What to expect in Parliament today
Protests and disruptions may take the centre-stage on the second day of debate in this year’s first session of Parliament on Tuesday as citizenship act and related issues have become the focal point of contention between the ruling BJP and its opponents.
The debate on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s address will start in the Rajya Sabha. The Upper House saw furious protests and adjournments on Tuesday resulting in a delay in kickstarting the marathon debate.
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s Bhupendar Yadav will open the debate from the ruling side and fireworks are expected during the speeches.
Amid a furious opposition protest in the Well of the House and walkouts on Monday, the Lok Sabha had managed to start the debate on President’s speech. The debate will continue in the Lower House on Tuesday but more political drama is expected.
The House will also see the introduction of the first non-financial bill of this year. Civil aviation minister Hardeep Puri will introduce amendments to the aircraft act to fulfil certain safety requirements recommended by International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the United Nation’s global aviation watchdog.
The Union cabinet had cleared the bill last year after a safety audit of ICAO in November 2017 and in February 2018 found India’s safety score slipped to 57.44% from 65.82% earlier. As per the ICAO, India ranks lower than Pakistan and Nepal in air safety.
On Monday, two BJP leaders in the eye of the storm over inflammatory statements and slogans during the Delhi election campaign were the focal points of a discordant day in the Lok Sabha.
The controversial speech by West Delhi parliamentarian Parvesh Verma and an attempt to speak by the minister of state for finance Anurag Thakur led to booing, storming of the Well, and walkouts by Opposition MPs.
Verma, who was on January 30 barred by the Election Commission from campaigning for Delhi assembly elections for 96 hours for suggesting that the protesters at Shaheen Bagh would enter homes and “rape and kill” women, initiated the debate on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s address in the Lower House on Monday.
Taking on the Congress for its opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), Verma said: “They should know that it is not Rajiv Feroze Khan government, it is Narendra Modi’s government.”
The statement, which led to criticism by the Opposition benches, was a reference to Feroze Gandhi, the father of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. It appeared that the “Khan” reference was to suggest that Feroze Gandhi was a Muslim, though he was a member of the Parsi community.