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Parliament highlights: Congress wants Modi’s apology for remark against Manmohan, Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day

Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu adjourned the house after continued ruckus by Congress members demanding an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his remarks against Manmohan Singh. Here are the live updates.

india Updated: Dec 22, 2017 10:50 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Parliament of India,Winter session,Live updates
Congress members Mallikarjun Kharge, Jyotiraditya Scindia and others protest in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, during the ongoing winter session of Parliament. (PTI Photo / TV GRAB)

The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day on Wednesday amid sloganeering by Congress members demanding an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his remarks against his predecessor Manmohan Singh.

The Opposition continued its protest against Modi ‘s ‘insinuations’ against Manmohan Singh that he colluded with Pakistan for the Gujarat polls.

Both houses had to be adjourned on Tuesday too after the Congress demanded an apology from Modi on the issue. The winter session began on December 15 and it will conclude on January 5 next year.

Here are the live updates:

7.31pm: Lok Sabha adjourned till Thursday morning.

7.30pm: Lok Sabha passes the Indian Forest (Amendment) Bill, 2017.

7.02pm: “Defence expenditure as a percentage of GDP may appear to be decreasing due to increasing trend in the growth of GDP. However, defence expenditure is increasing every year in absolute terms,” says Bhamre.

7.01pm: On whether military expenditure as a percentage of GDP has reduced over a period of time, Bhamre said the defence budget was 1.54% of the GDP.

6.59pm: Minister of state for defence Subhash Bhamre informs Lok Sabha that 103 defence personnel lost their lives in encounters with militants in Jammu and Kashmir from 2014-16.

6.57pm: The government is regularly reviewing the threat perception to secure the borders, says Sitharaman.

6.56pm: “Appropriate measures are taken from time to time to maintain/ upgrade the country’s defence preparedness to safeguard the sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of India,” says Sitharaman.

6.55pm: On whether the government foresees a two-front war at western and northern borders and dealing with a situation like Doklam and the proxy war by Pakistan, Sitharaman says the government is fully seized of the security threats and remains prepared to deal with all kinds of security challenges.

6.54pm: On surgical strikes by the army in the last three years, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman tells the Lok Sabha: “Based on specific and credible inputs, Indian Army strikes at terrorists/ infiltrators at the borders from time to time, in order to preserve the unity, integrity and sovereignty of the nation.”

6.51pm: Sitharaman informs the Lok Sabha that all the provisions of the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) have been followed and an inter-governmental agreement was signed on September 23, 2016 after the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).

6.50pm: Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman informs the Lok Sabha that the government has bought Rafale aircraft at better terms.

6.46pm: Rijiju says 5 IPS officers have been retired in public interest since 2014 by the government by invoking various provisions of the All India Services (Death-Cum-Retirement Benefits) Rules, 1958.

6.45pm: Kiren Rijiju says FIRs have been registered against 47 IPS officers and chargesheets or challans have been filed in 20 cases.

6.43pm: Union minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju informs Rajya Sabha that 75 IPS officers currently face disciplinary proceedings and 47 IPS officers face criminal investigations

6.41pm: Kiren Rijiju informs Rajya Sabha that the registrations of 18,868 NGOs under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act were cancelled by the home ministry between 2011 and 17 for violating laws.

6.40pm: Minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju informs Rajya Sabha that foreign funding to Indian NGOs has come down drastically from Rs 17,773 crore in 2015-16 to Rs 6,499 crore in 2016-17.

6.38pm: “PM holds a constitutional position. He can’t insult institutions. We will not stop till he gives explanation,” says Kharge.

6.38pm: “We want that this should have been disclosed in Parliament and he (Modi) should talk about it in Parliament. If he has evidence, he should lay it in Parliament, as he (Modi) had promised to expose anti-national activities,” says Kharge.

6.37pm: “If he (Modi) has evidence then he should have registered an FIR and arrested him. He has also raised questions on Manmohan Singh’s patriotism,” says Congress leader Kharge.

6.36pm: Mallikarjun Kharge, leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha, tells reporters: “The Prime Minister had attempted to insult Manmohan Singh. We want that he should come to Parliament and apologise or give explanation what was the reason for making such an allegation.”

6.34pm: “When a member is not there in the Parliament, and Manmohan ji is a gentle person, it sets a wrong precedent. We dont wan’t a privilege against PM. That’s why are adopting a soft way,” says Congress leader Azad.

6.33pm: “We respect the PM. We don’t want to show disrespect to him. It is a not a personal fight. This is his responsibility that whatever he says in public, he should have the courage to come and say it in the Parliament,” says Azad.

6.32pm: “He (Modi) should come to Parliament and say that his work is done and he is withdrawing his comment. We will accept it. If it is true then they should punish us. We are ready for it. He should prove it,” Azad tells reporters outside Parliament.

6.31pm: “We have no personal fight with him (Modi). If the PM finds it difficult to apologise, then he should have come to the Parliament and say ‘BJP was losing in Gujarat and therefore it was a political stunt. It was a conspiracy to prove Congress anti-national’,” says Azad.

6.30pm: Ghulam Nabi Azad, leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, tells reporters outside Parliament Manmohan Singh “is a respected member of Rajya Sabha. If the PM is publicly saying that Manmohan ji is conspiring with Pakistan, then it is a serious allegation”.

6.28pm: Forest minister Harsh Vardhan replies to the discussion in the Lok Sabha on exclusion of bamboo from the Indian Forest Amendment Bill, 2017.

6.26pm: “The Prime Minister had levelled serious allegations against very senior leaders, senior officers, Manmohan Singh and former Vice President Hamid Ansari and former army chief Deepak Kapoor,” says Azad.

6.25pm: Ghulam Nabi Azad, leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, tells reporters outside Parliament that PM Narendra Modi could acknowledge that the remarks against former PM Manmohan Singh were “a political stunt and done to win the Gujarat elections”

6.20pm: GAIL has held multiple discussions with the LNG suppliers. The most recent discussion was held in November, says oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan. “The discussions have been held at the working level as well as management level.”

6.15pm: “GAIL has held a number of discussions with Cheniere Energy and Dominion Cove Point LNG LP for renegotiation of the contracts,” says oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

6.14pm: Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan informs the Rajya Sabha that state-owned gas utility GAIL India Ltd has sought renegotiating the price of LNG contracted from the US.

6.10pm: China and India are both working towards utilising their bilateral dialogue mechanisms to promote mutually beneficial cooperation, and enhancing communication at all levels in order to build greater trust and understanding, says minister VK Singh.

6.08pm: “The government has conveyed to the Chinese side, including at the highest level, its concerns about China’s activities in PoK and asked them to cease these activities,” says minister VK Singh.

6.06pm: VK Singh says the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is being projected as a flagship project of OBOR initiative, passes through parts of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir which has been in illegal occupation of Pakistan since 1947.

6.05pm: On China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative, minister VK Singh says the government has clearly articulated its firm belief that connectivity initiatives must be “based on universally recognized international norms, good governance, rule of law... and must be pursued in a manner that respects sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

6.04pm: Minister VK Singh says India has a clear and consistent position that these territories are illegally occupied by Pakistan and that any collaborative activity there is in violation of India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

6.03pm: Minister of state for external affairs VK Singh informs the Lok Sabha that India has issued demarches to both Pakistan and China conveying its position on construction of dams on the Indus river in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) by the Pakistani government with assistance committed to these projects by China

5.55pm: Bangladesh, with over 19 lakh tourists, is on top of the list of foreign visitors to India, followed by Sri Lanka with nearly 3 lakh tourists, China, Nepal (1,51,352), Pakistan (76,197), Myanmar (48,731) and Bhutan (22,695), says Alphons.

5.54pm: The Chinese occupied the third position as far as foreign tourist arrivals in India from the neighbouring countries were concerned, says minister Alphons.

5.52pm: From 2015 to 2017, there was a 9.28% increase in the number of Chinese tourists arriving in India, says minister Alphons

5.51pm: The number of Chinese tourists visiting India in 2015 was 2,06,322. While the figure rose to 2,51,313 in 2016, it saw a marginal dip in 2017 with 2,25,482 Chinese tourists arriving in the country, says minister Alphons.

5.50pm: Tourism minister KJ Alphons tells the Rajya Sabha more than two lakh Chinese tourists visited India in 2017.

5.43pm: The department of biotechnology also offers the Ramalingaswami Re-entry Fellowship to attract Indian scientists back to the country, says YS Chowdary.

5.42pm: The department of science and technology, through the Ramanujan Fellowship Scheme and the Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) faculty scheme provide attractive avenues to Indian researchers of high calibre, who are residing in foreign countries, to work in Indian institutes/universities, says YS Chowdary.

5.40pm: Minister of state for science and technology and Earth sciences YS Chowdary tells Lok Sabha a total of 649 Indian scientists returned to the country to work in Indian institutes and universities over the last five years as against 243 during 2007-12.

5.37pm: India is making all possible efforts to trace the 39 Indian workers missing in Iraq and currently it is trying to obtain proof of their being alive or dead, says Sushma Swaraj

5.36pm: In the Lok Sabha, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj says India has completed DNA testing of the families of 39 Indians missing from Iraq’s Mosul city since 2014 and forwarded the samples to Iraqi authorities for matching with the mortal remains in the graves there.

5.34pm: In the Lok Sabha, minister of state for electronics and IT Alphons Kannanthanam says electronic firms shortlisted for incentives by the government for manufacturing their products in India have invested Rs 3,585 crore in 72 projects till September this year.

5.30pm: In the Lok Sabha, K Vishweshwar Reddy, TRS member from Telangana, says the questions raised by other members on the exclusion of bamboo from the forest amendment bill are very much valid, and asks government to rethink the matter..

5.22pm: Kharge says it is wrong on the part of Modi to cast aspersions on the patriotism of a former PM.

5.21pm:If Modi believed Manmohan Singh was part of a conspiracy, he should have taken the help of intelligence agencies, filed an FIR and got Manmohan Singh arrested, Kharge tells reporters.

5.20pm: Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge asks why PM Narendra Modi did not approach security agencies if he felt that former PM Manmohan Singh was hatching a conspiracy against him with Pakistan’s support.

5.19pm: Jitendra Chaudhury, CPI(M) member from Tripura East, asks if thousands of people in China are employed in the bamboo processing industry, why can’t India follow such a model?

5.15pm: M Srinivasa Rao, TDP member from Andhra Pradesh, asks forest minister to focus more on tree plantation in order to solve the issue of pollution in major cities, including Delhi.

5.11pm: Farmers do not need our ‘daya’ (sympathy), they need to be left alone. They were there before we, the so-called elite: Tathagata Satpathy.

5.10pm: Tathagata Satpathy asks government to take back the forest amendment bill, work out the details and bring it back with improvements.

5.02pm: Tathagata Satpathy, BJD member from Dhenkanal in Odisha, says forest minister Harsh Vardhan has been “misleaded” by his officials, and the amendment to remove bamboo from the bill was not going to help the poor people.

4.55pm: Aparupa Poddar, Trinamool Congress member from Arambagh in West Bengal, says states have own rules and laws on forests, and the Indian Forest (Amendment) Bill, 2017 should not affect them.

4.50pm: G Hari, AIADMK member from Arakkonam in Tamil Nadu, says the forest amendment bill was needed as the country still followed The Indian Forest Act that was passed in 1927.

4.43pm: The Indian Forest (Amendment) Bill, 2017 will help Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s skill development programme, says the BJP’s Gauhati MP Bijoya Chakravarty. 

4.40pm: BJP Lok Sabha member Bijoya Chakravarty says The Indian Forest (Amendment) Bill, 2017 will greatly benefit the poor and down-trodden tribal people.

4.26pm: “There is no question of middle path. The country’s prime minister has alleged that the former prime minister has taken steps against the country and that too with the enemy nation. Don’t you think it is an issue that calls for an apology?” says Chowdhury.

4.25pm: Congress leader Renuka Chowdhury says there is “no question of a middle path” till Prime Minister Narendra Modi apologises for his comments against Manmohan Singh.

4.22pm: Veerendra Kumar says what happened in the recent Gujarat elections was not a victory for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “The Gujarat election results were not a victory for Modi but, if anything, it suggests otherwise,” he says.

4.21pm: “Legally, I’m in Rajya Sabha as a member of Nitish Kumar’s party. I don’t agree with his stand dumping the Mahagathbandhan and alingning with the Sangh Parivar and the BJP,” says Veerendra Kumar, a Rajya Sabha member from Kerala.

4.20pm: Janata Dal (United) leader MP Veerendra Kumar resigns from Rajya Sabha, saying he did not agree with party chief and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s decision to join the NDA, reports PTI.

4.09pm: Discussion begins in Lok Sabha on The Indian Forest (Amendment) Bill, 2017.

4.07pm: Lok Sabha passes The Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property (Amendment) Bill, 2017.

4.05pm: No intention to open up cases where compensation has already been paid, says Hardeep Singh Puri.

4.00pm: Hardeep Singh Puri, minister of state for housing and urban affairs, replies to the discussion on the Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property (Amendment) Bill, 2017.

2.28pm: Congress MPs continue noisy protest in Lok Sabha as a BJP member stands to speak on the Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property (Amendment) Bill, 2017.

2.11pm: “You don’t want to work?” Rajya Sabha deputy chairman asks opposition members who continue to protest in the Well of the House. The House stands adjourned till 11am on Thursday.

2.08pm: Minutes after Lok Sabha reconvenes, Congress MPs begin protest against Modi over Modi’s remark.

2.06pm: Rajya Sabha . Leader of Opposition in the House, Ghulam Nabi Azad, demands that Prime Minister Narendra Modi clear the air on his remark on Manmohan Singh during the Gujarat assembly election campaigning. He says neither his Congress party nor can Manmohan Singh think of conspiring with Pakistan. “We are not demanding apology from the PM but he should clear the air and admit he had made the remark to win the assembly elections in Gujarat.”

12.20pm: Speaker Sumitra Mahajan again adjourns the Lok Sabha till 2pm as opposition members continue sloganeering demanding PM Modi’s apology from Manmohan Singh.

12.18pm: BJP MP from Maharashtra, Poonam Mahajan, raises the issue of a youth being killed in Jammu and Kashmir.

12.14pm: Amid ruckus by opposition members, BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab demands adjournment motion on dispute regarding Mahanadi river water sharing issue between Odisha and Chhattishgarh. He accuses the Centre of going back on its promise and compromising its neutrality. But Speaker says the issue is important but can be discussed later.

12.10pm: The Rajya Sabha, which passed two bills on Tuesday despite the disruptions in the initial hours of the proceedings, has listed the long-pending bill to amend the NABARD act. The Bill allows the central government to increase NABARD’s capital to Rs 30,000 crore. The NABARD provides fund for rural and agriculture sector.

12.05pm: Lok Sabha reconvens. The Lower House has three government bills on its agenda, including the contentious forest rights amendment bill.

12.01pm: Rajya Sabha chairman Naidu adjourns the House till 2pm as uproar continues over PM Modi’s remarks against his predecessor Manmohan Singh during the Gujarat election campaigning.

11.56am: Disgruntled Janata Dal (United) leader MP from Kerala, Veerendra Kumar, resigns from the Rajya Sabha, days after rebel JD-U leaders Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar were disqualified from the Upper House.

11. 38 am: PM Modi said that work should be done to bring youth forward on every platform. PM spoke about new millennium voters, those born after 2012, who will be 18 next year. He said new generation should be involved in services for country, society and development, Ananth Kumar said while briefing media.

11.30 am: PM said our booth level workers, with support of people, must tread towards victory and should not be distracted by what Opposition is saying about credibility and the low-level comments they are making, said Ananth Kumar after BJP Parliamentary party meeting

11.16am: Union minister Ananth Kumar says PM Narendra Modi at the BJP parliamentary party meet called for promotion of youth in and outside party.

11.15am: “I don’t appreciate your behaviour. Please don’t exceed your limit,” Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu tells opposition members who have assembled on the Well of the House demanding apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The House stands adjourned till 12 noon.

11.10am: Amid sloganeering against Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his alleged remark against Manmohan Singh, Rajya Sabha chairman Naidu asks opposition members to go back to their seats and take part in smooth discussion in the House.

11.02am: Minutes after the Lok Sabha resumed, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourned the House till 12 noon amid uproar.

10.10am: BJD leaders stage a protest demanding tribunal to resolve the Mahanadi river water dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh, in front of statue of Mahatma Gandhi outside the Parliament.

10.08am: Minister of state for agriculture Krishna Raj fell ill during the BJP parliamentary party meeting at Parliament’s Library Building. She has been rushed to RML hospital for treatment.

10.02am: A meeting of BJP’s parliamentary party begins at Parliament Library Building in Delhi.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Dec 20, 2017 10:49 IST