MPs from Andhra Pradesh force adjournment

The first day of the extended winter session of the Lok Sabha on Wednesday ended less than 15 minutes after it began, with no business transacted other than passing a unanimous resolution condemning the killing of Nido Tania, an Arunachal Pradesh student, in New Delhi last week.

The adjournment comes amid mounting criticism of the 15th Lok Sabha, which has passed fewer laws than any of the previous ones which had completed the full term.

Two flagship pieces of anti-corruption legislation — the Right of Citizens for Time-Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill, 2011, and the Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials of Public International Organisations Bill, 2011 — had been scheduled to be passed on Wednesday. The Bills were among the 39 the United Progressive Alliance government had prioritised for the winter session.

However, MPs from Andhra Pradesh forced Parliament to adjourn, mounting protests on the Telangana issue.

Members of the Lok Sabha managed to voice their concern over discrimination against people from the Northeast. “The entire House condemns the death of the young boy,” Speaker Meira Kumar said. “A clear message should go to the entire country that Parliament wants that all the people and children from the Northeast are protected.”

Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj raised the issue, saying Parliament ought to “address the bias against the north-eastern community. We must demand protection for these students.”

Ninong Ering, Congress member who represents the Arunachal Pradesh East constituency, said “racial discrimination is a very serious matter for the country.”

Rajya Sabha deadlock

The Rajya Sabha met again in the afternoon, after similar protests from MPs on the Telangana issue and the Prevention of Communal Violence Bill.

Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley opposed the introduction of the Bill.

Union Minister for Law and Justice Kapil Sibal, in response to Opposition charges that the Prevention of Communal Violence Bill violated the federal structure, argued that the Bill was mainly concerned with compensating victims of communal violence, and said it ensured that the Centre would have to seek a State’s permission before intervening. A decision to introduce the Bill was then deferred.

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