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Government agenda gets a push; 6 bills introduced, 2 passed in LS

Apart from these five bills, the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (Amendment) Bill, 2018 was also introduced in the Lok Sabha.

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Parliament of India

New Delhi, July 23 (IANS) The fourth sitting of the monsoon session of Parliament on Monday saw the government giving a push to its legislative agenda with six bills introduced and two passed in the Lok Sabha while three bills were taken up for passage in the Rajya Sabha.

The Lok Sabha did not witness any adjournment while the Upper House saw one over demands related to special category status for Andhra Pradesh and Congress allegations on misuse of Central agencies.

Unlike the second half of the Budget session which was washed out, this session has seen smooth functioning with members from both the ruling NDA and the Opposition eagerly taking part in discussions.

Five of the six bills introduced in the Lok Sabha will replace the ordinances brought by the Narendra Modi government earlier this year.

These bill are the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill, 2018, Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2018, National Sports University Bill, 2017, Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2018 and The Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2018.

During the introduction of amendments to the insolvency law, Opposition members targeted the government over its intentions. They alleged that some changes had been brought to “help one industry”. interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal rebutted their charge saying the amendment had been brought on the recommendations of a committee, and that the Bill was initially introduced as the banking sector was going through a crisis due to “indiscriminate lending” during the UPA rule. The Bill allows home buyers to be recognised as financial creditors.

The Lok Sabha passed the Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2017 and the National Council for Teacher Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017 following brief discussions.

The Negotiable Instruments Bill allows payment of an interim compensation in cheque dishonour cases to prevent holding of payments pending a long trial.

The Bill on teacher education seeks to grant retrospective recognition to the Central and state universities which have conducted teacher education courses without the permission of the National Council for Teacher Education.

The Rajya Sabha passed the Specific Relief (Amendment) Bill, 2017, which sets out remedies for parties whose contractual or civil rights have been violated. The amendments propose that if a party breaks an agreed contract, the affected party will have the freedom to get it executed by a third party. The Bill has been passed by the Lok Sabha.

The Upper House saw discussion on the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2017 which provides for a steep increase in penalty for traffic violations. Road Transport and Highways minister Nitin Gadkari is expected to reply to the debate on Tuesday.

The House also took up The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment) Bill, 2017. Several Opposition members said the Bill should be sent to a select committee. Chairman Venkaiah Naidu asked the Parliamentary Affairs Minister to discuss the issue with all parties and come back to the House.

The monsoon session has been productive for the government. The first day of the session on July 18 saw three bills being introduced in the Lok Sabha. The House passed the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill last Thursday and the Rajya Sabha passed amendments to the Prevention of Corruption Act. The Lok Sabha had witnessed a lively debate during the no-confidence motion on Friday.

India

8 suspended Rajya Sabha MPs’ protest stretches into the night

The Congress has announced it will take to the streets, launching a mass movement across the country from September 24 to demand withdrawal of the farm bills.

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8 suspended Rajya Sabha MPs

New Delhi: The eight members of Parliament (MPs), who were suspended by Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu, have been protesting near the Gandhi statue in the premises.

Their protest has been going on since the time Naidu ordered their suspension for unruly behaviour in the House during the passage of two farm bills on Sunday.

These MPs – Trinamool Congress’ (TMC) Derek O’Brien and Dola Sen, Sanjay Singh of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Congress leaders Rajeev Satav, Ripun Bora and Syed Nasir Hussain and KK Ragesh and Elamaram Kareem of the CPI(M) – are sitting with placards which read ‘we will fight for farmers’.

They were suspended for a week under Rule 256(2).

West Bengal chief minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee said that she is in touch with the MPs and the protest will continue through the night. “In Delhi also, the protest is going on under Gandhi Murti and it will continue the entire night, I am in touch with them,” Banerjee said in Howrah.

Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Monday that the conduct of Opposition leaders on Sunday was “shameful” and “irresponsible”.

Stating rule 256, Prasad said a member is expected to leave the House immediately if suspended by the Chairman but the Opposition leaders did not pay heed to Naidu’s words.

The Congress has, meanwhile, announced it will take to the streets, launching a mass movement across the country from September 24 to demand withdrawal of the agricultural bills.

“The decision was taken at a meeting of members of the auxiliary committee, the general secretaries and the state in-charges,” former Union Minister AK Antony said in a press conference.

The party has set a target of collecting signatures of 2 crore farmers and handing them over to the President on November 14.

It has termed the suspesion of the MPs, including three of its own, as “undemocratic” and “one-sided”.

Rajya Sabha witnessed unruly scenes on Sunday as Opposition members stormed the well and reached the deputy chairman’s seat to protest against the Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020. These legislations were passed through voice vote.

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India

20 opposition MPs urge President to not grant assent to Agri Bills

The Opposition MPs said that the issue raised is, however, of much wider importance.

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Opposion MPs

New Delhi, Sep 22 : At least 20 opposition MPs on Monday wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind, urging him not to grant assent to the controversial Agriculture Bills, alleging that the way they were passed without any debate was a “murder of democracy”.

“We, belonging to diverse political parties cutting across India’s political and geographical spectrum, bring this representation to you to respectfully draw your urgent attention to the absolute and total murder of democracy, ironically in the most hallowed temple of democracy, parliament,” read the letter signed by leaders of the Congress, the Left, the NCP, the DMK, the Samajwadi Party, the Shiv Sena, the Janat Dal-Secular, the Trinamool Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal, among others.

The Opposition MPs said that the issue raised is, however, of much wider importance.

“We are concerned with something which affects the very backbone of the Indian Republic viz its ‘annadata’, the community of farmers,” they said.

It said that on issue like this, “majoritarian, insensitive and uncaring” governance has no role and all stakeholders have to listen, absorb, imbibe and thereafter act with humility. There is no place for the politics of ‘zid’ (stubbornness) and arrogance. Instead the voice of those speaking for the farmers was sought to be stifled.

“Most unfortunately, the latter was in full force in government instructions to all, given with the brazen object of ramming legislation down the throat of disagreeing Parliamentarians without allowing it to be tested freely and fairly by vote by division,” it said.

It further said that the Bills were purportedly treated as passed though were never voted upon.

“Division, asked not by one but innumerable Members, was denied,” it alleged, adding that motions and statutory resolutions, including for amendments were not even looked at, much less considered.

“No attempt was made to even try for a sense of the House or a consensus as to whether the House should sit beyond the strictly prescribed 1 p.m. or continue the next day. September 20, most inexplicably and mysteriously, was treated as if it was the last day of the Session and as if heavens would fall if voting with division was heald on September 21,” it said.

It further said that massive show of force was exerted by security personnel invited inside the House in numbers exceeding those of the MPs present.

“Almost half the Rajya Sabha was seated in the LOk Sabha chamber and the chair neither looked towards them; large parts of the proceedings in the RS chamber were not even audible to those of the RS in the LS chamber. It further said that the egregious and brazen acts of the government, in clear collusion with the legislative organ of our Republic, is also proof positive of the lack of numbers and lack of support with the government qua passage of these Bills.

“It is clear that the government was fully aware that the Bills could not and would not be passed due to wide opposition, cutting across political lines, including strong opposition from several NDA allies and supporters and consequently tactics were adopted to supposedly pass the Bills in a tyrannical manner unknown to our Constitution,” it alleged.

“We pray that you return the bills and do not append your signature,” it said.

In the morning, Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu suspended eight MPs, minutes after the House reconvened. These lawmakers from the Trinamool Congress, the Congress, the Communist Party of India-Marxist and the Aam Aadmi Party were accused of creating ruckus in Parliament on Sunday.

The motion was moved by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs V. Muraleedharan, following which the House suspended Derek O’Brien and Dola Sen of the Trinamool, Rajeev Satav, Ripun Bora, and Syed Naseer Hussain of the Congress, Sanjay Singh of the AAP and K.K. Ragesh and E Kareem of the CPI-M.

The opposition members indulged in sloganeering after the resolution was moved by voice vote.

Earlier, Naidu said that it was a “sad day for democracy” and “unfortunate” and “condemnable”, as he rejected a no-confidence motion against Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh.

The Rajya Sabha witnessed bedlam on Sunday as the government sought to get cleared two of the three contentious farm Bills amid unrelenting opposition protests. O’Brien allegedly tore a rule book while Satav and Sanjay Singh climbed on a table in the House to protest.

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India

Suspended 8 MPs Refuse To Leave, House Adjourned Till Tomorrow

The House witnessed five adjournments as some opposition members continued protests over the suspension of members.

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8 suspended mps dharna

New Delhi, Sep 21 : Singing, sitting on grass, eight suspended Rajya Sabha members have been camping near the Gandhi statue in the high-security Parliament House, protesting their suspension after Sunday’s ruckus inside the Upper House.

The protesting Parliamentarians are Derek O’Brien and Dola Sen of the Trinamool Congress, Rajeev Satav, Ripun Bora, and Syed Naseer Hussain of the Congress, Sanjay Singh of the Aam Aadmi Party and KK Ragesh and E Kareem of the Communist Party of India-Marxist.

All eight members are seated on the grass, refusing to leave. Most are still holding placards that read, “Death of democracy” and “Will fight for farmers”.

Sanjay Singh has been intermittently singing and clapping to keep the spirits of others upbeat, most of whom are visibly tired.

Asked when the protest will end, Singh said it depends on when their suspension is revoked.

Earlier on Monday, Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu suspended eight MPs, minutes after the House reconvened. These lawmakers from the AAP, TMC, the Congress and the CPI-M were accused of creating a ruckus in Parliament on Sunday.

A fan is also put near where they have been camping, considering the Delhi humidity. But nothing seems to have softened the stance of the MPs.

These opposition MPs on Sunday indulged in sloganeering after a resolution was moved by voice vote during the passage of the contentious farm bills. O’Brien was even seen tearing up documents, while Singh allegedly misbehaved with the marshals.

Earlier, Venkaiah Naidu called Sunday’s proceedings a “sad day for democracy” and “unfortunate” and “condemnable”, as he rejected a no-confidence motion against Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh.

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