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Sep 16, 2019-Monday



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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

Protests set to drown out bills in remaining Budget Session

The last session of the current Lok Sabha ends on February 13.

budget Updated: Feb 05, 2019 23:41 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji
Saubhadra Chatterji
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
A view of Parliament House building in New Delhi.
A view of Parliament House building in New Delhi.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

The Opposition plans to stage a protest in Delhi and wants a debate in Parliament over issues that include the farm crisis, unemployment, and alleged misuse of constitutional bodies, reducing the chances of passage of key bills in the remaining period of the ongoing session, the last before the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

According to a senior Opposition leader who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the plan is to organise a protest next week, and, simultaneously, push for a debate in Parliament.

The last session of the current Lok Sabha ends on February 13.

A senior Opposition leader said that non-NDA (National Democratic Alliance) parties will meet to finalise the plan for a protest to highlight issues against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The protest is expected to take place between February 12 and 14.

On Tuesday, the Lok Sabha managed to start the debate on President’s speech, but in the Upper House repeated disruptions led to an adjournment.

In the Lok Sabha, the Congress and the Trinamool Congress (TMC), the two leading Opposition parties, walked out of the House in the afternoon and didn’t participate in the discussion on the motion to thank the President for his speech to the joint sitting of Parliament. With the original schedule jeopardised , the government may now get only the last two days in both Houses to push key pieces of legislation.

The bills earlier scheduled to be passed in the Upper House include The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2019, to replace an ordinance; The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018, The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2018; The Personal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (to make leprosy a ground for divorce), and the Aadhaar and other Laws (Amendment) Bill.

Now, with just two days in hand for legislation, government managers remain unsure how many bills from this list can get cleared. “I don’t think there is any chance for passage of bills such as triple talaq or citizenship bill in Rajya Sabha,” said a senior BJP leader on the condition of anonymity.

While the government has indicated that it may want to pass a few bills in the Lower House as well, the united Opposition is set to demand time for the debate. “There will be a meeting headed by speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Friday. We will press for a debate on at least the farm crisis and the jobs situation. In the last five years, there hasn’t been a single debate on unemployment,” said Trinamool Congress floor leader Sudip Bandopadhyay.

First Published: Feb 05, 2019 23:41 IST