Parliament Proceedings |

As it happened: Parliament proceedings, Monsoon Session, July 31, 2017

The Lok Sabha on Monday discussed the issue of mob violence and lynchings in detail, with the Congress demanding answers about action taken so far. 

Congress MP Mallikarjun Kharge laid the blame squarely at the BJP's feet, saying the current government "encouraged" groups behind the lynching. Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan brought up the 1984 riots. TMC MP Saugata Roy demanded a separate law for lynchings. In response, MoS Kiren Rijiju said that the opposition has selective amnesia and is trying to tarnish the image of the country. He added that whenever the Opposition try to tarnish the image of BJP, it emerges stronger.

Several Bills were also introduced in the LS, including the GST Bills for Jammu and Kashmir.

The Rajya Sabha passed the amended version of the Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017 and The National Commission for Backward Classes (Repeal) Bill, 2017 after intense discussion about the Clause III of the Bill. The Bill was finally passed without Clause III.


Live updates:

7: 54 pm | Rajya Sabha

The Chair asks Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot to move that the Bill which has been amended without Clause III be passed. The Bill is put to voting.

The Bill is passed with 124 ayes to 0 noes. The Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017 as amended is passed with required majority.  The Bill can now go to Lok Sabha and be passed there.

Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day.

7: 47 pm | Rajya Sabha

The House is voting on the Clause IV. Electronic display board shows 123 ayes and 1 noe. The Clause is passed.

Voting for Clause V in progress. It is passed by 124 ayes to 0 noes. Clause V is adopted.

Clause VI is passed 124 ayes to 0 noes. It is adopted. 

7: 40 pm | Rajya Sabha

House moves on to vote on other clauses. Clause III put to vote. It is not adopted as it failed to get required majority.

Chaos as MPs start accusing each other for blocking the passing of the Bill.  Chair says he should follow the rulebook and that he cannot stop the voting. The Bill will be passed without the Clause III.

7: 20 pm | Rajya Sabha

Even though there is no precedence, the Chair agrees to adjourn the House for 15 minutes. But the Opposition says that the lobby shouldn't be open - Chair says that is not possible.

Confusion in the House. Chair says that the House is suspended for 10 minutes to reach a consensus.

7: 15 pm | Rajya Sabha

The Chair clarifies that Amendment should be passed with a simple majority and then the Clause containing the Amendment should be passed with a special majority.

P.Chidambaram says that the Treasury Bench should pass the Bill since the Amendment strengthens it.

7: 02 pm | Rajya Sabha

The Chair suspends the House for 15 minutes to enable both sides to work a way out.

6: 55 pm | Rajya Sabha

Treasury and Opposition Benches are locked in a debate about the validity of the Amendment moved by Digvijaya Singh which got 74 votes in favour and 52 against. 

Government reluctant to accept the amendment and argues that a special majority is required to pass amendments.

House is running overtime.

6:30 pm | Rajya Sabha

Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017 put to vote. Special majority needed to pass it.  Lok Sabha passed the Bill on April 10, 2017.

Members move amendments now. Union Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot responds. All withdraw amendments as they are satisfied with the minister's explanation.

The Bill is put for voting.  126 votes are needed to pass it.

6:15 pm | Lok Sabha

If you call the nation names in the guise of freedom of expression, we will not forgive you, says Mr. Rijiju.

He says that the opposition has selective amnesia and is trying to tarnish the image of the country.

"Our PM has made his intentions clear from the beginning - development is the only solutions for our problems. When the PM appeals for peace, that is for the good of all citizens - we should take it seriously. The entire world is singing praises of our PM - this doesn't happen often. So we shouldn't try to tarnish the image of our PM and our country," he adds. 

Mr. Rijiju says the he is going to wrap up with a 'chetavani' (warning). Opposition and Speaker protest the use of the word.

Mr. Rijiju says that whenever the Opposition try to tarnish the image of BJP, it emerges stronger.

Lok Sabha adjourned.

6.05 pm | Rajya Sabha

RS wraps up discussion on the Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017 and The National Commission for Backward Classes (Repeal) Bill, 2017.

Union Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot responds.

5.40 pm | Lok Sabha

MoS Kiren Rijiju finally gets time to respond after a mammoth six-hour discussion. 

Mr. Rijiju responds to the incidents cited by Mallikarjun Kharge and Saugata Roy. "We all take oath as MPs and Ministers. We believe in the Constitution. The State is encouraged to protect cows in our Directive Principles," he says. 

MPs are not letting Mr. Rijiju speak, constant shouting in the background.

"I sat through all your discussion, even when you veered off course. Now please listen to what I have to say. Statistics will expose the intent of the Opposition. It is only to taint the image of the PM and the government," he says to more shouting.

"In 2105, the most communal violence or clashes happened in Uttar Pradesh. After that Telangana and then Karnataka. In 2016, the it was Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Kerala," he says.

"These figures are from the government itself," he tells a protesting House.

Commotion ensues in the House. MPs begin shouting slogans.

Mr. Rijiju reads incidents of lynching under the 2014 UPA government and then quotes PM Modi's condemnation of 'gau rakshaks' and mob violence. "He told us this clearly. So tell us, when this happened before, did the PM of the time condemn these lynchings? Did they condemn the mob violence? PM Modi has done so." 

5.30 pm | Lok Sabha

Is cow protection an essential part of Hinduism? Like the Roza for the Muslims? Please determine that first, says AMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi. "Religion has become ideology for the government. When BJP adopts Constitutional nationalism, these lynchings will end." 

4.55 pm | Lok Sabha

BJP MP from Dharwad, Pralhad Joshi tries to speak, is drowned out by other MPs protesting. "Sir, you please sit down," he tells one of them. 

Mr. Joshi brings up some stats. "1194 incidents of mob violence took place between 1950-1995, of which 72% happened under Nehru, Indra, Rajiv," he says. He also lists out incidents of violence that have happened in Karnataka, with most of the victims being BJP/RSS cadre.

Mr. Joshi talks about an incident in Bjiapur involving a pregnant Muslim woman married to a Dalit Hindu, MPs protest saying Mr. Joshi is misleading the House. 

"What is happening in Kerala right now? A total of 17 people have been killed. From 2010 till now, a total of 69 political murders have taken place. You Congress party workers do not have the courage to speak against them. Bahar mein kusti, andhar mein dosti (wrestling outside, friendship inside)," he says.

Addresses Mr. Saugata Roy, speaks of incidents of BJP cadre being beaten up in WB. House erupts in protests.

"A total of 28000 political murders have taken place in WB," says Mr. Joshi.

"We're not trying to form a 'Muslim Mukt Bharat'. Secularism is in our blood. But we will definitely form a 'Deshdrohi Mukt Bharat'," says Mr. Joshi as his parting shot.

Next speaker, RJD MP Jay Prakash Narayan Yadav gets ready to say his piece. "Please talk only if you have anything new to tell us," LS Speaker Sumitra Mahajan tells him.

4.40 pm | Lok Sabha

"Maharashtra is the only state whose CM has not said one word about the lynching in Nagpur," says NCP MP Supriya Sule. She appreciates CMs of Rajasthan and Jharkhand for condemning mob violence and urges the Maharashtra CM to step up.

"You say Achche Din is here but what is happening? You (BJP) promote yoga, which is about ahimsa. Narendra Modi ji, we are happy to do yoga, it is a good thing, it promotes non-violence. But please inform your cadre about it too," says Ms. Sule.

Ms. Sule asks how a vegetarian will be able to tell one type of meat from another. "I cook at home everyday and even I cannot tell the difference. How do you know what meat it is just by looking?"

4.25 pm | Rajya Sabha

Minister requests that discussion on the Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017 finishes by 5.30 pm, so voting can take place at 6 pm. P.J. Kurien agrees. "This is a Constitution Amendment Bill, we need members in the House to vote."

Members of the House, on the other hand, seem to disagree.

In the end, just five minutes allotted for INC MP Husain Dalwai. Five other speakers to follow. "I have to stick to the time."

3.50 pm | Lok Sabha

SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav weighs in. "Violence is everywhere in the country and most of it happens on a caste basis. Women are also oppressed at home."

Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant touches on the role of social media in propagating information, says need to discuss issue, not "fan the fire". TDP MP Jayadev Galla talks about the other half of mob violence - the 48% that happens in the non-BJP states. "Mob violence is a breakdown of law and order, it has no place in a democracy, he says."

3.30 pm |Lok Sabha

BJD MP Tathagata Satapathy: The 'gau rakshaks' running around in the countryside are not aware that most of the cows in India are Jersey cows. They are not their mothers.

"If they are unable to recognise their own mothers - I recognise my mother. My father too. If they are unable to recognise their own mothers, I feel sorry for them," he says to laughs in the House. "Lets not turn democracy into a 'mobocracy'," he says.

My. Satapathy makes a case for the "poor Hindu farmer" who has to sell his old bullocks in order to buy new ones. "Buyers of cattle have stopped going to the villages. Farmers are now unable to sell their 'useless' animals. They don't have seed money."

He congratulates MoS Kiren Rijiju for "standing up for his food habits". He cites the diversity of India and says "You cannot make this country a unified country according to your idea of unification."

Someone from the back to Mr. Thambi Durai: "Does this mean Mr. Rijiju eats beef?"

Mr. Thambi Durai: "Do not bring that controversy here!"

3.15 pm |Rajya Sabha

Discussion on the Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017 and The National Commission for Backward Classes (Repeal) Bill, 2017 is still going on. In the chair is CPI (M) MP Mr. T.K. Rangarajan.

AIADMK MP S. Muthukaruppan lists out the changes that the Constitutional Amendment Bill would bring about on the NCBC. "The Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017 seeks to give constitutional status for the National Commission for Backward Classes," he says.

According to the PRS, the Bill provides the Commission the authority to examine welfare measures and complaints affecting socially and educationally backward classes.

3.00 pm | Lok Sabha

Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan recalls the 1984 Sikh riots. "A Congress Prime Minister once said that if a big tree falls, the ground shakes a bit. The same party is questioning the PM today? PM Modi has not once spoken of the Babri Masjid issue, Ayodhya or Article 370. He speaks only of development," he says.

"Don't talk about what happened in 1982 or 1894. Give us answers to what has been happening for the last three years," retorts Congress MP Mallikarjun Kharge.

2.40 pm | Lok Sabha

Saugata Roy from TMC speaks next. Says he does not want to make this a BJP vs Congress issue. "24 Muslims are dead as a result of mob violence. You say you want Congress Mukt Bharat. Do you also want Muslim Mukt Bharat?" 

"52% attacks are in BJP-rulef states. 92% attacks came after Modi government came to power," says Mr. Roy. MoS Kiren Rijiju asks him to validate his source.

"I won't yield. This is like the Klu Klux Klan. It's targeted. In 23 attacks, the attackers were from Bajrang dal and Hindu groups," he says.

"It took six days for the Jharkhand CM to own up to lapses when young men were beaten to death," he says. "It took Rajasthan CM one month to condemn to Alwar lynching. PM himself has so far made only two statements condemning gau rakshaks."

"In UP 10 such incidents have taken place. Gujarat, 6 six incidents. In Rajasthan too. All BJP ruled states," he says, to protests by MPs in the House.

He asks that a fresh law against lynching should be brought by the government. "In CrPC 225A, mob violence is mentioned, but nothing on lynching. "Lynchings are primitive. This cannot go on. This country is ashamed," he finishes up.

2.15 pm | Lok Sabha

LS reconvenes after lunch. Deputy Speaker Thambi Durai in the chair.

BJP MP from Bihar Hukumdev Narayan Yadav continues his speech. "You all talk about lynching, what about the coordinated massacre of Sikhs in Delhi? That was not lynching, is it?"

He mentions past atrocities against Dalits and says solutions need to be arrived at after discussions.

2.00 pm | Rajya Sabha

RS reconvenes after lunch. Constitution (123rd) Amendment Bill, 2017 and National Commission for Backward Classes (Repeal) Bill, '17 taken up for discussion together.

"We're not opposed to the OBC Bill. We're against the Bill has brought and discussed. The Bill covers a huge population. It cannot be discussed in five days," says INC MP Hariprasad. 

"As rightly pointed out by Mr. Gehlot, in 1993, it was not the government that came forward to constitute the National Commission for Backward Classes. It was at the direction of the SC," he says.

1.15 pm | Lok Sabha

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan interrupts Mr. Yadav and requests him to continue after lunch. The House is adjourned till 2.15 p.m..

Mulayam Singh Yadav interrupts Mr. Yadav. "You have spoken a lot in the past. Now give chance to fresh candidates," Mr. Yadav says. 

"Muslims in this country must learn to live with Hindus respecting their culture and traditions," Mr. Yadav says.

1.05 pm | Lok Sabha

Hukumdev Narayan Yadav continues speaking, narrates incidents of caste based discrimination and violence that has been prevailing Bihar. "Why is it wrong to say VandeMataram?"

"We are a country of diversity." 

Meanwhile, BJP MP Kirron Kher looks amused as she constantly reacts to the camera.

1.00 pm | Rajya Sabha

Question Hour concludes , Rajya Sabha adjourned for lunch till 2 p.m..

12.50 pm | Lok Sabha

BJP MP from Bihar, Hukumdev Narayan Yadav is up next. "The government is taking action. Let's not blame the government," he says. "When PM himself has condemned mob incidents repeatedly, it is up to the states to follow law."

Brings up the lynching of DSP Ayub Pandith in J&K. "Is that not an incident worth mentioning," he asks. "The Junaid incident was a fight over a train seat, why are you linking it with religion? What about Kerala?"

12.45 pm | Lok Sabha

"Everyone is usually innocent until proven guilty. But in the case of minorities, it is the other way around. They are guilty until proven innocent," says Mr. Kharge.

LS Speaker Sumitra Mahajan urges Mr. Kharge to conclude. He has gone above and beyond the 10 minutes allotted to Congress for the discussion. "Government cannot decide who eats what, who loves whom," says Mr. Kharge. "Leave the country as it is, as Hindustan. Don't turn it into 'Lynchistan'," says Mr. Kharge as he wraps up his speech.

12.40 pm | Rajya Sabha

Question Hour proceeds smoothly in RS. House is currently discussing pollution in Delhi.

12.25 pm | Lok Sabha

"All of you please understand this. I won't control anyone in this House. Please control yourselves. Talk when your turn comes and answer when your turn comes. Only then the discussion can proceed," LS Speaker Sumitra Mahajan tells BJP MPs who are loudly protesting. MPs say many of these cases are pending in courts and that they could not talk about pending cases.

"I'm only listing out the events," Mr. Kharge counters.

With the PM Modi, Law Minister and the Home Minister not in attendance in the House today, MoS Kiren Rijiju to respond.

"Gujarat, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh - wherever BJP is in power, these mob violence and lynchings happen," says Mr. Kharge, still listing out incidents. "It is a shame that this is happening in a democracy!"

"An RSS worker is murdered in Kerala and the governor calls the CM. There are mob lynchings happening here and nothing is being done!" Mr. Kharge says. Ms. Mahajan asks him to move on, reminding him that this incident is not related to the discussion at hand.

12.10 pm | Lok Sabha

Lok Sabha begins discussion on the issue of mob violence and lynching.

When the NDA government took their first steps in this country, incidents like these have increased, says Congress MP Mallikarjun Kharge.

"This country is one of brotherhood. We speak of Gandhiji and say we need to learn from him. The PM speaks about Buddha, Guru Nanak and others but we have forgotten all of them. Today, we take the law into our own hands and unleash violence on Dalits and other minorities. How many FIRs have been filed so far," he asks.

Mr. Kharge points to BJP's ideology and philosophy. "The philosophy that you (BJP) want to implement, that's what is behind it," he says. "BJP is backing groups like gaurakshaks , VHP, Bajrang Dal, etc who are behind this mob violence. What action have you taken against these groups," Mr. Kharge asks.

He reads out a list of incidents of mob violence and lynching in 2017, says Jharkhand and Madhya Pradhesh have become centres of mob violence.

12.05 pm | Rajya Sabha

Question Hour underway in the Rajya Sabha. Wages paid under the MGNREGA being discussed. BJP MP Vinay Sahasrabuddhe asks about asset creation.

Minister for Rural Development Narendra Singh Tomar replies, says in 98% of cases the wages were paid directly into beneficiary accounts and geotagged now.

State government, particularly Telangana, have not paid wages to the workers. Do you have a mechanism to pull up the government and that the workers are paid wages, with interest, asks Renuka Chowdhary.

11.52 am | Lok Sabha

Question Hour underway in the Lok Sabha. BJP MP from Unnao, UP, Sakshi Maharaj raises the issue of the literacy rate in UP. Asks what steps have been taken by the UP Government.

Question Hour wraps up in Lok Sabha. Meanwhile, RS finishes Zero Hour too. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley introduces the Central Goods and Services Tax (Extension to Jammu and Kashmir) Bill, 2017, The Integrated Goods and Services Tax (Extension to Jammu and Kashmir) Bill, 2017.

The Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Bill 2017 is also introduced in the LS.

Also read: Govt. plans strategic disinvestment of Salem Steel Plant

11.40 am | Rajya Sabha

RS reconvenes, Zero Hour resumes.

Jaya Bachchan: "First I would like to congratulate the government for.."

A light moment in the house as Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien interrupts: "I thought you were going to congratulate me!"

Ms. Bachchan raises infrastructure and security issues related to digital banking. "Government needs to step up," says the MP from UP.  IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad replies, says two crore people been given digital training.

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11.30 am | Rajya Sabha

Uproar in the RS by Congress over the alleged kidnapping of Gujarat MLAs. Treasury MPs troop into the well of the parliament and raise slogans. House adjourned for 10 minutes.

11.00 am | Rajya Sabha

Vinay Tendulkar takes oath as an RS MP from Goa. Zero Hour commences.

Following is today’s legislative business for the two Houses of Parliament:

Lok Sabha

Bills to be introduced:

The Central Goods and Services Tax (Extension to Jammu and Kashmir) Bill, 2017

The Integrated Goods and Services Tax (Extension to Jammu and Kashmir) Bill, 2017

The Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Bill 2017

Bills for consideration and passing:

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Amendment) Bill, 2017.

The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017.

The Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy Bill, 2017.

Discussion on the situation arising out of reported incidents of atrocities and lynching in mob violence in the country.

Rajya Sabha

Bills for consideration and passing:

The Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017.

The National Commission for Backward Classes (Repeal) Bill, 2017.

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill,2017.

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