It was the government’s show in Parliament through the week. From Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s spirited attack on the Congress and home minister Rajnath Singh’s counter-offensive over UPA “flip-flops” on the Ishrat Jahan encounter to pushing crucial bills, the treasury bench was in command.
It was one of the most productive weeks for the government so far, with at least five important bills getting cleared by either House.
Parliament enters the last week of the budget session’s first half on Monday and the government is confident of getting the pending bills passed. But the Opposition is not inclined to allow the government to rush through important bills without extensive debate.
With just three days remaining before Parliament goes for a month-long recess on March 16, the Rajya Sabha will spend considerable time on budget discussions.
The government is keen to get the bill providing statutory status to Aadhaar cleared by the Rajya Sabha but the Opposition is not ready to oblige. Its leaders insist that such crucial legislation should get sufficient time for deliberation.
The Rajya Sabha also has to decide on another bill that seeks to amend a 48-year-old law to guard against claims of succession or transfer of properties left by people who migrated to Pakistan and China after the wars.
The Opposition has again red-flagged the government’s strategy to get it passed before March 16. The Rajya Sabha has passed a bill to regulate the real estate sector and the Lower House will take it up next week. That bill is likely to be passed.
Overall, it was a successful week for the government as bills related to the development of 106 rivers across the country into transport waterways, removing pensionary benefits of high court judges and providing increased compensation to air travellers in case of death or damages got the nod from both Houses.