Parliament proceedings, Sept. 14 updates | MP Harivansh re-elected as Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha

Rajya Sabha Chairperson M. Venkaiah Naidu during the first day of monsoon session, on September 14, 2020. Photo courtesy: RSTV  

The monsoon session of the Parliament kicked off on Monday with Lok Sabha assembling first.  The lower House paid tributes to former President Pranab Mukherjee, Congress MP H. Vasantha Kumar, Pandit Jasraj and 13 former parliamentarians, who passed away recently.

On Day 1, Lok Sabha passed two Bills.

Here are the latest updates:

Raya Sabha | 6.55 pm

Bills introduced in Rajya Sabha

The Salaries and Allowances of Ministers (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and The Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020 have been introduced in the Rajya Sabha through voice vote. All the four Bills are already in force as Ordinances.

Chairman Venkaiah Naidu adjourns the House till 9 a.m. on September 15.

Raya Sabha | 6.45 pm

Chairman moves to Zero Hour

Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu moves to Zero Hour.

DMK MP P. Wilson raises the issue of students facing hardships over the conduct of NEET examination, cites recent suicides by students in Madurai.

Congress MP P.L. Punia raises the issue of State governments suspending labour laws.

Congress MP Jairam Ramesh says draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) notification is dangerous is anti-democratic, anti-public health, anti-federalism and anti-jurisprudence.

Responding to Mr. Ramesh, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar says the draft EIA adheres to the High Court and Supreme Court judgments. "I deny the charges."

Mr. Naidu allows Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar of the TDP to speak in Telugu.

Raya Sabha | 6.30 pm

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi moves a motion to suspend Question Hour and Private Member's Business in this monsoon session.

TMC MP Derek O'Brien moves amendment challenging the government's contention to cancel the Question Hour. It has never happened before for a regular session, he remarks.

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad says “People of the country have no access or means to ask questions to the Ministers. MPs ask questions on behalf of the people of India. The people of India have been deprived by depriving the Question Hour.”

Mr. Naidu replies "I was also keen to have the Question Hour and all other business, but the problem is that we are meeting in extraordinary times."

Mr. Naidu puts Mr. O'Brien's amendment to vote and it is negatived through voice vote.

The motion to suspend the Question Hour and Private Member Business during monsoon session in the Rajya Sabha is adopted through voice vote.

Read more
 

Raya Sabha | 5.45 pm

Felicitations to the Deputy Chairman

Prasana Acharya of BJD congratulates Mr. Harivansh and also makes a note of his friendship with Opposition’s candidate Mr. Jha. “Both of them are very old and great friends. They have shared their meals and rooms.”

K. Keshava Rao of TRS, YSRCP's V. Vijaysai Reddy, DMK's Tiruchi Siva follow in congratulating Mr. Harivansh. Mr. Rao requested the members of the House to speak in Hindi and refrain from using Sanskrit so that the majority of the members understand what is being said.

Mr. Naidu asks Vandana Chavan of NCP, who is seated in the Lok Sabha, to congratulate the new Deputy Chairman.

JD(U)'s  Ram Chandra Prasad Singh and RJD's Manoj Kumar Jha, Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut, BSP's Satish Chandra Misra, CPI(M)’s Elamaran Kareem, CPI's Binoy Visvam, AAP's Sanjay Singh, TMC(M)'s G.K. Vasan (seated in the gallery), Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale, AIADMK's S.R. Balasubramoniyan, Leader of the House Thaawarchand Gehlot and Mr. Naidu felicitate the re-elected Deputy Chairman Harivansh.

JDU MP Harivansh Narayan Singh speaks in the Rajya Sabha during the opening day of monsoon session of Parliament, in New Delhi on September 14, 2020. Photo courtesy: RSTV/PTI

JDU MP Harivansh Narayan Singh speaks in the Rajya Sabha during the opening day of monsoon session of Parliament, in New Delhi on September 14, 2020. Photo courtesy: RSTV/PTI  

 

Mr. Harivansh thanks PM Modi and the members of the House for re-electing him as the Deputy Chairman.

Mr. Harivansh says it is an honour to have been born in JP Narayan’s village. He also thanked Bihar CM Nitish Kumar for giving him the opportunity again.

Read more
 

Raya Sabha | 5.30 pm

PM Modi congratulates MP Harivansh

Prime Minister Narendra Modi begins to speak in the Rajya Sabha. He congratulates the chairman and the team of the Rajya Sabha for the arrangements made for the monsoon session.

“As a journalist, Harivansh carved an honest identity for himself and I have had respect for him,” says the PM congratulating the newly-elected Deputy Chairman.

"I want to congratulate Harivanshjii. Be it as a journalist or social worker, he has endeared himself to many. We have all seen the manner in which he conducts the House proceedings.

"This time the Parliament has convened in circumstances that were never seen before. It is important to ensure all safety precautions are taken," says the PM.

"Harivansh Ji belongs to all sides of the aisle. He has conducted proceedings in an impartial manner. He has been an outstanding umpire and will continue being so in the times to come. He has always been diligent in performing his duties.

"Harivansh Ji has made efforts to ensure productivity and positivity are on the rise in Parliament. He is a torchbearer of democracy, hailing from Bihar, a land known for its democratic ethos. It is Bihar that has a close link with JP and Bapu’s Champaran Satyagraha.

PM Modi, recounting a story someone told him about Mr. Harivansh, says:

“Harivanshji started his education at a school under a neem tree in his village.

"Before high school, he did not have shoes. When he started high school, his shoes were being made in the village and he would go to see the person making them to ask when they would be ready.

"This shows how he has been in touch with the ground realities.

"Harivanshji has represented India at many global conferences. Wherever he went, he left a mark and raised India’s prestige."

Raya Sabha | 5.15 pm

Harivansh elected as Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha

The process of election of the Deputy Chairman begins.

NDA leader J.P. Nadda moves motion for choosing JD(U)’s Harivansh as Deputy Chairperson. Opposition leaders, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Tiruchi Siva and Javed Ali Khan move motions to elect Professor Manoj Jha as Deputy Chairperson.

Incumbent Deputy Chairman Harivansh has been chosen by voice vote.

Rajya Sabha | 5.00 pm

Now, the papers are being laid on table. Ministers register their statements explaining the reasons for promulgating a few Ordinances. The statement listed against Home Minister's name is being tabled by his MoS.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tables the supplementary demand for grants.

As Mr. Naidu reads out the names of MPs appointed to panel of Deputy Chairperson, most of them are found sitting in the Lok Sabha.

As he calls for them, members of the House start looking for them and they are found sitting in the Lok Sabha.

Mr. Naidu goes on to crack a joke, “Without getting elected to Lok Sabha, members get to sit in the Lok Sabha. And without getting elected to the Upper House members get to sit in the Rajya Sabha.”

Rajya Sabha | 4.41 pm

No language is superior, no language is inferior: Naidu

As the Rajya Sabha assembles again sharply by 4.41 p.m., chairman Venkaiah Naidu notes that 1.5 crore people have been affected and thousands have died due to heavy rains and lightening strikes. The House condoles the death of those who lost their lives in these natural calamities, says Mr. Naidu.

Despite being the most populous country in terms of density of population, we have been able to contain the damage from the virus, says Mr. Naidu, adding "We have learn to live with social distancing norms/:

The Chairman asks the MPs to bear with any teething troubles since this is an unprecedented session during the times of pandemic.

Even as the productivity of the House has been declining steadily for the last 25 years, the overall productivity of the last 3 sessions has been 94.3%, notes Mr. Naidu. "If the House is in order, every one gets to be heard," says Mr. Naidu.

On the day of Hindi Divas, Mr. Naidu says “While encouraging Hindi, promote your mother tongue.” “No language is superior, no language is inferior,” he observes and gives a formula for the same: “no imposition, no opposition"

"People in North India, please tell your children to learn one South Indian language also," says Mr. Naidu.

New Delhi | 3.30 pm

25 MPs test positive for COVID-19

As many as 25 members of parliament have tested positive for COVID-19 following the mandatory tests carried out, on September 13 and 14, before the monsoon session started on Monday morning. Of the 25 MPS, 17 were Lok Sabha (LS) members and eight were Rajya Sabha members.

Among the MPs who have tested positive in the Lok Sabha, the BJP has the maximum number — 12. Two MPs of YSR Congress Party, and one member each from the Shiv Sena, the DMK and the RLP have tested positive, according to senior government officials.

Reports also indicate that eight Rajya Sabha (RS) members have also tested positive. Out of the eight RS members, two each are from the Congress and the BJP, with the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, the Aam Aadmi Party, the AIADMK and the Trinamool Congress also registering one positive case each. — Sobhana K. Nair and Bindu Shajan Perappadan

Rajya Sabha | 3.20 pm

Obituary reference

Rajya Sabha Chairman and Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu reads an obituary reference for former President Pranab Mukherjee. "He was widely acknowledged and admired by all and served as the troubleshooter of the government," says Mr. Naidu.

Obituary references for sitting members Beni Prasad Verma, M.P. Veerendra Kumar and Amar Singh are being read by Mr. Naidu.

Mr. Naidu reads obituary references for ex-members Hiphei, M.V. Rajasekharan, Sanatan Bisi, Basant Kumar, R.T. Gopalan, Bhabani Charan Pattanayak, Ajit P.K. Jogi, Saroj Dubey, Vishwa Bandhu Gupta, Bishnu Charan Das, Ram Awadesh Singh, Shyamal Chakraborty, Nandi Yellaiah and Narendra Kumar Swain.

Obituary reference for Pandit Jasraj, renowned Indian classical vocalist, is being read by Mr. Naidu.

Mr. Naidu asks the Rajya Sabha members to raise from their seat and observe silence as a mark of respect in memory of the departed leaders.

The House will assemble again by 4.41 p.m., says Mr. Naidu. The House is adjourned for one hour.

Rajya Sabha | 3.00 pm

Newly-elected members take oath

Rajya Sabha assembles. Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu is in the Chair.

Ajit Kumar Bhuyan, member elected from Assam, takes oath in Assamese. Mr. Naidu urges him to wear his mask, while taking oath.

Phulo Devi Netam takes oath as Rajya Sabha member in Hindi. She was elected from Chhattisgarh.

JMM's Shibu Soren from Jharkhand takes oath. He recently recovered from COVID-19.

LJD's Shreyams Kumar from Kerala takes oath in English.

Dr. Fauzia Khan of NCP from Maharashtra takes oath in Marathi.

NPP's Wanweiroy Kharlukhi from Meghalaya takes oath.

DMK's N.R. Elango from Tamil Nadu takes the oath as as Rajya Sabha in Tamil. He is followed by DMK's  Anthiyur P. Selvarasu and Tiruchi Siva, both take oath in Tamil.

K. Kesahva Rao of TRS from Telangana takes oath in Telugu. K.R. Suresh Reddy, also from TRS, takes oath in English.

Meanwhile, Mr. Naidu asks members not to leave their seat and visit other members during the whole of monsoon session.

Syed Zafar Islam of BJP from Uttar Pradesh takes oath in Hindi. He is followed by party's Jaiprakash Nishad, also from Uttar Pradesh.

AITC's  Arpita Ghosh of West Bengal takes oath in Bengali. She is followed by the party's Dinesh Trivedi who takes the oath in Hindi.

Many of the members took oath in their native language.

Read more
 

 

Rajya Sabha | 2.10 pm

Bills for introduction in Rajya Sabha

  • The Salaries and Allowances of Ministers (Amendment) Bill, 2020
  • The Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020
  • The Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020
  • The Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020

Bills for consideration and passing

  • The Aircraft (Amendment) Bill,2020.
  • The Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda Bill, 2020
Rajya Sabha | 2.00 pm

Rajya Sabha will assemble at 3 pm today. It's proceedings will be simultaneously held in four locations, just like Lok Sabha.

The Upper House will also elect its Deputy Chairperson. Harivansh and Manoj Jha, both MPs from Bihar, are pitted against each other.

1.30 pm

 

Lok Sabha | 1.15 pm

Do you still have anything left to speak, Speaker asks Health Minister as House chuckles.

The Bills are passed by voice vote.

Speaker thanks the members for the smooth functioning of the House. This will strengthen the democracy of the House.

House is adjourned for the day. Lok Sabha will reassemble tomorrow at 3 pm.

Lok Sabha | 1.00 pm

Pratima Mondal (TMC) points out issues in The National Commission for Homoeopathy Bill, 2020. She also requests the minister to encourage collaboration with other institutes.  She also points out that all members will be appointed by the Centre, which means States will have no say.

The House timing has been increased till the passage of the bill.

Arvind Sawant (Shiv Sena) takes cue from T.R. Baalu's Zero Hour mention. He says after NEET, students choose Indian medicine when they couldn't secure a MBBS seat. The allopathy medicine is dominant here. In pandemic times, we saw how Indian medicines came handy. They must be encouraged.

Bhartruhari Mahtab (BJD) lays his speech as a statement on the table of the House.

"I feared that I may not see your smile. But thanks to the arrangements, we are able to see your smile," says M. Sreenivasulu Reddy (YSRCP).

Kalanidhi Veerasamy (DMK) pays tributes to aspirants who ended lives due to NEET. He seeks ban on NEET. We are not doing enough on research. Dr. Kalanidhi, a practicing medical professional, wants all form of medicines to be tested before prescribing medicines. We are not allopathy practitioners. We practice evidence-based medicines, he says.

Lok Sabha | 12.50 pm

Govt should ensure the Bill doesn't encourage quackery: Tharoor

Shashi Tharoor says he has reservation on The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2020. The Indian system of medicine prescribes wellness and preventive care unlike other popular forms.

He says there are eight issues with the Bill: The Bill ignored many standing committee recommendation. Yoga and Naturopathy has been excluded. Why need a separate Bill, when it can be added to the Indian System of Medicine Bill itself, he asks.

The government cannot be creating the commission and govern it. An appellate panel is needed.

There is no provision to train the teachers. There should be some way to screen certified practitioners.

The Bill could encourage quakery. How can someone who didn't study allopathy prescribe its medicine, he asks.

Exit test cannot be the only criteria to certify practitioners.

There needs to be more provision on research. There should also be standards to get recognition worldwide.

Lok Sabha | 12.45 pm

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan seeks to take up The National Commission for Homoeopathy Bill, 2020 and The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2020, for discussion.

Dr. Vardhan is initiating the debate since AYUSH Minister Shripad Naik is recovering from COVID-19.

Both the Bills have already been unanimously cleared by Rajya Sabha, after the scrutiny of parliamentary committees.

Once again the Speaker asks Dr. Vardhan to truncate his speech. He reminds him they don't have much time. Dr. Vardhan says the government is likely to bring a similar bill for Yoga.

Lok Sabha | 12.40 pm

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman introduces The Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

She also seeks to introduce The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020. Prof. Saugata Ray opposes bringing cooperative banks under the control of Centre. Shashi Tharoor also opposes on the same grounds. He says it is beyond the legislative control of the House to bring a Bill on a State list. He points out the issue is sub-judice. He suggests the Bill to be referred to the Standing Committee.

Ms. Sitharaman points out the RBI regulates cooperative banks and this Bill only seeks to extend banking regulation to cooperative banks and not all cooperatives.

A number of cooperative banks are in severe stress, they are in a precarious weak financial situation. The Bill is to benefit them, she says.

The Bill is introduced.

Lok Sabha | 12.25 pm

Narendra Singh Tomar seeks to introduce The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Saugata Ray and Shashi Tharoor oppose the Bill.  Prof. Ray calls it a draconian Act.

What was the necessity to bring this ordinance when it had nothing to do with COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Tharoor asks.

Gaurav Gogoi says the government is grabbing the rights of farmers and handing it over to corporates. He claims the government had deliberately removed MSP from the Bill.

Mr. Tomar says the Bill will benefit small-scale farmers. He asks the House to trust the government.  He says the Bill will be a game changer for farmers.

The Bill is introduced.

Lok Sabha | 12.15 pm

Nirmala Sitharaman introduces the Bilateral Netting of Qualified Financial Contracts Bill, 2020.

Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar seeks to introduce the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion an Facilitation) Bill, 2020.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Sougata Ray oppose the Bill calling it anti-farmers. Gaurav Gogoi says farmers and States were not consulted and promotes corporate nexus.

Santosh Singh Chowdhury (Congress) says the Bill is outside the legislative powers.

Mr. Tomar responds. He says the Bill will benefit the farmers. He says the Bill actually empowers the farmers to decide the price of their produce, which was earlier determined by the traders. He also says the Bill does not infringe the powers of APMC Act. He also assures the House that the MSP will continue.

The Bill is introduced.

Lok Sabha | 12.05 pm

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan seeks to introduce The Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill, 2020. Congress MP Shashi Tharoor opposes the Bill on six grounds.

The bill discriminates unmarried and LGBT couples. It also discriminates against women who never gave birth. The privacy of donors are compromised. The Bill is silent on penalisation and offenses. It promotes arbitrariness. It contradicts the surrogacy Bill.

Dr. Vardhan says when the surrogacy Bill was brought they wanted ART Bill first, now they are talking about the other Bill.

The Bill is introduced.

Lok Sabha | 11.55 am

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi introduces The Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

Govt also moves The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020. Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury opposes the Bill saying it is against the principles of cooperative federalism.

Gaurav Gogoi (Congress) opposes the Bill saying the Bill will only increase hoarding. He uses his smartphone to read some points of the Bill. Another sign of new normal, where phones replace papers.

Sougata Ray (TMC) says the power of state government has been made exclusionary.

MoS Consumer Affairs, Raosaheb Danve, says the ordinance was needed as farmers were bearing the brunt of pandemic-induced lockdown. He says the ordinance was brought after a high-power committee of six chief ministers approved it.

The Bill is introduced.

Lok Sabha | 11.50 am

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman seeks to withdraw Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020. N.K.K.P. Premachandran opposes it.

An ordinance was promulgated after Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020 could not be passed in Budget session. Now you want to withdraw this Bill. This is a clear case of misuse of power, he says.

Ms. Sitharaman says ordinance was brought to save cooperative banks that were severely stressed. She says the a fresh Bill is being brought, which incorporates the provisions of the Bill that is being withdrawn. He requests the member to withdraw his opposition.

The Bill is withdrawn through voice vote.

Lok Sabha | 11.40 am

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan lists out the steps taken by the government prior to lockdown to curb the pandemic. He points out international flights were stopped and passengers were thoroughly screened, he says.

His speech is truncated due to paucity of time. "Let's discuss this in Business Advisory Committee," the Speaker says when Opposition seeks a discussion. "The minister will speak for two hours then," the Speaker remarks.

Lok Sabha | 11.30 am

India has successfully prevented the aggressive progress of COVID-19: Health Minister

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan makes a statement on COVID-19.

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan makes a statement on COVID-19.   | Photo Credit: Courtesy LSTV

 

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan makes a statement on COVID-19. This is the third statement of the minister in the House, regarding the pandemic.

As on Sept.11, over 200 countries are affected, he says. As on Sept 11, 250 countries are affected.2.79 crore people infected with 3.2% case fatality rate. Over 45 lakh cases, more than 76,000 deaths reported in India. 77.65% cases have recovered.

With our endeavour to manage the COVID-19, India has been able to manage the pandemic. He points out that the case and death per million is lowest in India.

As he goes on to list the symptoms of the disease, Speaker intervenes. "Why don't give the important details alone," he suggests.

"I won't take more than 10-15 minutes, sir," the minister says.

The four-month nationwide lockdown helped the country to successfully prevent the aggressive progress of COVID-19. He says the four-month lockdown help the country ramp up the healthcare infrastructure.  There has been 36.3 times increase in beds and 24.6 times increase in ICU beds since the breakout, he says.

He credits the Prime Minister for the successful COVID-19 management. Opposition members object to it.

Lok Sabha | 11.25 am

S.A. Barne (Shiv Sena) seeks more funds to Maharashtra to fight COVID-19.

Sunil Tatkarey (NCP) opposes the selling of government stakes in LIC. The equity sale of the LIC will severely impact the social sector, he warns.

Speaker suggests parties to allocate seats in Lok Sabha to members who are participating in Zero Hour. Today, the Speaker had a tough time to track members seated in four different places.

Lok Sabha | 11.15 am

Anupriya Patel (Apna Dal) speaks on digital divide in times of online education. She suggests the government to provide one smart phone and SIM to disadvantaged students

Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal (NCP) seeks government to enhance broadband speed in the island.

Nawas Kani (IUML) speaks in Tamil. He seeks speedy disbursement of crop insurance to farmers of his constituency. There are 117 villages waiting for the insurance amount, he says pointing out that Ramanathapuram is a drought-hit district.

Anurag Sharma (BJP) claims private banks are not willing to extend loans to MSMEs.

Margani Bharat (YSRCP) says his constituency Rajahmundry has not been listed as a smart city. He seeks the Ministry of Urban Affairs to declare it a smart city.

Jagdamika Pal (BJP) says Bhojpuri and Rajasthani should be added to the list of official landuages.

Lok Sabha | 11.00 am

Sanjay Seth (BJP) claims the Christian Missionaries are trying to "convert" Adivasis. He speaks from the gallery.

Ranchi member Sanjay Seth.

Ranchi member Sanjay Seth.  

Ravindra Shyamnarayan (BJP) speaks on drug trafficking from neighbouring countries. He lauds the role of NCB.

A Jharkhand MP seeks to restart train services to his State.

Supriya Sule (NCP) speaks on unemployment and economy. She urges the Finance Minister to look into this. This government is not talking extensively on these issues, she says.

Ajay Mishra (BJP) speaks on lesser enrollment of girls in higher education. He says every State should have Universities exclusively for women. He had earlier introduced private members Bill on this.

Lok Sabha | 10.55 am

Zero Hour proceedings begin. DMK leader T.R. Baalu is the first person to speak. He raises to speak. Speaker asks him to sit down. "Mr. Baalu is a senior parliamentarian, he is finding it difficult to sit and speak," the Speaker says. And Mr. Baalu is not alone. All members who spoke so far, almost rose to stood up while speaking.

Mr. Baalu reads the names of 12 medical aspirants who ended lives fearing NEET. State Board students are disadvantaged. He blames the Centre for these suicides.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury raises about Chinese aggression along LAC.

Congress MP Dean Kuriakose speaks about Pettimudy landslide. He seeks a compensation from Centre.

Congress MP Manish Tewari wants Punjabi to be included as official language of Jammu and Kashmir.  Many members from Punjab associate with him.

Lok Sabha | 10.50 am

'Inform doesn't mean confirm'

Leader of the House Rajnath Singh

Leader of the House Rajnath Singh   | Photo Credit: LSTV

 

Leader of the House and Defence Minister Rajnath House reiterates it is extrordinary times. Most political leaders were fine with this arrangement. Unstarred Questions are being allowed. If you are not satisfied with the answer, you can raise it during Zero Hour, he says.

Informing a member does not mean confirm his acceptance, says Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury. "I spoke to Mr. Chowdhury," says Mr. Singh. "You informed," retorts Mr. Chowdhury.

Speaker intervenes. He assures the members they will get opportunity to raise questions. On Mr. Owaisi's demand for division, it is rejected on technical grounds.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister's motion is passed through voice vote.

Lok Sabha | 10.40 am

Manish Tewari points out the Rule Book and says Question Hour cannot be suspended unless the decision is unanimous.

Trinamool Congress member Kalyan Banerjee says this will take the glamour of Parliament. This is only time we can ask questions to the ministers.

Pralhad Joshi responds. All Assemblies have suspended Question Hour. He names Opposition-ruled States that have suspended Question Hour. Without naming Emergency, he recalls how Parliament was curtailed. He also recalls how past Question Hours were washed out due to disruptions.

Lok Sabha | 10.35 am

Questions over Question Hour

Congress floor leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.

Congress floor leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.   | Photo Credit: Courtesy LSTV

 

Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi moves motion regarding business of the House. He seeks the House to suspend Question Hour and Private Members Bills.

Congress Floor Leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury opposes it. He stands to oppose, the Speaker reminds him, he can sit and oppose too. "Question Hour is a golden Hour. The Minister's reason to cancel Question Hour is not convincing. We had Question Hour even during British Rule. When the House can run, why not have Question Hour," he says.

AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi urges the Speaker not to allow executive to encroach the powers of legislature. He seeks division.

Lok Sabha | 10.20 am

Om Birla welcomes members

Lok Sabha reassembles. Speaker Om Birla is in the Chair. He welcomes the members who are participating in the session under extraordinary circumstanses. He explains the new seating arrangement in the House. He urges the members to follow the COVID protocols.

Mr. Birla also explains the new digital services available to the members.

He acknowledges the role of MPs in fighting COVID-19 pandemic. The Speaker also wishes everyone on Hindi Divas. He ends his speech by hoping a productive session.

"I know some members will object to this, but due to safety standards, members will be allowed to sit and speak," the Speaker says.

Lok Sabha MPs seated in Rajya Sabha during the session, as per new seating arrangement.

Lok Sabha MPs seated in Rajya Sabha during the session, as per new seating arrangement.   | Photo Credit: Courtesy LSTV

 

Lok Sabha | 10.15 am

Protest against NEET

DMK MPs staging a protest demanding cancellation of NEET, at Parliament House on the first day of the session in New Delhi on Monday.

DMK MPs staging a protest demanding cancellation of NEET, at Parliament House on the first day of the session in New Delhi on Monday.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

DMK MPs from both the Houses protested against National Eligibility Entrance Test or NEET, the qualification exam for joining medical courses across India.

Most political parties based in Tamil Nadu have opposed NEET, claiming it to be advantageous only for the people with privileged background.

As many as five medical aspirants ended their lives ahead of the examination in the State.

Lok Sabha | 9.35 am

Bills to be introduced in Lok Sabha today:

  • The Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 2020
  • The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020
  • The Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill, 2020
  • The Bilateral Netting of Qualified Financial Contracts Bill, 2020
  • The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion an Facilitation) Bill, 2020
  • The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020.
  • The Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
  • The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

Bills for consideration and passing

  • The National Commission for Homoeopathy Bill, 2020
  • The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2020.

Bills to be withdrawn

  • The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (Bill No. 56 of 2020).
Lok Sabha | 9.25 am

Farooq Abdullah attends session

Lok Sabha MP and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah was seen attending the monsoon session. He was sitting beside NCP member Supriya Sule.

Dr. Abdullah couldn't attend the Budget session as he was arrested under the stringent PSA, after Article 370 was abrogated.

The veteran politician from the Kashmir valley is keen to raise the Jammu and Kashmir issue during this session, NC leaders said.

Lok Sabha | 9.20 am

The House also pays tributes to "corona warriors", healthcare professionals, sanitation workers, and volunteers who lost their lives fighting the pandemic.

The House stands adjourned for an hour.

Lok Sabha | 9.10 am

The new normal

Lok Sabha members attend proceedings maintaining social distance.

Lok Sabha members attend proceedings maintaining social distance.   | Photo Credit: Courtesy: LSTV

 

On any other day, this seating arrangement would make one wonder if there are adequate members in the House to maintain quorum, but during the times of pandemic, this is full House.

To ensure social distancing, the Rajya Sabha chamber and its galleries, and the Lok Sabha chamber is being used to seat members during the session.

Four large display screens, six smaller display screens and audio consoles have been installed in the four galleries, so that the proceedings can be monitored.

Lok Sabha | 9.00 am

Lok Sabha proceedings begin with National Anthem

Speaker Lok Sabha presents obituary reference. He remembers former President Pranab Mukherjee, who passed away recently. Paying glorious tributes to 'Pranabda', Speaker Om Birla recalls the five decades of social contribution of the late Mukherjee.

Mr. Birla also pays obituary reference of sitting MP H. Vasantha Kumar.  The Speaker also pays tributes to Pandit Jasraj.

The House also pays tributes to 13 former members who passed away recently.

8.30 am

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to the media ahead of entering the parliament premises:

"I am confident Parliament will give this message in one voice that it is standing solidly behind soldiers guarding our borders."

"Many important issues will be debated in Parliament, the more debate happens, the better it is: PM before commencement of Monsoon session."

"I am confident all MPs will collectively do value addition to discussions on several subjects."

"Parliament session being held under special circumstances, MPs have chosen the path of doing their duty in COVID times."

8.20 am

Govt lists 23 new bills for Monsoon session

The government has listed 23 new bills, including 11 which seek to replace ordinances, for introduction in Parliament’s Monsoon session beginning Monday.

One of the ordinances the government plans to pass as a Bill during the 18-day-long session relates to providing preventive measures against violence on heathcare personnel.

Another ordinance to be replaced by a Bill relates to reduction in the salary of MPs by 30% for a period of one year beginning April 1, 2020. The amount will be utilised in the fight against coronavirus.

The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 seeks to replace an ordinance issued recently to provide for the creation of an ecosystem where the farmers and traders enjoy the freedom of choice relating to sale and purchase of farmers’ produce which facilitates remunerative prices through competitive alternative trading channels.

Read more
 

8.00 am

Parliament to see several firsts during Monsoon Session

The Monsoon session of Parliament will be marked by several firsts, including the use of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation system and polycarbonate separators, with the arrangements being in compliance with the social distancing norm under the COVID-19 induced restrictions. 

Use of the chambers and the galleries of both the Houses for holding the session will be the first in the history of Indian Parliament since 1952. Parliament has to meet by September 23.

Read more
Related Topics
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 11:21:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/parliament-live-september-14-2020/article32596939.ece

Next Story