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As it happened | Congress mukt Bharat was Gandhi's idea, says PM Modi

In a frontal attack on the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleged in Lok Sabha that those who imposed Emergency, “bullied” the judiciary and insulted the Army were accusing him of destroying institutions.

The PM also hit back at the Congress over the Rafale issue, which has been repeatedly raised by its chief Rahul Gandhi, as he alleged that the Congress did not want the Indian Air Force to be strong and asked “which companies are they bidding for that they are acting so shamefully“.

Here are the live updates:

Lok Sabha | 7:45 pm

 

All amendments to Motion of Thanks to the President's address are denied by voice vote.

Motion of Thanks is adopted by voice vote.

Lok Sabha is adjourned for the day.

 

Lok Sabha | 7:15 pm

Prime Minister Modi continues his response on the Motion of Thanks to the President's address:

PM Modi responds to the criticism on unemployment rates with numbers from the formal and informal sector.

"Since September 2017 to November 2018, about 1 crore 80 lakh people have started katana money for the first time Provident funds in around 15 months. Of these, also 64% are under 28 years old. In March 2014, in our country, nearly 65 lakh people were registered in the National Pension system (NPS). In October last year, the number has increased to about 1 crore to 20 lakh. Did these even become the same without the new job?" asks PM Modi.

"In the past four years, there are over 6 lakh 35 thousand new professionals in the country. Do you think a doctor has opened his clinic or nursing home, he will only be given a job to a person, or a chartered accountant will only be running his office by placing one person on the job? No..." says the Prime Minister.

"The number of approved hotels have risen by 50%," says PM Modi. "Are these hotels empty? Are they not providing jobs?," he asks, adding they have provided around 1.5 crore jobs.

Numerous projects in the irrigation sector have been completed at a cost of Rs. 1000 crores, he says. Nehruji had laid the foundation stone, and I am inaugurating them now, he adds.

"Opposition is saying they will not take Rs. 6,000/annum, but who is giving you? Why don't you go and ask the farmer first if he wants it or not? Nobody is giving you, it's all direct transfer," PM Modi says.

Today, India's thoughts are audible in the stage that is the world, says PM Modi. "India is everyone's friend. Relations between Palestine and Israel might have cooled off, but they are both our friends. This is something to be proud of," says PM Modi.

I have been working tirelessly for the last 5 years for the benefit of this nation, and to make sure that our nation makes optimum usage of resources, says PM Modi. I want to work for our nation till 2023 too, he adds.

He criticises Congress, says they did not have vision and have not worked for the benefit of the nation, directing his comments to Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge. "Modiji will frighten the people who are corrupt," says PM Modi. The nation has put me in this position to end corruption, he says.

Lok Sabha | 6:54 pm

Prime Minister Modi continues his response on the Motion of Thanks to the President's address:

After demonetisation, 3 lakh fraud companies have shut down, claims PM Modi, in response to criticism to demonetisation.

He says that he has to hear cussing from all sides because he stopped ways to funnel in black money from abroad. He talks about a dargah in Narmada vally whose foundation stone was laid by Nehruji, but was inaugurated by Mr. Modi only recently - why did it take so long? PM asks.

Some people think of themselves as a 'prince', and they keep insulting the army, RBI, Supreme Court etc. "Congress mukht bharat is Mahatma Gandhi's slogan - I just want to fulfil his wish," he says. For me, the country is greater than my life, says PM Modi.

Opposition protests to this.

PM Modi speaks about two famous songs about inflation during the regime of Indira Gandhi. "Whenever Congress was in power, inflation has always been high," he says.  The new aspirations of our people are a sign of development - I am noting it, it gives me power to work, he says.

Wrt to GST, Mr. Modi says that today, 99% of consumables are under the 18% slab. The request for a unified GST has been on for a long time, but you did not pay attention to it - but we did, says the Prime Minister. He talks about the education loans, the reduced price of LED bills, affordable and free dialysis treatments, etc. 

Speaking about Aayushman Bharat, PM Modi requests the MPs to make sure all the poor in the constituencies benefit from the scheme. "Elections will come and go," he says.

 

Lok Sabha | 6:20 pm

Prime Minister Modi continues his response on the Motion of Thanks to the President's address:

"The Congress members are bad-naming the judiciary and police, just because they don't like what the institutions are doing - how is this healthy? You have to respect our institutions," says PM Modi.

The Congress governments across years have dismissed the State governments multiple times, says PM Modi, citing the Kerala example as one of many. He also refers to the dismantling of the MGR government. Hence, before pointing a finger at Modi, please note that four fingers are pointed at Congress, says Mr. Modi.

As it happened | Congress mukt Bharat was Gandhi's idea, says PM Modi

PM Modi falls back to reminiscing about his humble origins, says the opposition is being illogical because they can't stomach that a man grew up in poverty and is now occupying the PM's seat.

He says that the opposition keeps bringing up 1947 (like BC and AD but only Before Congress and After Dynasty) whenever the current government speaks about its achievements. But in 1947, there were not so many rules, or such scrutiny from media - if you actually wanted to do it, you could have done it in two decades, says Mr. Modi.  He says "you talk abt malamilavat - join together in WB, but then you wouldn't be able to look at each other in Kerala."

Opposition protests loudly to this.

You just kept making promises, but we have actually done things, says PM Modi.

Commonwealth games was a great opportunity to bring shaan to our country, but the Congress was trying to  increase it's on wealth, says PM Modi, referring to his various achievements in banking sector, spectrum regulation and such.

In a veiled reference to Vijay Mallya, Mr. Modi says that corrupt people are crying on Twitter that their wealth is being taken away. "You let them loot, we are making laws to bring that wealth back," he says.

Referring to achievements in defence sector (complete with an "Uri" movie name drop), PM Modi refers to how the government has bought numerous bullet-proof jackets, among other things.  He accuses the Congress of "criminal negligence" of the Army and Navy, even though we live among such neighbours.

Referring to the Rafale deal, PM Modi says that the Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had replied to each accusation point by point. He accuses the Congress of not wanting our Air Force to be strong. I am levelling a serious accusation, says PM Modi, asking on whose behest Congress wants this Rafale deal to be cancelled.

Lok Sabha | 5:57 pm

Prime Minister Narendra Modi responds on the Motion of Thanks to the President's address:

Our government is for the poor, against corruption and for development, says PM Modi. Some people made valid comments today, some spoke rubbish - I understand it is election year, so sometimes people have to say something to stay relevant, he says.

"I want to congratulate the crores of youngsters who will be voting for the first time this year. Voting is an important process - you will be upholding our democratic process," the PM says. Only those who are positive and have vision can work for New India, he adds, referring to a line said by Swami Vivekanand about the importance of facing challenges.

Mr. Modi goes on to enumerate the achievements of the country under his governance - in terms of internet data rates and consumption, startup ecosystem, aviation section etc. Some people in Opposition are so involved in criticising Modiji that they are doing harm to the country, he says, adding they are criticizing the government from press conferences in London, harming India's image.  When they are criticising Modiji, they remind me of a saying "ulta chor chowkidar ko daate", says Mr. Modi.

Lok Sabha | 5:57 pm

Ramdas Athawale speaks on Motion of Thanks to the President's address:

Mr. Athawale begins his speech with poetry with rhymes like "jhumla" ,"kamala" and "hamla."

When he refers to the Kolkata issue and the clashes with CBI - says "Kolkata ki logon to jagana hai, Mamta ji ko udhar se bhagana hai".

Lok Sabha | 5:32 pm

Meenakshi Lekhi speaks for the BJP:

As it happened | Congress mukt Bharat was Gandhi's idea, says PM Modi

She says that many people in the Opposition are working like party members rather than government officials. Women have benefited a lot from the policies of the government. She refers to the triple talaq bill, says such schemes are criticized by Owaisi - do you not think of women as more than just wives? Are they not your daughters as well?, she asks.

The criticism that this government has just renamed schemes is false, she says. The change is coverage is significant, she says, citing significant numbers.

Ms. Lekhi criticizes the Karnataka State government, says she spoke with a party member who works at the ground level. She says that the member said the Rs. 6,000/annum would provide significant support for the farmers in a way the State government had not given them.

We completed the journey from charka to Chandrayaan in the last 60 years, she says. "Today in our country, everyone works towards Swachatha (cleanliness). Earlier 120 families used to control the lives of 1,20,00,000. That has changed now," she adds, saying she grew up hearing "garibi hatao" but no one helped the garib.

We are sensitive to the plight of many people who are struggle - we want to make sure that there is light in front of darkness in future, she says. "The Opposition says lokthandr is in danger. I want to say lootthandr is in danger," she adds.

PM Modi is in the House and is expected to address the House in a while.

Lok Sabha | 5:21 pm

 

Awazuddin Owaisi (AIMIM) tears into PM Modi's recent Jammu and Kashmir visit, says "I have no idea who he waved to, but wave he did". He refers to America moving away from Afghanistan and world trying to talk with Taliban to solve the issues there, and says that India has been isolated in our attempts to isolate Pakistan.

He says that Bharat Ratna has been become the exclusive club of upper caste.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj refutes Mr. Owaisi's charges that Pakistan has suffered no consequences adn India has been isolated - she refers to how Pakistan has been placed on the grey list by the Financial Task Force as a huge achievement.

 

Lok Sabha | 5:12 pm

Kunwar Haribansh Singh, Apna Dal from UP speaks:

MP says I recently went to America and everyone was praising PM Modi, so I asked them why they like Modi, and they said he gave us respect and identity - money we already had.

He says in his village in UP, they now have a passport office and there has been vast development that did not happen in the past 60 years. So many roads are being built that they have changed the name of Highways Minister Nithin Gadkari to 'Roadkari', he jokes.

 

Lok Sabha | 4:51 pm

 

Kalyan Banerjee of AITC, WB says he respectfully disagrees with the President's speech.

As it happened | Congress mukt Bharat was Gandhi's idea, says PM Modi

He goes on to speak about the devastations caused by demonetisation, quoting Nobel-winning economist Amartya Sen's criticisms of the move.

He goes on to speak about how the schemes launched under WB CM Mamata Banerjee ("our beloved Didi," he says) has lead to the improvement of several health indicators in the State, particularly for women and children.

Mr. Banerjee goes on to criticise the Centre for its handling of the various institutions like the CBI and RBI, comparing it to the Emergency period where the Indian judiciary saw widespread interference by the Central government.

Indira Gandhi declared emergency in writing, but Narendra Modi has imposed an undeclared emergency - Opposition voice cannot be stalled, he says.

Ruckus follows as Mr. Banerjee compares the "Modi, Modi" chant to circus.

Lok Sabha | 4:37 pm

 

Former PM H.D. Deve Gowda, JD(S) MP from Hassan (Karnataka) is speaking in the Lower House on the Motion of Thanks on the President's address.  Mr. Gowda reminisces about his days as a Parliamentarian.

H.D. Devegowda speaks in Lok Sabha on February 07, 2019.

H.D. Devegowda speaks in Lok Sabha on February 07, 2019.   | Photo Credit: LSTV

 

He says coalition government can work too if the people involved want it too - former PM Vajpayee's government was a coalition government too, he adds.  He says that worry about the farmers and poverty alleviation are not the solely on the current PM's shoulder - everyone is worried about them, everyone wants to help them. We are all committed to improving our farming sector, he says.

The Central government has announced Rs. 6000/annum, but what can Rs. 17/day do for anyone? Mr. Gowda asks.

The other members start shouting Ambani, Adani etc.

No, it is not about taking any names, says Mr. Gowda. Can PM Modi win without corporate backing? So we need to ask our hearts about what is right in our hearts, he says. The support for farmers should be increased to Rs. 15,000/year, Mr. Gowda says.

 

Lok Sabha | 3:55 pm

N.K. Premachandran, RSP, Kollam (Kerala): "The so-called achievements by the govt are not really achievements. BJP has got an absolute majority to rule the country. What they delivered after five years, is full of broken promises. 6.1% is the unemployment rate, highest in the last few years. The govt should create a social infrastructure to create jobs. BJP's govt is a complete failure. The people of India have no choice but to create a new India."

Virender Kashyap, BJP, Shimla (Himachal Pradesh): "So far, all the 'yojanas' brought to force by the govt has been for the benefit of the poor. Today we are very grateful to the Modi govt. The PM has helped the youth to be a job creater, instead of a job seeker."

Jay Prakash Narayan Yadav, RJD, Banka (Bihar): "An earthquake is going to come. People's mood has changed. New India will not have caste discrimination. We'll get justice."

Lok Sabha | 3:15 pm

Jayadev Galla of TDP, Guntur (Andhra Pradesh): "The interim budget, instead of making changes which will lead to sustainable measures, the govt has given a 'band-aid budget'. Fool me once, shame of you, fool me twice, shame on me. They not only fooled me, but the entire state of Andhra Pradesh. They fooled a lot of people. This 2019 'band-aid budget' has no accountability. Mr. Prime Minister, let me remind you that you promised to build us a campus bigger than Delhi. You completely ignored Andhra Pradesh. BJP vote share is hardly measurable in AP. You've underestimated Shri Nara Chandrababu Naidu. You've underestimated the power of Indian democracy.

There have been dharnas, rasta rokos in many states for the last four years. PM Modi and Amit Shah did not care. Now the budget gives a farmer ₹17 a day. How does it help farmers in distress? It will take nearly half a century to double the farmers' income. The PM promised to create 10 crore jobs in 5 years. Leave alone 10 crore jobs, many crores of people have lost their jobs.

The Modi-Shah regime is openly embarking a path of cultural nationalism. They're trying to give a very narrow definition of what it is to be an Indian. India is a civilisation that is more than 5,000 years old. India is about diversity."

Lok Sabha | 2:45 pm

Harsimrat Kaur Badal of SAD, Bathinda (Punjab): "There are talks about 'Garibi hatao', but the govt doesn't take any steps towards it. The PM has always said that he serves and secures the people but he has only looted them."

Rajya Sabha | 2:20 pm

Rajya Sabha adjourns for the day over faculty reservation issue in universities.

Lok Sabha | 2:00 pm

Anandrao Adsul of Shiv Sena, Amravati (Maharashtra) talks about India's conditions with toilets, Ayushman Bharat and Modi govt's Ujjwala Yojana. "PM Modi's demonetisation decision didn't help any farmer, trader and consumer. It didn't help bring back the black money. He should've accepted his mistake."

Dinesh Trivedi of AITC, Barrackpur (West Bengal): "I was happy that the President talked about Mahatma Gandhi, Constitution Day, Ram Manohar Lohia, etc. When he said that 'prior to 2014 general elections, the country was passing through uncertainty', I don't understand what uncertainty he was referring to. This country has seen a lot of leaders. Dr. S. Radhakrishnan once said that suicide was a big crime, but a bigger crime is getting away from the spirit of India. I'm afraid we are moving away from the same.

Mamata Banerjee is the new 'Jhansi ki Rani'. She has proven that nothing else matters since the people are with us.

More than 25 million people have applied for 90,000 jobs which tells us about the unemployment situation. Today democracy is in danger. Institutions of democracy has compromised. Why did you bulldoze all the legislations? Your new India is about destroying the Constitution, enemployment, creating fear, me and not us, destroying RBI to CBI, not recognising the norms of Parliament, not to follow Raj Dharm, against the cause of Vasudev Kudumbakam, destroying the youth, lowest farmers income, farmers suicide, 77% of workers out of workforce, not achieving the objective of demonetisation, and more."

Lok Sabha | 1:30 pm

Mr. Kharge picks hole in the government's electrification drive.

The government promised minimum government, maximum governance. But what happened in five years was "organised lynching," Mr. Kharge says. While there were isolated incidents of mob attacks, what is happening now is organised attacks. The issue was raised even in the House. But it such attacks don't stop. He raises the issue of shooting the effigy of Mahatma Gandhi.

The prices of petrol and diesel are unchanged even when the crude prices fall. You earned Rs.9-10 lakh crore. But you are not willing to provide relief to the consumers, Mr. Kharge says.

Mr. Kharge reminds the government of the pending Women's Bill. The BJP earlier ridiculed MNREGA. Then it praised the scheme. But why has the allocation of MNREGA come down, he asks.

The President's address doesn't mention a word on Beti Bachao, Beti Badao. He points out the lesser release of funds.

Mr. Kharge claims the Lokpal has been put under "cold storage." Only two words needed to be amended in the Lokpal Bill. The government takes five years to do it. 

Mr. Kharge calls the government "name changing sarkar." He lists out the UPA schemes that were brought out with new names.

Mr. Kharge ends his speech with quotes of Ambedkar and Basavanna.

Lok Sabha | 1:15 pm

Mr. Kharge reiterates the demand for a joint parliamentary committee on Rafale deal. You are supporting a man who has filed insolvency, Mr. Kharge says.

He accuses the government of lying to the Supreme Court. When the CAG report was not tabled, the government mentioned it in the top court.

He accuses the government of intervening in the functioning of autonomous institutions such as higher judiciary, RBI, Niti Aayog, and NSSO. The CBI, CVC, and ED are being misused, he adds.

Mr. Modi had promised doubling the farmers' income. But the agricultural growth has come down to 2 per cent. When you can waive off corporate loans, why not provide farm loan waiver, he asks.

When the election is approaching, you are providing a dole, he accuses.

Mr. Kharge says the Prime Minister crop insurance scheme is a sham and the successor governments must give it up. The scheme gave Rs. 20,000 crores to insurance companies. This is daylight robbery, he says.

Lok Sabha | 1:00 pm

The Congress government managed 9.6 per cent growth even during the time of recession, Mr. Kharge says. He says the government is desperate and that is why changing the base to show higher GDP.

If the GDP is so high, why is unemployment so high, he asks.

Mr. Kharge trains his guns to demonetisation. The government made tall promises while banning Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 currency notes. The poor people who had miniscule savings bore the brunt of the note ban. The rich are unaffected, have fled the country, he says.

Former Manmohan Singh had said demonetisation was legalised plunder and organised loot. Arvind Subramanian too said it was a monumental shock. Amartya Sen too spoke against the move, Mr. Kharge points out.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge speaks in Lok Sabha.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge speaks in Lok Sabha.   | Photo Credit: LSTV

 

The RBI says 99.9 per cent banned notes are back. Where is the black money, Mr. Kharge asks.

He claims the unemployment rate is 6.1 per cent and accuses the government of hiding the report. It is the highest in rural areas, Mr. Kharge claims. A member raises Point of Order. The member says Mr. Kharge cannot quote something that is not tabled in the House yet.

Mr. Kharge says the government is yet to fill lakhs of vacancies in the Railways and other state-PSUs. Mr. Kharge says the 55 lakh employment claim was not true. He says those who were already working were brought under ESI. "It happens every year," he says.

Mallikarjun Kharge says whenever an election comes, the GST rates keep fluctuating.

Lok Sabha | 12:50 pm

Mr. Kharge lists out the achievements of the Congress rule. Literacy rate, life expectancy, irrigation, green revolution were all our achievements.  Infant mortality was drastically brought down.

White revolution, expansion of roads and railways, were all expanded in our rule. There was 500 colleges in 1947. It went up to over 36,000 till 2014, Mr. Kharge says. When a member from Treasury bench objects, Mr. Kharge retorts, "Even you studied in the same college." Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi chuckles.

"You have ended the Planning Commission and replaced it with a think thank," Mr. Kharge. We created several public sector enterprises, including nuclear stations and the mighty ISRO. "Give us some credit too," Mr. Kharge says.

"What did we do in 60 years? We saved the nation, gave food, water and milk, gave education. We gave everything," Mr. Kharge says. 

Lok Sabha | 12:40 pm

Lok Sabha takes up Motion of Thanks on the President's address. Congress leader Mallkarjun Kharge rises to speak.

The President's address is the same as what the Prime Minister has said here and outside in the last five years, Mr. Kharge says.

In a veiled dig at the government, Mr. Kharge recites a poem. He says the Prime Minister speaks only about himself.

Mr. Kharge says the President's address was used to score political points and it is a new low in politics.

The BJP leaders asks us what we have done in the last 60 years. "We are a democratic, secular, republic country," he says and adds the BJP government has made several steps to do away with these traits. He accuses the government of taking away the reservation of socially-backward people.

Mr. Kharge points out the Ministry in an unstarred question said there was no proposal for reservation to general category. But in the next half-an-hour, the government announces a Bill for the same. "Even the Cabinet is kept in the dark," Mr. Kharge says.

Lok Sabha | 12:30 pm

Harishchandra Chavan (BJP) wants the government to take up with Bangladesh government and reduce the import duty.

Nishikant Dubey (BJP) speaks about ponzi scams in the region. He says when the bureaucrats are being questioned in the scam, West Bengal Chief Minister sits on protest. Trinamool Congress members protest.

Sushil Kumar Singh (BJP) speaks on malnourishment and stunted growth among poor children.

Udit Raj (BJP) speaks on the 13-Point Roster. He appeals to the Prime Minister to bring a legislation on the issue. He also points out the rising disputes between legislature and judiciary.

Ramesh Bidhudi (BJP) disputes the way Delhi Jal Board is working. He claims the Delhi government is not doing enough in water supply.

Ranjeet Ranjan (Congress) wants the CBI to take up shelter home rapes in several parts of Bihar. She seeks a thorough probe on the NGOs that run these shelter homes.

Lok Sabha | 12:20 pm

Gourav Gogoi (Congress) to speed up the process of NRC. He also says the Citizenship Amendment Bill will infringe the Assam Accord and NRC process.

Lakhan Lal Sahu (BJP) raises the issue of fire in Chhattisgarh Institute of Medical Sciences. He accuses the State government of protecting the guilty.

Baghirath Prasad (BJP) says youth in Chambal are accustomed to using pistols as the place was prone to dacoity. He suggests the Centre to come up with a scheme to absorb these youth in security forces by providing training.

Sreemathy Teacher (CPI-M) speaks about plight of elderly people living alone. She seeks monthly pension and free medical treatment to the destitute senior citizens.

Sathyabama (AIADMK) speaks in Tamil. She seeks the reduction of GST on water treatment and sewage treatment plants and systems.

Lok Sabha | 12:10 pm

Now, Zero Hour proccedings. P. Nagarajan, the AIADMK member from Coimbatore, seeks increased domestic and international passenger and freight flight connectivity in the region.

Bola Singh (BJP) says despite being part of NCR Bulandshahr does not have proper infrastructure. He seeks certain Zillas to be included to the Union Territory of Delhi.

M.B. Rajesh (CPI-M) seeks repeal of fee hike of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas. He sees the fee hike as a way to do away reservation in these schools.

Rajesh Ranjan aka Pappu Yadav seeks a flower corporation.

Ratan Lal Kataria (BJP) says more than three lakh people have died due to cancer. He seeks the Health Ministry to expand cancer screening and enhance pathological service across the country.

Lok Sabha | 12:00 noon

A member asks about Kartarpur corridor. Nitin Gadkari says the State government is working on the land acquisition and the overall process has been sped up.

Dushyant Singh (BJP) joins the issue with the Speaker on connectivity in Rajasthan. Mr. Singh asks when his constituency will be linked with Indore and the southern India. Mr. Gadkari says the member's idea is ambitious and he will consider it.

The last question is on connectivity in Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. The area recently witnessed massive floods and earthquake. Mr. Gadkari says all-season roads are being developed keeping in mind the ecological concerns.

Speaker is happy with the Question Hour proceedings.

Lok Sabha | 11:50 am

Delhi to Mumbai on road in 12 hours, Nitin Gadkari says the land acquisition for the expressway is already done. Mr. Gadkari elaborates how he saved money in the project and how the scheme will help several cities and town.

"If you have saved so much money. Why can't you develop a road to connect Mandsaur to Indore," the Speaker suggests.

Mr. Gadkari says he receives praise from members across the partylines and he is happy that his ministry is doing a good job.

Lok Sabha | 11:40 am

Lok Sabha continues with Question Hour. A member points out Pakistan's signals are coming to India. Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore says more than that, our signals go to Pakistan! It's to do with the coverage. We have an international treaty and signals can't be blocked, he adds.

Ninong Ering, Congress member from Arunachal Pradesh says the only link to State to the rest of the country is through Assam. He seeks more road connectivity. Nitin Gadkari, Surface Transport Minister, explains the Bharatmala Scheme for connectivity. Over Rs. 2 lakh crore worth projects are under way in the north east region, he adds.

Rajya Sabha | 11:30 am

Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar responds. He says his party is also part of the Reservation movement. Opposition members protest.

The government is of the view to consider a University as a single entity. The new system was not brought by the government, but due to a court order.  "We did an elaborate study and based on that filed a review petition," he says.

On the UGC circulars and advertisements, we are considering legal action, the Minister says.

The BSP and SP members are not satisfied with the Minister's reply. They protest.

House is adjourned till 2 pm.

Rajya Sabha | 11:20 am

Rajya Sabha reassembles. Chairperson M. Venkaiah Naidu allows discussion on 13-Point Roster.

Ramgopal Yadav (SP) says 13 Universities have issued advertisement for recruiting teaching staff and the representation of the socially-backwards is less and nill in certain cases. Mr. Yadav says review petition won't help. He demands a Bill on the issue.

Manoj Kumar Jha (RJD) says Scheduled Tribes are not mentioned in the new advertisements. The representation of OBCs and SCs are also coming down. 

Satish Chandra Misra (BSP) points out that despite Union HRD Minister's assurance in the House that fresh recruitments won't be taken up. He produces advertisements given by certain universities. "When you can bring Constitutional Amendment overnight, why not now," he asks.

"The government must uphold the principles of social justice," says Binoy Viswom (CPI-M).

Lok Sabha | 11:20 am

Next set of questions pertain to Soubhagya Yojana, a scheme that provides electricity to all households. A BJP member says 30 lakh families are still not covered in the scheme.

Minister says Raj Kumar Singh says only Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh hasn't reached the 100 per cent electrification yet and efforts are being made to bring these people under electrification scheme.

Mallikarjun Kharge points out for an earlier question, the Minister has mentioned Rajasthan also.

Lok Sabha | 11:15 am

Nishikant Dubey (BJP) says Prime Minister has taken AIR to new heights with his Mann Ki Baat. Members from Opposition benches object to it. "This is the proof," he says and adds that he is unable to hear the programme in his constituency.

We are covering 99.2 per cent population, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore says. "His constituency is also covered."

Lok Sabha | 11:05 am

In Lok Sabha, during Question Hour, a member asks about the new TRAI regulation and the presence of Doordarshan. Information Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore says the state-owned channel is striving to match the competition of private players.

Manna Dey (TMC) asks if the government has made any steps to take DD and AIR in international area. "Our main priority is local audience. But we have DD India for the international audience," he says.

Rajya Sabha | 11:05 am

Rajya Sabha Chairperson suggests members to consider if the House can skip lunch, Zero Hour to run the House.

Ramgopal Yadav intervenes. Mr. Naidu retorts, "I am not capable of running the House link this."

Satish Chandra Mishra (BSP) says the Chair should consider taking up debate on 13-Point Roster.

Mr. Naidu adjourns the House till 11:20 am, so that the floor leaders can come up with a consensus.

11:00 am

Lok Sabha assembles. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan is in the Chair. She reads obituary reference of former member Jeetendra Singh Bundela. House pays silent tribute.

Rajya Sabha assembles. Chairperson M. Venkaiah Naidu is in the Chair. Members lay various papers listed against their names on the table of the House.

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