachandran – The Hindu