Ahead of the crucial session, Congress held its Parliamentary Party meet where UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi slammed the Modi government over its philosophy of “bluff, bluster and intimidation”.
The much-awaited CAG report on the Rafale defence deal, the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and the Triple Talaq Bill were scheduled to come up in the Rajya Sabha today as BJP-led government made a final push to pass them on the last day of the Budget session. However, the House was adjourned, resulting in lapse of the bills.
While the two bills have generated much heat inside and outside Parliament, the report on the fighter jet planes has led to confrontations between the saffron party and the united Opposition, especially the Congress.
Rajya Sabha proceedings were disrupted a day earlier following protests by the Samajwadi Party and other opposition parties over alleged stopping of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav at Lucknow airport to prevent him from visiting Allahabad.
The trouble started in the first half after as many as 15 members had made Zero Hour mention on matters of public importance. Samajwadi Party members were up on their feet trying to raise the issue but Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu ordered that nothing would go on record.
Naidu said he cannot allow them to raise the issue as they have not given notice. SP members said they have received information that Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav was stopped at Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport in Lucknow by police in a bid to prevent him from visiting Allahabad to attend an oath-taking ceremony of a student leader at Allahabad University.
Meanwhile, the government introduced two bills — the International Financial Services Center Authority Bill 2019 and Cinematography (amendment) Bill 2019. International Financial Services Center Authority Bill 2019 was moved by Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla. The Cinematography (amendment) bill 2019 was moved by Information and Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.
Earlier this morning, the proceedings went on smoothly for some time, unlike the past six days, before the protests by the SP and other parties started. Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad (Cong) said there are constitutional responsibilities on part of both the government and the opposition. These include passing a motion of Thanks to the President for his address to the joint siting of Parliament at the start of the Budget session, and approving the budget.
He suggested that the discussion on Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address can be taken up on Tuesday and the debate on the Interim Budget 2019-20 on Wednesday. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel said the government was agreeable to the suggestion.
“We can extend the session if there is an agreement in the House” to discuss the six bills that are listed for taking up after the Motion of Thanks is passed and the Budget approved, he said. However, his suggestion did not seem to have found favour with members.
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