Three bills were passed without discussion and another seeking to eliminate manual scavenging and rehabilitate manual scavengers was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday even as normal functioning remained paralysed in both Houses of Parliament with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sticking to its demand of Prime Minister’s resignation in the wake of coal block allocations.
Introducing the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Bill, 2010, Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Mukhul Wasnik said, “Despite the concerted efforts made in the past to eliminate dehumanising practice of manual scavenging, it still persists.”
Besides recommending prohibition of persons from engagement or employment in hazardous cleaning of sewers and septic tanks, the bill provides for several stringent measures to stop the practice of manual scavenging.
Normal business in Parliament remained suspended for the ninth day with the BJP insisting on Prime Minsiter’s resignation. With just four more days remaining and no end to the stand-off between the government-BJP over CAG report on coal block allocation, no substantial business is expected to transact now.
However, amid the din, three bills, including Protection of Women Against Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill, 2010, were passed in the Lok Sabha within minutes without any debate.
The other two legislations were the North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Amendment Bill, 2011, and the National Highways Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2011.
Proceedings in Rajya Sabha too got off to a stormy start as Members of the BharatiyaJanata Party sought the Prime Minister’s resignation over the allocation ofcoal blocks while Dravida Munnetra Kzahagam Members wanted the Government to stop the training the Sri Lankan Army personnel in the country.
With nothing audible in the din and the BJP Members trooping into the Well of the House, Chairman Hamid Ansari adjourned the House till noon. The situation was no better when the House reconvened as both sides continued to process, but the Chair managed to get some listed business transacted including the tabling of reports by some Standing Committees before adjourning the House again.
As the two Houses met for the day, it was the repeat of scenes witnessed over the last eight days with BJP members raising slogans and rushing into the Well to demand the Prime Minister's resignation.
In the Lok Sabha, when the House re-assembled after adjournment during Question Hour, proceedings could be managed for almost 30 minutes amidst lot of ruckus with the Speaker pushing the passage of the three legislations. She later adjourned the House for the day after the bills were adopted by voice vote.