A day after the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address was passed in the Lok Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks in the Rajya Sabha. Once again the Lok Sabha has skipped lunch to continue the proceedings.
In legislative business, the SEZ Amendment Bill and the Aadhaar Bill will be taken up for discussion and passing in the lower House.
Here are the updates:
“Karnataka capital, Bengaluru, has been in the news over the last few days for the wrong reason,” says Shobha Karanlaje, referring to the IMA Jewels investment scam. She blamed the JDS and the Congress for shielding owner Mansoor Ali Khan attracting a commotion in the House.
“I congratulate you on how you have forgotten your hunger pangs so that younger members get a chance to speak,” says Prof. Saugata Roy to Speaker Om Birla, who is sitting through the proceedings without breaking for lunch.
Speaking about the woes of fishermen in Maharashtra, Rahul Ramesh Shewale asks the government to waive loans for the fishermen.
Suresh Kodikunnil talks about the need for a revival package for the cashew industry.
“Massive tree plantation scheme of the government, which is close to your heart as well, is increasing the green cover in the country,” says Dr. Shrikant Eknath Shinde addressing the Speaker. He says forest fires caused due to human interference can be controlled if a Union law against such perpetrators is passed.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi says the BJP too once had just two MPs in the House. “We had faith in our karyakartas. We worked hard to reach here,” he says and adds we never questioned the election process.
Only those who have lost elections, blame the EVMs. This will only demoralise your cadre, the Prime Minister says.
There was a time when headlines of newspapers after polling day would highlight booth capturing. But thanks to EVMs, we talk about increasing voting percentages, he says.
Pointing out the Election Commission’s hackathon, and VVPAT matching, Mr. Modi says the Opposition is hiding their failure behind EVMs.
Pitching for simultaneous polls, Mr. Modi says reforms in elections are a continuous process.
Rajya Sabha reassembles. Prime Minister Narendra Modi responds to the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address.
He thanks all members who participated in the debate, a special mention to CPI’s D. Raja, he calls him “my friend Raja ji.“
He says the elections were fought by general public, who were the beneficiaries. Responding to a member’s quote that the country has lost the elections, Mr. Modi says it is an insult of election process. “Did India lose in Wayanad or Rae Baraeli,” he asks. Mr. Modi reminds Congress it couldn’t win a single seat in 17 States.
He also accuses the Opposition of insulting the farmers.
Set up a silk farm in Arani, Tamil Nadu says M.K. Vishnu Prasad before ending with “So that people of my constituency also start smiling like you, Sir (Om Birla).”
Aurangabad is the only city in the country where two world heritage centres, Ajanta and Ellora, exist within a distance of 100 km.
“After Jet Airways stopped its operations, tourism in Aurangabad has been affected. I ask the government to pass orders letting either government or private airlines operate in Aurangabad,” says Imtiyaz Jaleel.
Arun Sao asks for flight operations from Bilaspur, Chattisgarh be started soon.
Hibi Eden, Ernakulam asks for a special package for Kerala to help in rebuilding the State after the devastating August 2018 floods.
Geetha Viswanath, in her maiden speech asks for speedy completion of the Pithapuram-Kakinada road link.
H. Vasanthakumar, the Kanyakumari Congress MP asks for tourism infrastructure in his constituency.
Locket Chatterjee talks about the violence in West Bengal. “Rabindranath Tagore’s Bengal is burning,” she says to raised voices in the House.
Dilip Sakia, the next speaker, is stalled from saying his bit because of the ruckus following Ms. Chatterjee’s short speech.
DMK MP Kanimozhi brings to attention the police shooting in Thoothukudi, during the protest against the Sterlite Copper plant.
YSRCP MP Sathyavathi requests the tourism ministry to preserve a Buddhist pilgrimage spot in her AP constituency, Anakapalle.
BJP MP from Karnataka Muniswamy beings speaking in Kannada about the lack of water in Kolar, but switches over to Hindi after objections from some in the House.
Asking for the establishment of two Navodaya Schools in areas of Peddapalle, Telangana, Dr. Venkatesh Netha Borlakunta says that the Telangana government will provide the necessary infrastructural requirements.
Mimi Chakraborty seeks blessings of the House before making her first speech in the parliament. She asks for infrastructural developments in her constituency.
Comparing the Olympic medal tallies of different countries and enumerating some reasons for India’s dismal performance at the sporting event, Rajiv Pratap Rudy says giving sports facilities accessible to the Adivasi communities will help in the country’s better performance at the 2020 Olympics.
Expedite the establishment of a Kendriya Vidyalaya at Basirhat, says Nusrat Jahan Ruhi in her first speech in the parliament.
Mr. Sharma asks if any Prime Minister has claimed that he or she went to personally fight for the country at the border.
Abdul Wahab of the IUML says the President’s address had unrealistic statements. He says there is no mention of economic slowdown and unemployment. Mr. Wahab says that the BJP and Sangh Parivar’s agenda for Sabarimala was different from their agenda as regards triple talaq. He says Mr. Modi and Amit Shah have made election engineering a subject during this election.
Chhattishgarh BJP MP Saroj Pandey makes her maiden speech. She says that the Opposition will not care for the poor and women. She praises the government’s schemes such as the LPG scheme, building of toilets etc.
K. Ravindra Kumar, a TDP Member, also brings up Special Category Status for Andhra Pradesh. He says that the ruling party, which is supposed to admonish defectors, instead took TDP MPs into its fold. The ruling party at the Centre is determined to wipe out Opposition parties, he says, adding that it is not a healthy democratic practice. He also says that Women’s Reservation Bill needs to be passed.
House is adjourned till 2 p.m.
Shashi Tharoor of the Congress asks the government to not go back on its promise of promoting National Institue of Speech and Hearing, Thiruvananthapuram as a national institute.
Bhagirath Chaudhary of the BJP says that Jal Shakti Ministry should expedite the river-linking projects to alleviate problems of water scarcity affecting States like Rajasthan.
BJP Member Dr. Umesh G. Jadhav says the central governemnt should help the government cement factory in Gulbarga, under divestment currently, start operations in the coming year.
The Congress’ Manish Tewari asks if India will continue importing crude oil from Iran or comply with the US sanctions on the country over its nuclear programme. American waiver granted to India for importing oil from Irar expired in May, 2019.
Deputy Chairman Harivansh is in the Chair.
Anand Sharma of the Congress congratulates the BJP on winning the elections. He says the government says one thing, and does another. He said that the President’s address did not give an accounting for the last five years.
Mr. Sharma asks why the issue of lynching was not mentioned in the President’s address.
He also talks about former Prime Minister Jawarharlal Nehru’s achievements, both as part of the freedom struggle and uring Independent India. He urges the country to “do their yoga”, but exhorts them to “not tarnish the memory of Pandit Nehru”. He lists the Congress’ achievements over the years. He asks the government why lynching wasn’t mentioned in the President’s address.
The question hour ends at noon.
Zero Hour begins and “matters of urgent public importance” are brought up.
T.R. Baalu of the DMK speaks about the ongoing water crisis in thye State of Tamil Nadu. “In Chennai alone, 10,000 MLD water are used for supply of water. This is the situation in a metropolitan city. The four reservoirs that supply this water have dried. All rivers are dry. There is no other water source to suppy water to the people. The government should augment supply of water through trains to the State,” he says.
L.S. Tejasvi Surya of the BJP brings up a 2014 bank employment notification that the changed the local language proficiency requirement for banking jobs.
Switching to Kannada, he urges the government to revert the 2014 notification to help the youth of Karnataka gain employment.
Dr. Nishikant Dubey of the BJP gives a list of real estate properties and asks, “Who do these belong to? Do they belong to Robert Vadra?” even as the House erupts in commotion as some members rise up in opposition.
K.G. Kenye of the Naga People’s Front is up next, and says unline the northwest, the northeast was not given due consideration during Partition. He mentions the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, and says that it is up to the Centre and the States to come together and work out modalities and issues.
Chair says the discussion will be completed before lunch, and Question Hour is cancelled.
V. Vijaysai Reddy of the YSR Congress begins his speech by congratulating his own party on their victory in the Assembly elections. Mr. Reddy brings up Special Category Status for Andhra Pradesh. He asks, “How is it fair that Parliament is justified to bifurcate the State, but does not have the capacity to honour the word given before bifurcation?” On Polavaram, he says the State requests that it be completed in a time-bound manner.
He also says it is the right time to pass the Women’s Reservation Bill in the Lok Sabha.
Kanta Kardam of the BJP rises to make her maiden speech. As Ms. Kardam reads out her speech, Chair tells her that the convention is to only refer to notes and speak looking at the Chair. She says no other government has worked on women empowerment.
On nuclear and atomic energy
Answering Santokh Singh Chaudhary’s question on safety and effectiveness of nuclear and atomic energy, Dr. Jitendra Singh, MoS, Department of Atomic Energy says that following the “Safety first, production next” approach ensures utmost safety.
He says that atomic energy is the future and will be a clean source of energy.
Dr. Sanjay Jaiswal congratulates the government on its nuclear programmes and asks if work on nuclear fusion technology which uses Thorium-based reactors instead of the heavily imported Uranium-based reactors.
Dayanidhi Maran brings up the fear of the poeple of Tamil NAdu regarding nuclear plants coming up in the State and asks if it will be possible for the government to relocate the nuclear waste from the plant in Kudankulam to allay the fears.
“…It is stored deep down in the earth…the same procedure is followed in other parts of the world and in different reactors in the country,” Singh resonds, calling the reports raising any security concerns as hearsay.
The BSP’s Vir Singh says that 19 crore youth in the country are unemployed. He also says that government schools are not functioning well, while private schools are performing better. He then moves on to reservation. He wants reservation in the private sector.
K.J. Alphons of the BJP, makes his maiden speech. He says he was Tourism Minister for 19 months, but never got to speak in the House.
He marks the anniversary of Kottayam becoming 100% literate. He then says that India is in the third position in the World Travel and Tourism Council Report 2018, and adds that the Prime Minister is the biggest brand ambassador for the country. He then targets the Opposition for not celebrating the government’s successes. “If we strike at the heart of the enemy, Balakot, shouldn’t you all stand up and say: Yes, Prime Minister, you have a backbone, and this is what India needs.”
On the withdrawal of GSP by the U.S.
Calling the withdrawal of GSP by the U.S. as a diplomatic setback more than a trade setback, M.K. Raghavan asks how the government proposes to address this.
“At no point in time will trade negotiations be allowed to take over national and sovereign interests…diplomatic and trade relations with the USA will only get better,” Piyush Goyal, Minister, Commerce and Insdustry says.
Manish Tewari asks why despite multiple rounds of negotiations between the Prime Minister of India and the US President, the withdrawal of the GSP, which was festering since 2016 since President Trump took charge, could not be averted.
House is in session. Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu is in the Chair.
Papers are laid on the table. Chairman chides Members for talking amongst themselves when another Member speaks. “Someone asked if this is a school. If it were a school, it would’ve been better, because there action can be taken.”
Kirodi Lal Meena of the BJP begins speaking. He brings up mines allotment in tribal areas in Rajasthan. He quotes from a Supreme Court judgment from 1977 on allotting tribal land to mines. He says Adivasis are being discriminated against. He says that the reservation move by the Rajasthan State government is unconstitutional.
He wants August 9 to be celebrated as Adivasi Day throughout the country.
Meghalaya Congress Member Wansuk Syiem says that the government’s record in its last term has been patchy. She cites unemployment and demonetisation as examples. “Nothing has changed much in the development of the northeast. The only major airport serving the entire region is in Guwahati, and it needs urgent updation.”
While the President mentioned space programmes, nothing was said about telecommunication in the region, Ms. Syiem. She says the redeeming part of the President’s address was the many socioeconomic schemes. She supports the motion.
House convenes. Speaker Om Birla is in the Chair. Question Hour begins.
On the poor performance of BSNL and MTNL
Kalyan Banerjee asks how the government plans on realising its “Digital India” claims without providing internet connectivity to everyone in all places.
He says, for net banking that the government is promoting, imrovement of 4G network and erecting more towers is necessary. He asks if the government is in a opsition to do these.
Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister, Communications says that net banking has so far depended on 2G and 3G network, so 4G is not a necessity for net banking to succeed.
List of business
– Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal will move that The Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Bill, 2019 be taken up for consideration and passing.
– Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will move that The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 be taken up for consideration and passing.
– Further discussion on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address
– Short duration discussion on the challenges of water crisis in the country, by Sanjay Singh, Narain Dass Gupta, Ronald Sapa Tlau, Dr. Satyanarayan Jatiya, Kahkashan Perween and Chunibhai Kanjibhai Gohel.
Help fulfil the dream of a safe, modern, inclusive nation: PM
Narendra Modi was speaking in the Lok Sabha, replying to the debate on the motion of thanks to the President for his address to both Houses of Parliament. Mr. Modi criticised what he termed the Congress’s “missed opportunities” in the past to establish true secularism. He said the mandate that his government received was a validation that it was moving in the right direction, a direction, he said, that valued both welfare and progress.
He extensively quoted from the speeches of Mahatma Gandhi, Ram Manohar Lohia and Jawaharlal Nehru, and said his own government’s direction, including in the field of sanitation and water, emanated from their words.
Debate on President’s address: Dayanidhi Maran, Mahua Moitra hog prime time
Former Union Minister and Dravida Munnetra Kazagham (DMK) member Dayanidhi Maran used the debate to lead a scathing attack on the Tamil Nadu government, calling it the “most corrupt” and the ruling AIADMK a “slave of the BJP”.
Mr. Maran’s comment against the AIADMK that has only one MP drew sharp reactions from the Treasury benches. When BJP members Nishikant Dubey and Rajiv Pratap Rudy pointed out that rules did not allow to speak about issues outside the President’s Address, the DMK member retorted by saying that it was the duty of “the Master to take care of the slaves”.
Parliament proceedings live: Why was lynching not mentioned in President’s address, asks Anand Sharma – The Hindu