Oppn parties demand key bills be sent to parliamentary committees
Opposition parties demanded on Wednesday that several contentious bills, such as the tweaks to Right to Information (RTI) and counterterrorism laws, be sent to parliamentary committees for further review, stitching up a united front even as the government prepares to push through with its legislative agenda.
At least 12 parties participated in two meetings throughout the day – the first was chaired by United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi in Parliament before leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, met with a larger group to discuss House strategy.
The first demand for a bill to be referred to a select committee was made by Azad in the Upper House in connection with the RTI amendments. The Trinamool Congress joined the demand and called for seven bills to be referred to select committees.
Standing and select committees are made up of MPs from across benches and discuss issues in cases where disagreements stall a bill. While the government has a majority in the Lok Sabha, it continues to be outnumbered in the Rajya Sabha.