Amid din, Parliament clears important bills without debate

Members protest in the well of the Rajya Sabha during the Monsoon Session of Parliament, in New Delhi, Wedesday, July 28, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Both Houses of Parliament on Wednesday cleared important bills without debate amid continuing protests by Opposition members on the Pegasus snooping issue and the three contentious farm laws, against which farmers’ groups have been protesting for months.

The Lok Sabha, which witnessed an unruly behaviour in the form of tearing of papers and throwing them towards the Speaker’s Chair and the treasury benches, saw the passage of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2021, as also the first batch of the Supplementary Demand for Grants, and the Appropriations Bill, numbers 3 and 4, without debate and by a voice vote.

Parliament proceedings | July 28, 2021

Although Speaker Om Birla managed to hold Question Hour even amidst the din, the first time in the current session, as soon as Rajendra Agarwal replaced him in the Chair, the protests got louder and Opposition members such as Gurjeet Aujla, T.N. Prathapan and Hibi Eden from the Congress as well as some others tore up papers and threw them in the air.

The Treasury benches demanded action against the MPs, including Mr. Aujla, Mr. Prathapan, Manickam Tagore, Ravneet Singh Bittu, Jothimani Sennimalai, Saptagiri Sankar Ulaka and others of the Congress, for disrespecting the Chair.

Sources told The Hindu that Mr. Birla spoke to the Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, on the issue. Mr. Chowdhury is learnt to have replied that the Opposition had specific issues and demands, and the protests were for those demands. Moreover, singling out the Congress MPs was not fair as everybody in the Opposition was protesting.

Mr. Birla is learnt to have individually met the MPs concerned, but no action has been decided upon.

Interestingly, Congress member Jasbir Singh Gill raised the slogan, “Khela Hobe” (game on) used by the Trinamool Congress during the recently concluded Assembly polls in West Bengal. The House was adjourned several times before legislative business was conducted amid the din and adjourned for the day.

In the Rajya Sabha too, the important Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2021 was passed without debate and the House adjourned for the day before 3 p.m. Protests in the House, again on the Pegasus issue and the farm laws, continued even as Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani explained the proposed amendments, which were that the child welfare committees would function under the supervision of district magistrates and with certain conditions for their membership.

While the Bill was passed and Question Hour carried out earlier in the day, the House was adjourned multiple times, with sloganeering becoming louder as Housing and Petroleum Minister Hardeep Puri stood to reply to questions.

Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu urged members to stop waving placards, but to no avail.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 8:41:57 PM |

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