Parliament proceedings | BJP MP Jagdambika Pal says the Modi government has done more than developed Western nations in tackling coronavirus

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha during ongoing Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi, Monday, Feb. 8, 2021   | Photo Credit: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered his response to Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address in the Upper House. The Rajya Sabha also passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

The Lok Sabha will take up a discussion on Union Budget if the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address ends today.

Here are the latest updates:

Lok Sabha

Uproar in Lok Sabha over TMC MP Mahua Moitra's remarks

Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra's critical reference to a former chief justice of India created uproar in Lok Sabha on Monday, with treasury members accusing her of violating parliamentary rules and demanding that her remarks be expunged.

RSP MP NK Premachandran, who was in the Chair, said her remarks will be expunged if found objectionable.

Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal termed her comments against the former CJI, who was not named, as "shameful".

In her strong-worded speech during the discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the President's address, Ms Moitra lashed out at the government for making "hate and bigotry" a part of its narrative and alleged that the judiciary and the media have also "failed" the country.

She alleged that India is facing an "undeclared emergency" and accused the government of dubbing protesting voices from students to farmers and old women of Shaheen Bagh, a reference to anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act agitation in Delhi last year, as "terrorists".

Participating in the debate, BJP member Virendra Kumar said the Narendra Modi government is committed to the welfare of farmers and it will remain so in the future too.


Lok Sabha | 10.25 p.m.

AM Arif of the CPI (M) in Kerala asks if the government will send an all-party delegation to Kashmir. He also brings up the farmers protests and the Central government's handling of it.

Lok Sabha | 10 p.m.

BJP MP Jagdambika Pal says Modi government has done more than developed Western nations in tackling coronavirus

BJP MP Jagdambika Pal says the Modi government has done more than developed Western nations in tackling with coronavirus. "WHO and IMF has lauded the Modi government for steps taken to deal with the pandemic. Even U.S. said India is a true friend. Bill and Melinda Gates foundation congratulated India for its efforts to distribute vaccine too," he said.

"Narendra Modi appealed to reduce dependence on other nations and we have done that. Now we are supplying PPE kits to foreign nations," he added.

"There has been an increase in foreign investment by 13% in India during lockdown despite other developed countries suffering massively. Oppsition leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury should have raised this. The IT sector has been the biggest beneficary of the FDI and we are well on out way to becoming a global IT hub under the leadership of Narendra Modi," said Mr. Pal.

"DBT under Central govt schemes have helped farmers and women during trying times and under Congress rule only scams made the news"

"Under Atmanirbar Bharat, we can by defence equipments with ease, why want it possible before?" he questioned. "Both PM and FM assured that the government will not touch MSP, so fears on that are unfounded".

He goes on to defend the govt against alleagations of not treating farmers fairly, stating then government is anything but "ego-centric" about the issue as accused by the Oppostion. He said that people like Rihanna and Greta Thunberg are spreading propaganda against the nation.

- The Hindu Net Desk

Lok Sabha | 9.33 p.m.

NCP's Shriniwas Dadasaheb Patil says Marathi should be recognised as a national language

NCP's Shriniwas Dadasaheb Patil is speaking right now. "Farmers are protesting for days on end, they dont have access to proper resources and are unable to sell their produce at a reasonable price," said Mr. Patil. "Poor children have been provided with mobile and tabs by Maharashtra govt," he added.

"Employment oppurtunites should be made available to poor workers who lost their jobs in lockdown," he said. "People are not getting pensions or other amenties. New schools are not being opened for poor children. Also, Electrification is the need of the hour."

"Marathi language should be recognised as a national language. If done, we will be ever greatful, Jai Hind!" he concluded.

- The Hindu Net Desk

Lok Sabha | 9.32 p.m.

Dr. Nishsikant Dubey challanged Ritesh Pandey on the authenticity of the leaked WhatsApp. Chair Meenakshi Lekhi said that its authenticity will be examined.

- The Hindu Net Desk

Lok Sabha | 9.19 p.m.

Farm laws should be rolled back: Ritesh Pandey of BSP

Ritesh Pandey of BSP spoke on the farmers' protest. He said its shameful that farmers protesting against the farm laws have been delcared "terrorists" by various leaders. "Only a few among the peaceful protesters are culprits behind violence, and thus accusing everybody for the same is not fair. We should listen to farmers, and roll back the farm laws," he stated.

"Employment is a big issue in the country and despite promises by the Centre, no discussion are held on the topic. During lockdown, unemployment has become more acute. People in the unorganised sector need help from the government," said Mr. Pandey.

"When the entire country was tackling the pandemic, the richest man in Asia was making a profit,' he said.

"The economic divide in our country is hard to miss. While many rich students had access to PCs and laptops, attending classes remotely, poor children had a hard time," he added.

"In Global Hunger Index, India has faired badly. This is shameful as mostly young pregnant women are the most malnourished in the country. Womens' condition is getting even worse and the govt is not helping."

Mr. Pandey raised Arnab Goswami's WhatsApp chat leaks and extend his concern over national security. He said that the TRP scam is an instance of how corrupt the media has become. He finished his address by reciting a poem aimed at the farmers' protest. 

Lok Sabha | 9.09 p.m

PM Modi to respond to Lok Sabha debate on Motion of Thanks to the President, on Wednesday around 4 p.m.

- Nistula Hebbar

Lok Sabha | 9.06 p.m.

Pinaki Mishra of BJD empahsies on the need to have proper health infrastructe to tackle pandemic

"We need more AIIMS in Odisha to ramp up health infrastucture to tackle the pandemic" said Pinaki Mishra of BJD.  "Only way to improve health infrastucture is through decentralisation," he added. He talks about vaccine hessitancy and the State govt's role in distributing the same in an effective manner.

He said an impartial inquiry should be made into the Republic Day violence. "Top leaders of the government should talk to the farmers and reach a solution with them promptly," he added. Govt should adhere to Swaminathan Commision recomendations and protect MSP, he said. He says the ODisha govt,. has been most effective against dealing with natural calamities like cyclones despite being short on resources. Reduction in the Railway budget of Odisha is not in the interest of the country, he stated.

BJD gave one third seats to women in Parliament. I urge leaders present here that tHe Womens's reservation bill be passed as soon as possible, he said.

Lok Sabha | 9.00 p.m.

Lok Sabha proceedings have been extended until midnight.

- Sandeep Phukan

Lok Sabha | 8.40 p.m.

Farmers' protest is being carried out by middlemen: Rajiv Ranjan Singh of JDU

Now Rajiv Ranjan Singh (Lala) Janata Dal United is speaking. "Whatever the role of Opposition has been during the Presidential Address is not right. No condemnation of such an attitude is sufficient," he said. He claimed that the Prime Minister took the right decision of a lockdown when the virus was entering our country. "Without bothering about the Economy, PM did it and because of this decision that COVID-19 is fully under control. They were criticising the PM even when we were fighting," he said.

He stated: "The PM consulted the States at every stage when he needed to open the lockdown. PM ran thousands of trains to transport migrants.  The Prime Minister is deserving of thanks for the way he controlled COVID-19. When I was listening to the Congress leader (Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury) speaking, I was wondering what he was trying to speak."  He quoted Charan Singh's 1979 speech in Hubli and how the Congress remembered farmers only during elections.

His speech is interrupted by Opposition members. " This agitation is not by farmers but by middlemen. Why can't farmers sell his produce where he wants to?" he questioned. "In Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar abolished APMC in 2006, Before that, APMC was a hub of corruption. Fish used to earlier come from Andhra Pradesh. Now Bihar provides fish for herself. Bihar has got five agricultural awards and when UPA was in power, " he said.

Rajeev Ranjan refers to Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury using the term Bramhan and Chandal. On the Chair, Meenakshi Lekhi said Chandal will not go on record.

- Sandeep Phukan

Lok Sabha | 8.20 p.m.

Farmers are the soul of the nation, govt. should reconsider farm laws: Pratap Rao Jadhav of Shiv Sena

Now Pratap Rao Jadhav of Shiv Sena is speaking. Mr. Jhadav said how his party has been asking for a separate budget for farmers.

"When everyone was in lockdown, our farmers were toiling," he claimed.  "We passed these laws by sitting in an AC hall. How many of you have ploughed in the fields?" he added. Some from treasury benches like Ramesh Bhidhuri protest agaist Jhadav's statements. "The violent turn that the protests took on Republic day should be investigated. However,.  before reaching conlusions we should analyse the chain of events carefully. Farmers are the soul of the nation. Government should consider their criticism for the farm laws rather therir terming them anti-national," he added.

He claimed that it is  false propaganda that the national flag was insulted. "Many of our soldiers defending our borders are the sons of the farmers. If Khalistanis have joined this agitation, then it is an insult to the government," stated Mr. Jhadav.

Sena MP said that government wants to move away from public procurement and allow contract farming to private companies.

- Sandeep Phukan

Lok Sabha | 8.10 p.m.

YSRCP MP P.V. Midhun Reddy asks for special status for Andhra Pradesh

YSRCP MP P.V. Midhun Reddy spoke in the House. He opposed the proposed sale of a Vishakapatnam steel plants. He requested the Centre's help to put more solar power parks in place. Mr. Reddy said the Andhra Pradesh CM has met the Prime Minister 16 times and reiterated to ask for special status for Andhra Pradesh.

He also brought up the need for CBI investigation into thwe Antarvedi temple case. He accused Telugu Desam workers of showing old videos of conversion and accused them of communal divisive politics. The YSRCP MP demanded to know what happened to cash for votes scam in which TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu is alleged to be involved in buying MLAs.

- Sandeep Phukan

Lok Sabha | 8.00 p.m.

India is in a state of undeclared emergency: Mahua Moitra of TMC

Mohua Moitra continues. "The judiciary stopped being sacred when it squandered the opportunity of protecting rights. The judiciary seems to have forgotten the separation of power," Ms. Mahua Moitra. She brings up the WhatsApp Chat leaks to attack the press and says India is in a state of undeclared emergency. She accused the government of cowardice.

"The central government has made every attempt to hijack Netaji. Netaji had given Jai Hind but this government has changed this to a narrow religious slogan to tell the minorities who they are. Netaji coined the slogan "Delhi Chalo" but this Govt is creating walls to stop those who want to come to Delhi, " she added.

- Sandeep Phukan

Lok Sabha | 7.43 p.m.

BJP government has turned propaganda and into a cottage industry: Mahua Moitra of TMC

BJP government has turned propaganda and into a cottage industry, said Mahua Moitra. She questioned the government for slapping sedition against journalists, and trying to take over State governments by hook or crook, the decision to announce a lockdown within four hours

She claims that economy is in shambles under the present government and the future looks bleak. She said there will be no economic growth for two years and MSME sector is the worst hit.  Ms. Moitra heavily criticised MEA's response to Greta Thunberg and Rihanna's comments on the Farmers' protest.

Ms. Mitra said apart from the government and the judiciary, the press has also failed the nation. "The judiciary stopped being sacred when it failed to uphold the constitution, " said Ms. Moitra. Her speech was interrupted for mentioning the sexual harrasment cases against a former Chief Justice.

TMC's Saugata Roy said Ms. Moitra didn't name anyone. "That man is a retired Chief Justice and no longer in high office. He is no longer in high office and can't be expunged, " said Mr. Roy.

Chair N.K. Premachandran says he will observe the comments and decide. Mahua Moitra maintains she will be bring it up as the charges are serious and shameful.

- Sandeep Phukan

Lok Sabha | 7.36 p.m.

Why can't Tamil be one of the official languages of India, asks DMK MP T.R. Baalu

"Tamil is one of the official language in Sri Lanka, Malayasia, in Puducherry and Tamil Nadu. Why can't Tamil be one of the official languages? No mention of the Women reservation in the President's Address This February 21 is the day of Mother tongue," said DMK MP T.R. Baalu

"There are many Kendriya Vidyalaya in Tamil Nadu but they don't teach Tamil," he added. Mr. Baalu asked why A.G. Perarivalan and five others in jail for more than 30 years. More than 21 parties stood united to boycott the Presidential Address. If big Opposition parties come together, then BJP can be challenged, he claimed.

- Sandeep Phukan

Lok Sabha | 7.16 p.m

Central government should repeal the three farm laws: DMK MP T.R. Baalu

"I want to thank the PM who was instrumental in getting the vaccine," said DMK MP T.R. Baalu. "I belong to a farming community from undivided Thanjavur district. The President in his district was full of praise for the farmers. But more than 1.5 lakh are suffering outside Delhi. They have been there for more than 70 days," he added.

He said the Central government should repeal the three farm laws for the betterment of the nation. He expressed his disapproval over spending huge amounts of money for construction of a new Parliament instead of helping farmers and poor sections of the socitey.

He mentioned the Jammu and Kashmir bifurcation. And the passage of CAA. "Why has the inter state council not being convened for four years?" he asked. "The State are under severe strain. Education is one example. States' powers are being taken away. State government wanted to appoint a Vice Chancellor for Madras University. But orders went from Centre," he claimed.

"Crude prices are lower than $30 but petrol is  ₹89 a litre,  ₹80 for diesel and cooking gas at ₹735. The government has earned a windfall profits  ₹20 lakh crore. Our fishermen are facing hardship as Sri Lankan Navy is entering our territorial waters. This is a serious matter and the Sri Lankan officials should be called and a dispute resolution mechanism should be created," said Mr. Baalu.

 He also talked about killings of Tamils in Sri Lanka and the U.S. moving in UN

- Sandeep Phukan

Lok Sabha | 7.14 p.m

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury says leaked WhatAapp chats reveal threat on national security

"When you couldn't break the agitation (farmers protest) by force, you conspired to break it," said Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury. He said if Greta Thunberg extends support to farmers, is it a crime?.

He claimed that the BJP misled celebrities like Sachin Tendular and Lata Mangeshkar for futhering their propaganda.

"Did you not go to the U.S. and say Abki Baar Trump Sarkar. Is our country so weak that a 18-year-old girl has become a threat?" he asked.

He raised WhatApp chat leaks of a prominent news anchor, saying it is a matter of national security. He emphasied on the TRP scam and the need to investigate it extensively.

He said: "When the Pulwama terror attack happened, we all expressed sorrow. Soon after, you did Balakot strike. We were very happy. None was aware. How did one person get to know? How did he know? There should be a JPC on the TRP scam. Defence Minister, tell us what is happening in Ladakh? In Arunachal Pradesh? In Sikkim? 1000 sq kms have been taken over. When you say we want status quo? What does it mean? It means status quo doesn't exist!"

- Sandeep Phukan

Lok Sabha | 6.40 p.m

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury says BJP using Subhash Chandra Bose' name to garner votes in Bengal elections

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said RSS didn't stand up to British rule and the BJP is using Subhas Chandra Bose's name to garner votes in the upcoming West Bengal elections.

"BJP has no nationalists of your own. Why don't you ever take the name of Jawaharlal Nehru? Why are you so petty? Have you ever taken the name of Indira Gandhi. You are talking about Netaji. Good but try to imbibe his values" he said.

"You removed a dock in the name of Netaji with Shyama Prasad Mukherjee. You have discarded the Planning Commission conceived by Bose," he complained.

He said: "Amit Shah goes to Shantiniketan and claims Tagore was born there. At least, do your studies. He goes and sits on chair used by Tagore. That's showing disrespect. At least, do your studies. He goes and sits on chair used by Tagore. That's showing disrespect"

He quoted a Bangla poem to say if you respect the Motherland, you have to take everyone along.

"You have created Muslims as the enemy of the country. And now farmers are your enemies. You have put nails and spike to prevent farmers from coming in. You have cut internet, water supply. Yes, you have majority but shun the tyranny of majority. Many of your MPs are quiet. They don't speak for the fear of losing their jobs or ticket," said Mr. Chowdhury.

"I want to tell them there is danger lurking. Haryana and Punjab gone and Uttar Pradesh is on the verge of going," he warned.

Mr. Chowdhury asked how did the January 26 violent protests hapen.  "When there is Home Minister Amit Shah, how could this happen. This was a well organized conspiracy by the government. If the government is not involved in January 26, then set up a Joint Parliamentary Committee. When the route of the tractor was prepared by you, how can you not take responsibility?," he said.

- Sandeep Phukan

Lok Sabha | 6.20 p.m.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury takes dig on President over his speech, says he is pandering to States headed for election

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury starts his speech. He says: "In 1919, under the Govt of India Act, the central legislature was set up in 1921. Since the past 100 years, there has been a tradition of thanking the speech. Then there was Governor General though."

"We wanted to run the winter session. If the govt had run the winter session, we could have spoken on the farmers' agitation. The President had delivered a 27 page speech. It used quotes from Assam's Ambika Rai Chowdhury, Kerala's Vallathur and Bengal Jatindra Nath Tagore. Don't know if it's a coincidence that all these States are headed for election," he added.

Our civilization always encourages debates, dissent, dialogue, he emphasised.

"Pandit Nehru entrusted Dr Ambedkar to draft the Constitution, who was a bitter critic of Mahatma Gandhi. It was, in fact, Gandhi ji's teaching to encourage differences.

He quoted Nehru on how he wanted his ashes to be put into the Ganga so that it mixes with the great Ocean and carries it to the soil that makes it fertile. He stated that Ganhiji taught Indians to respect farmers. He quoted Swami Vivekananda on universal tolerance and acceptance of all religions.

- Sandeep Phukan

Lok Sabha | 6.20 p.m.

Lok Sabha Speaker asks those who have amendments to the President’s address to table them. He allots 15 minutes for this. Asks matters under 377 to also be submitted

- Sandeep Phukan

Lok Sabha | 6.20 p.m.

We have to preserve our traditional knowledge and meld it with modern knowledge : Virendra Kumar of BJP

oing into the future we have to preserve our traditional knowledge and meld it with modern knowledge systems to provide employment, said Virendra Kumar of BJP. As a democratic country we should be mindful of our rights but also our duties, he added. He quoted late PM Charan Singh on the importance of trade transport and industry alongside farming. Point made to talk of all round economic growth needed. He gave details of enhanced MSP to farmers.  "Can those who insulted the tricolor on Republic Day be ideal politicians?," he asked emphatically.

- Nistula Hebbar

Lok Sabha | 6.07 p.m

Prime Minister Modi takes his seat in the Lok Sabha.

- Nistula Hebbar

Lok Sabha | 5.55 p.m

Narendra Modi helmed coronavirus crisis ably and also helped other countries: Virendra Kumar of BJP

Virendra Kumar continued. He spoke about the enhanced infrastructure to deal with COVID-19 as faciliated by Union government. At a time when morale was low Prime Minister Narendra Modi helmed the crisis ably and also helped other countries, he claimed.

He went on to provide details on welfare work including distribution of free rations to the poor during and after the lockdown. He lauded various civil society organisations and ordinary citizens in helping people out during the lockdown. "The standing committee on Home, which is not headed by an BJP MP, has also appreciated the government’s handling of COVID-19,' he said.

He complained that the Oppsotion is politicising the vaccine being made in India. He praised the Madhya Pradesh govt. on helping migrant workers on foot by providing transport, food and water. He spoke on the finer details of labour reforms and skill mapping of migrant labours. "Make in India" got a big push in India last year, said Virendra Kumar.

- Nistula Hebbar

Lok Sabha | 5.52 p.m.

Hibi Eden of Congress says claims of Pranab Mukherjee as mentor to BJP is false

Disturbance in the House. Virendra Kumar (BJP) is second speaker on debate. Hibi Eden of Congress cites rule book that Locket Chatterjee’s reference to late Pranab Mukherjee as mentor to BJP is false. Speaker says that it wasn’t meant in the way that opposition MP suggest but will look into the speech later.

- Nistula Hebbar

Lok Sabha | 5.45 p.m.

TMC leaders and ministers have pocketed Cyclone relief funds: Locket Chaterjee

"TMC leaders and ministers have pocketed the relief funds sent by the Centre after cyclone Amphan. The State government is politicising vaccines against COVID19 as well. A TMC leader blocked a van carrying the vaccine. TMC is guilty of killing 140 of our party workers. They also do politics on the name of Ram and Sita and insult them. The people will answer this insult in the 2021 polls. Jai Shri Ram is not only the slogan of BJP but for all Indians," claimed Locket Chaterjee .

She concluded her speech with chants of "Jai Shree Ram".

- Nistula Hebbar

Lok Sabha | 5.30 p.m.

When crimes against women occur in West Bengal the opposition keeps silent, says Locket Chaterjee

"BJP government has given 22 new AIIMS and over 100 new hospitals. This increased the number of medical seats. I thank PM Modi for an AIIMS in Bengal. Also ₹1000 crore was alloted for the welfare of tea garden workers, this will hopefully reduce the trafficking of women in North Bengal. Those who don’t have anyone to depend have the Modi government," said Locket Chaterjee.

She detailed many welfare programmes of the Central government and criticised Mamata Banerjee government for calling Shramik Express carrying migrant workers home as “Corona express”.

"Modi govt has protected the dignity of women by providing toilets, incomes, jobs in even uniformed forces. He has protected the dignity of minority women by passing the Triple Talaq Act. When crimes against women occur in West Bengal the opposition keeps silent including Mamata di, unlike if it happens in Uttar Pradesh. West Bengal has stopped Ayushman Bharat in the state as the potential to collect “cut money” on it does not exist," said Ms. Chaterjee.

"The Prime Minister Kisan Samman Nidhi is also being stopped by State government in West Bengal from reaching farmers. If they want to change the name of the scheme and give the money to farmers, they are free to do so. Mamata Banerjee sends her MPs to Singhu but is on silent mode on the long strike by local teachers for their rights as there is no scope for “cut money”," she added.

She takes a dig at Mamata Banerjee and her knephew Abhishek Chatarjee. Call parts of Bengal are still 'mini Pakistan".

- Nistula Hebbar

Lok Sabha | 5.20 p.m.

Mamata Banerjee needs to learn lessons in democracy: Locket Chaterjee

BJP MP Locket Chatterjee speaks in the Lok Sabha during ongoing Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi, Monday, Feb. 8, 2021

BJP MP Locket Chatterjee speaks in the Lok Sabha during ongoing Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi, Monday, Feb. 8, 2021   | Photo Credit: PTI


Locket Chatterjee initiated the debate. Some members protested that she had already started her speech and can’t start from the beginning again. Speaker allowed Chatterjee to continue

Ms. Chatterjee said: "2021 is a historic year when India enters the 75th year of its independence and I pay homage to those who lost their lives for our freedom.The Modi government has taken many big decisions for the betterment of the country like GST and handling the coronavirus pandemic properly. I pay homage to Corona warriors and our six parliamentary colleagues who lost their lives."

She mentioned late President Pranab Mukherjee and how his mentoring of Modi govt despite ideological differences was helpful to a nation.

Her speech was met with protests by some sections of the Opposition. "The Chief Minister of West Bengal needs to learn lessons in democracy. A good leader is one who takes tough decisions in the face of crisis. Prime Minister Modi took the decision on a tough lockdown despite economic cost. Modiji lives the life of Vivekananda and chose to save the lives of Indians, and convinced the entire country to stay home. He was quick to react to Corona as soon as it was a threat," she said.

She claimed: "In a country of 1.3 billion people, the rate of infection is 1.4%. Other countries are also thanking us for supplying 55 lakh doses of vaccine against COVID-19. The reality is that we have vaccinated 40 lakh people already whereas when the pandemic started we didn’t even have PPE kits and ventilators. Within two months we have 600 companies producing PPE, 3000 companies produce masks. 80 crore people were given free rations during lockdown, continued the one nation one ration card."

"In West Bengal the free rations from the centre did reach but had a name change once it reached the state. The good quality rice also changed the moment it reached West Bengal, going into the pockets of TMC leaders."

- Nistula Hebbar

Lok Sabha | 5.10 p.m.

Government trying crush voice of Opposition with numerical majority in House: Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary

"Our senior leader Rajnath Singhji has requested, and we also know that the President is an institution. It’s been there since the govt of india act of 1919-1921. We have not allowed these traditions to break but what we feel that with the situation facing the farmers of this country, we cannot stay quiet," said Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary.

"Farmers in lakhs, in this cold weather, in the rains are protesting. Around 200 have lost their lives, so we asked that a separate discussion for farmers be held. It was a way of honourably acknowledge the issues of the farmers But our views are not being heard, since TV wallahs are not putting them forward we felt if the debate was held, it would have been heard, " he added.

"But the government was trying to crush our voice with its numerical majority in the House. We will continue to demand a separate discussion. LS Speaker Birla thanks Rajnath Singh for his request to members to run the House. I’m happy that all members have accepted that the debate should resume. I’m sad when despite requests rush to the Well and don’t respect the norms of the House," he said.

- Nistula Hebbar

Lok Sabha | 5.05 p.m.

Farmers have been sitting in Delhi for so long, says BKU leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni

"Farmers have been sitting in Delhi for so long, if [the government] wants to talk, then call the farmers," said Gurnam Singh Chaduni, who heads his own faction of the BKU in Haryana. He was responding to PM Narendra Modi's statement in Parliament that if the farmers are ready to accept the government's proposal, then they should make a call. "Eleven rounds of negotiations have been done, the government did not find any solution," added Mr. Chaduni.

- Nistula Hebbar

Lok Sabha | 5.00 p.m.

Lok Sabha resumes, Om Birla disallows all adjournment motions

Lok Sabha resumes. Speaker Birla disallows all adjournment motions. Papers being laid on the table. "Whenever General Elections are concluded and parliament is constituted the President addresses both Houses, he also does it at the beginning of the first session of year, " said Rajnath Singh.

"It’s a constitutional arrangement, and apart from both Houses, the President is an inalienable part of Parliament. It’s traditional that a motion of thanks is passed. This time to President has addressed both Houses, in Rajya Sabha the House has already debated and PM Modi has replied to that debate. In this House I would request members to keep up the healthy traditions of democracy to allow the debate to continue and conclude," he added.

The President , Vice President, Speaker are all institutions, far more than individuals and they should be honoured, he claimed.

"I ask with folded hands with great courtesy that the debate on the Motion of Thanks should be debated and cleared in the Lok Sabha too. You can say all you wish to say in thd debate, including on the farm bills," he said.

- Nistula Hebbar

Lok Sabha | 4:10 pm

Speaker Om Birla says members are elected not to shout slogans or show placards. We have been elected to take part in discussions, he says.

The Speaker says MPs have been sent to Parliament by the people to raise their issues abd Question Hour is an important part of that. You can question the government. Please take your seats.

House adjourned till 5 pm.

Lok Sabha | 4:00 pm

Lok Sabha assembles. Question Hour proceedings begin. Opposition continue their protests.

Minister Prakash Javadekar takes questions on Online Education. BJP MP Pratap Simha raises issue of cyber-depravation among the poor students with regard to online education due to COVID19, and whether govt has plans to bridge the gap.

The Minister elaborates on practical mohalla classes and Deeksha platform. We have 35 educational channels now, he says.

Despite the pandemic, nobody was deprived of education, he says.

How about online safety and when will the schools be reopened, the member asks. The decision to reopen schools and colleges lie with the States, says Mr. Javadekar. Till Class 7, online education will be only for 30 minutes. It's one hour for classes upto Class 10.

What about budget on digital education, asks a member. It is an evolving budget, so no specific amount has been allocated. For online education there is a budget of Rs. 600 crore, but money is not a constraint, he says.

Rajya Sabha | 1.50 pm

Rajya Sabha passes The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

House adjourned till Tuesday 9 am.

Rajya Sabha | 1.15 pm

Train will chug into Kashmir by 2022, says MoS Home

MoS Home Kishan Reddy.

MoS Home Kishan Reddy.  


MoS Kishan Reddy responds.

"In last 2 years, speedy development has happened in J&K. Revolutionary, historical decisions have been taken for development of the area. Foremost is the municipal polls in rural and urban bodies. Post independence for the first time Block Development Council elections were held.

"We have given ₹1,000 crore under MNREGA for developmental work. All Gazette officers have been told to follow back to villages programmes. Programme on same lines is followed for the Urban areas.

Train will chug into Kashmir by 2022, says the MoS Home. He lists the rail-related projects planned for the region.  Elevated Light Rail System will be completed in four years, he adds.

100% electrification has been achieved in Jammu and Kashmir, including border villages. Piped water for all will be achieved by 2022. The region is now open defacation-free, he says.

We have sanctioned seven medical colleges and 15 nursing colleges.

All ministers have stayed in the region to monitor the situation. There has been a lag due to COVID. We are restarting outreach programmed again, he says.

Ceasefire violations are increasing because J&K wants development, they aren't asking for restoration of Article 370, which is why Pakistan is getting restless. In 2019, over 2000 incidents of stone pelting. In 2020 only 327 such incidents. J&K is moving ahead in the right direction, he says.

He seeks members' cooperation to pass the Bill.

Rajya Sabha | 1.10 pm

Mohammad Mir Fayaz (PDP) says the government claims normalcy has returned to the region. If that is true, why not bring a Bill to restore Statehood, instead of this Bill.

"People of Kashmir still don't have a train."

"We were told on 5th August 2019 when our State was demoted to a UT, we were told that statehood will be restored soon. Our PM hailed the fact that municipal elections were done. Mr Manhas spoke about development that has come about in two years. If everything is normal then, I wish today instead of this bill, the govt could have brought in bill to restore the statehood."

"You speak on DDC elections, but counting has been halted in two seats even now."

Amar Patnaik (BJD) says the Bill tries to solve the issue of deficiency of officers.

Rajya Sabha | 1.00 pm

Visit Jammu to witness development: BJP MP

Samsher Singh Manhas (BJP), also a member from Jammu and Kashmir, responds to Ghulam Nabi Azad.

The erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state now has three AIIMS. The Centre has alloted an IIT and IIM. Ring roads are coming up, These are all developments.

I urge people to visit Jammu and see themselves, he says.

Every State has regular municipal elections but in J&K's  history only four elections have been held so far, he says.

J&K didn't have revenue on its own. We were totally dependent on Centre. Today, with industries coming up in the region, we have some hope, he says.

Rajya Sabha | 12.55 pm

Sushil Kumar Gupta (AAP) wants to know which Union Territories have more number of officers than required. He also wants to know what steps were taken to improve the situation of Jammu and Kashmir.

What will be the fate of officers are the statehood has been restored to Jammu and Kashmir?

Rajya Sabha | 12.50 pm

Ashok Siddharth (BSP) supports the Bill.

"The families of people who would go to work in J&K were worried for their safety. "

"Everyone wants to visit J&K but the IAS/IPS are reluctant to work there. This bill will curtail the promotion of local officers  This should be corrected."

Rajya Sabha | 12.47 pm

Manoj Jha (RJD) asks if this reorganisation is permanent or temprorary.

He says he is concerned about education in the region. "My two PhD students couldn't join college," he says.

The narrative of Kashmir is woven on land. It has to be on people. Normalcy should not be rehtoric. A few of us MPs wanted to visit there. But we weren't allowed to go, he says.

Rajya Sabha | 12.45 pm

A. Navneethakrishnan (AIADMK) speaks in favour of the Bill. There is a huge deficiency of officers in the region. This move will aid in eliminating it, he says.

Considering the attitude of Pakistan and China, it is better if the region is under the direct rule of the Centre. It should remain a Union Territory, he says.

Rajya Sabha | 12.30 pm

'Three families ruled J&K'

BJP MP Dushyant Gautam speaks in Rajya Sabha.

BJP MP Dushyant Gautam speaks in Rajya Sabha.  


Dushyant Gautam (BJP) says the people of Kashmir got "freedom from Article 370."

"For last many decades, three families have ruled the J&K, thanks to the Article 370. In the recent municipal elections, the J&K residents felt that they finally have the freedom to chose their representatives," he says.

He says he saw border patrol in Poonch during his recent trip. He claims there was once a time when tri-colour were not allowed in the territory. After Article 370 was abrogated, the tri-colour is flying high, he says.

He recalls the Republic Day violence and hits out at Congress for supporting them.  "It is unfortunate that a Congress leader went to visit the family of one man, who died while doing a 'stunt' and did not visit dozens of policemen who were injured on Jan 26," he says.

Rajya Sabha | 12.20 pm

Restore Statehood: Azad

Batting for statehood to be restored to Jammu and Kashmir, Ghulam Nabi Azad also the former Chief Minister, says Article 370 had only two conditions — outsiders couldn't buy land or can't work there. This has been the case since Raja Hari Singh's time.

It is because the State is mountainous. Most of the land is forest. "Even I couldn't afford to buy land there." Prices are also on the higher side in the State. We still don't have proper train connectivity in the region. The law ensured locals got the jobs in the land.

He urges the government to restore statehood and conduct elections as soon as possible.

"You must restore statehood as soon as possible in J&K. It is a border state and our enemy is sitting on our heads from both ends- Pakistan and China. Any intelligent person can see that one can fight Pakistan and China later but one should mend the relationship with J&K."

Mr. Azad says the people of Kashmir are always with India. He recalls how Kashmiris resisted Pakistan's bid to capture the region in 1948, till the Indian Army reached there.

The Hindus, Muslims, Christians and Sikhs of Kashmir are united. Even though it is a Muslim-majority State, the executive is largely Hindus. "You are making Kashmir a guinea pig for experiments," he says.

Rajya Sabha | 12.10 pm

'Are you going to keep J&K UT permanently?'

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad speaks in Rajya Sabha on Feb. 8. 2021.

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad speaks in Rajya Sabha on Feb. 8. 2021.  


Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad is the first speaker. He opposes the Bill. He recalls the government's assurance that Statehood will be restored to Jammu and Kashmir. "Are you going to keep it an UT permanently," he asks.

"I want to ask Home Minister Amit Shah if the present cadre was working well so far then why do you want to merge it? You had promised that the statehood will be restored. Bringing this bill makes it clear that you want to permanently keep J&K as UT," he asks.

The govt's argument to convert J&K into UT was that, development had been stalled,  industry couldn't enter the states and thus the employment opportunity were shrinking.

I will talk about industry. Usually, no one from outside puts up an industry there  and even in Jammu only two districts get industry. Now let me clarify no new industries have been set up in J&K, he says.

Even existing firms shut down due to uncertainty, he says. In fact, 7107 industries have shut down in J&K and new industries have not come. So your logic rings hollow. No new one came and the old one left, he adds.

The roads are in terrible shape. Ceasefire violations have increased. There are issues with water supply, he says.

The responsibility of an elected representative cannot be replaced by an executive, says Mr. Azad. "If there was an elected government then it could have improved the situation."

Rajya Sabha | 12.00 noon

Kishan Reddy moves The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2021.for consideration and passing. This Bill also replaces an ordinance.

K.K. Ragesh, Elamaram Kareem, Binoy Viswam, and M.V. Shreyams Kumar move a statutory resolution against it.

Both are being taken up together.

The Bill seeks to replace ordinance to merge J&K cadre of IAS, IPS and Indian Forest Service with Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram Union Territory cadre.

Rajya Sabha | 11.57 am

Hardeep Singh Puri introduces The National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Bill, 2021. The Bill replaces an ordinance.

Rajya Sabha | 11.55 am

Motion passed

The motion is being taken up for voting. Tiruchi Siva's amendments are being taken up. His amendments are negated.

Digvijay Singh's amendments are also negated. K.C Venugopal's amendments are also negative. So are amendments moved by Deepender Hooda, Viswanbhar Prasad Nishad, Sukh Ram, Chhaya Verma, Elamaram Kareem and other Opposition members.

The Motion is passed.

I am happy that we had a meaningful discussion, says Vice President Venkaiah Naidu.

Rajya Sabha | 11.50 am


Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks in the Rajya Sabha on Feb. 8, 2021.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks in the Rajya Sabha on Feb. 8, 2021.   | Photo Credit: RSTV


Mr. Modi speaks on border security. He pays tribute to Galwan heroes. We have a clear stand on LAC. We are concentrating on border infrastructure, he says.

In his closing comments, Mr. Modi quotes a Vedic hymn to say he has the support of crores of people.

The policy being formed today are created with keeping in mind 2047, when India celebrates its 100 years of Independence, he says.

Mr. Modi praises the debate. "The debate was good, the atmosphere of the debate was good too. A lot of attack was directed at me. But I am glad I was of use to you. In this Corona season, you must be stuck at home, and I am sure there must be strife at home. At least this way you could take your anger out," he says as his ending remarks.

Rajya Sabha | 11.45 am

Rural Economy is an essential pillar of Atmanirbhar Bharat, says the Prime Minister.

In COVID pandemic, the government has ensured that no woman suffers, whether it is providing them free gas or jan dhan yojana. Women will be integral part of self reliant economy.

Over 70% MUDRA loans were taken by women, he says.

The National Education Policy has given thrust to benefit the youngsters.

Right from beginning we have been talking about Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas. Which is why our problems in naxal affected areas have reduced. I can see very clearly that the Eastern India will play an important part in country's progress, he says.

Mr. Modi praises Ghulam Nabi Azad for his suggestion and his style of speaking. "I am praising you but I am afraid your party shouldn't misunderstand this," he says.

Rajya Sabha | 11.40 am

Praise for Sikhs, not for protest

India's strength has been to find solutions to challenges. there are some people that want India to be unstable, we have to recognise such people. Should not forget what happened to Punjab during partition and 1984 riots.

Innocents were hacked to death in J&K, in NE violence took many lives. Who are the powers behind this?

Some people are feeding wromg things in the minds of Sikh people. This country is proud of the Sikhs. What have they not done for this country? However much we praise them is not enough, he says. "The kind of language used for them, people who try to mislead them, this is not going to benefit anyone".

There are some people who make a living out of protests. You can find them in every protest site, Mr. Modi says and warns the opposition that such people might harm their governments too.

There is another FDI coming to the country. This has to be discouraged. It is called Foreign Destructive Ideology, Mr. Modi says.

Rajya Sabha | 11.30 am

Population is increasing, while land is shrinking. We have to do something that dependence on farming is reduced and family members get an opportunity to work elsewhere, says the Prime Minister.

If we indulge in politics, then we will push the farmers to darkness, he adds.

We have encouraged fisheries, Rs 20,000 crore has been allocated. We have started a sweet revolution to tap honey.

Rajya Sabha | 11.25 am

Modi draws parallel with Green revolution

Mr. Modi compares new farm laws with the green revolution.

This was a huge cry in the country, to recall the Green revolution. No one was ready to become Agri minister in Shastriji's time. Planning commission also opposed the agri reforms then.

But Shastriji moved forward. Left said the same thing then that it is being done on the instructions from America. Congress leaders were called 'American agents.'

Thousand protests were organised then, but Lal Bahadur Shastri moved forwards and today we have surplus production.

We accept good suggestions. I want to invite you to take the country forward by explaining the good features to the farmers who ware agitating.

Agriculture minister is talking to farmers. There are no tensions yet. Protesting is your right but want to request that old farmers are sitting, ask them to go home. I want to extend the invitation through this house, he says.

We should not lose this time, should progress, do not take the country backwards. We should give these refirms and opportunity and see if this benefits you. If there is a lacuna, we will fix it.

MSP was there, MSP is there, MSP will continue, Mr Modi says.

Rajya Sabha | 11.15 am

'You should be proud that Modi has implemented what Manmohan Singh said'

PM Gram Sadak Yojana is not about just laying roads. It is the lifeline of farmers. Kisan rail made it possible for farmers to sell their produce in big cities like Mumbai directly. The farmers of northeast are utilising air connectivity, Mr. Modi says.

Every party had promised farm reforms at some point of time, he says and lauds Jyotiraditya Scindia's speech.

Mr. Modi quotes former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. "It is our intention to remove all those handicaps which come in the way of India realising its large potential" You should be proud that Modi is implementing Manmohan Singh's dream, he says.

The fun part is people who do politics, they have also implemented the laws in some form or the other. They have not questioned the spirit of law, he says.

Look at milk production, either private or cooperatives, a strong supply chain has emerged. This was not done during my government. Market does not play a role in fruit and vegetable sector, he says.

Rajya Sabha | 11.00 am

Modi on farm reforms

"We also face challenges. We have to decide if we want to be a part of solution or part of the problem," says Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the Rajya Sabha.

A major part of the discussion was about farmers agitation. He lauds Agriculture Minister for his reply. Mr. Modi also praises former Prime Minister Deve Gowda's speech.

Mr. Modi quotes Chowdhury Charan Singh on small farmers. Today, 68% of farmers are small and marginal farmers. Over 12 crore farmers have less than 2 hectares of land, he says.

"Don't we have a responsibility towards the 12 crore farmers? This question of Charan Singh still exists, shouldn't we find a solution?" Loan waivers don't benefit small farmers as they don't approach banks for loans, he says. Such farmers don't even have a bank account.

After 2014, we transformed the crop insurance scheme to make it inclusive to small farmers. Rs.90,000 crore were disbursed through crop insurance, he says. We have included fisherfolks also in the scheme now. Mr. Modi also speaks on PM-KISAN scheme. This is being given to 10 crore families. The numbers would have been higher had Bengal government didn't block it, he says.

Rajya Sabha | 10.50 am

'India is the mother of democracy'

Mr. Modi now speaks on farmers issue. "Sermons were given regarding democracy here. Some objectionable remarks were used. India's democracy should not be skinned this way. When I was listening to the members, I told myself are they talking about Bengal or the entire country?"

Our democracy is a human institution, he says. India's nationalism is based on Satyam, Sivam, Sundaram, he says quoting Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. We have lost Netaji's vision over the years, and today we are searching ourselves, he says. We have failed to tell our younger generations that India is the mother of democracy, he says.

Mr. Modi remembers Emergency.

At a time when world is facing recession, we have invited record FDI. We are marching towards double digit growth. We are the leaders in smart phones. We have record numbers of start-ups and unicorns, he says.

World saw India's capability through Surgical strikes and air strikes. My government is committed towards the welfare of the poor. We will eradicate poverty, he says. He lists the populist reforms taken up by the government.

Rajya Sabha | 10.40 am

'Coronavirus, an unknown enemy'

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recalls the extraordinary situation due to COVID-19. Even family members couldn't help each other. The world was worried on how India would tackle the crisis. He calls the virus "an unknown enemy."

With the grace of God, we have managed it well. The credit to win this war goes to the people of India, not an individual or any government, he says.

"This country has done it, even the poorest. A woman sitting in a roadside hut also lit a diya, are you making fun of her beliefs?"

So not indulge in things that weaken the country, he says.

Polio was once a deadly disease. Today, we have eliminated polio. Today, India has come up with more than one vaccine within a year (for COVID-19),  he says adding that the world's biggest vaccination drive is underway in India.

India is a pharma hub. We exported drugs to over 150 countries, he recalls. Indian doctors are working in every country.

Our strength is the federal structure. Centre and States worked together to fight Corona, he says.

Rajya Sabha | 10.30 am

Modi's speech

Prime Minister Narendra Modi rises to speak on the Motion of Thanks to President's Address.

More than 50 members participated in discussion regarding Motion of Thanks to the President's address.

Trinamool MPs walk out in protest as PM starts reply to Motion of Thanks

Mr. Modi says the President's address came at uncertain times when the world was in the midst of a pandemic. His speech had the vision of self reliance, says the Prime Minister thanking the President.

He thanks the members who participated in the debate. "It would have been nice if the members took part in President's address," he says in a veiled dig at Opposition members boycotting the address.

India is a land of opportunities, he says. When we look at the young India's mind, we realise that India is a land full of opportunities and hope.

We are entering 75th year of Independence, we should make it a festival of inspiration. World expects a lot from India, he says.

Mr. Modi quotes Hindi poet Maithilisharan Gupt. "Opportunity is waiting for you, but you are standing idle.... Wake up India, every minute is important."

Rajya Sabha | 10.20 am

Next set of questions pertain to road development. Minister Nitin Gadkari is answering questions.

A sixteen lane road is being constructed to connect Delhi to Meerut. This is a world's first such road, he says. 

Vijaisai Reddy asks about releasing funds to Polavaram project. Water Resources Minister Gajendra Singh Shekavat says the revised costs estimate committee has submitted its report. We'll take a decision after cabinet meet, he says.

Why not create a revolving fund, the MP asks. Mr. Shekavat says there is no issue with flow of funds.

When will the Polavaram project be completed, GVL Narasimha Rao asks. The minister doesn't give a clear timeline, but says it will be completed soon.

Question Hour concludes.

Rajya Sabha | 10.10 am

Why are wild animals straying into human habitats?

On the issue of man-animal conflict, Mr. Javadekar says, "animals should not come out of wildlife areas. They come out when they do not get enough water and fodder in forest areas. Rs. 47,000 crore has been allocated for it - for water and fodder."

Rajya Sabha | 10.00 am

Ceasefire violations

Why is India not taking stern action against Pakistan against ceasefire violations, asks P. Bhattacharya of the Congress. "Pakistan's actions have been limited to the border areas," says the Defence Minister.

"We are extremely proud of our soldiers. What is the government policy to stop these ceasefire violations from Pakistan?" asks Mr. Bhattacharya. Mr. Singh responds, "What steps and what weapons are used, I cannot go into those issues. Pakistan uses ceasefire violation as a cover to infiltrate and exfiltrate terrorists at the border. Ceasefire violation has increased because of the rise in infiltration activity from Pakistan. Pakistan can answer how we are responding to their ceasefire violations."

Ghulam Nabi Azad of Congress asks why ceasefire violations have increased during this government's tenure.

If civilians are killed in border firing, the State government announces compensation for it, answers Mr. Singh to Mr. Azad's question about cmpensation. "The compensation was much lesser earlier. The amount was increased when I was the Home Minister."

"Ceasefire violation happen when Pakistan wants to carry on some attack such as Pathankot and Pulwama. After Pakistan signed the ceasefire pact in 2003, ceasefire violations have gradually increased. 4,649 ceasefire violations have occurred in 2020," he says.

Rajya Sabha | 9.50 am

Rafale procurement

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh says, "a big delegation from France came during the induction ceremony of Rafale. I was also there. As far as resources are concerned, the money was spent from the public fund. It is not the first time this has been done, it was done for the induction of Chinook also. The cost of ceremony increased due to the simultaneously held bilateral meeting."

Mr. Singh says that the focus is on indigenisation of the military equipment. "101 items will not be imported, but made in India," he says.

Mahesh Poddar of BJP asks how many Rafales have been delivered and how many are battle read. The Defence Minister says 11 Rafales have been delivered so far and 17 Rafales will be delivered by March. "By April 2022, all Rafales will come to India."

Rajya Sabha | 9.45 am

Man-animal conflict

KC Venugopal of Congress raises the issue of man-animal conflict in wildlife areas. "Rahul Gandhi wrote a letter to the Minister, government is going to notify a buffer zone in Wayanad."

Mr. Javadekar says the Central government does not pick eco-sensitive zones, it is the State governments that suggest it. "That is why first draft suggestions are published. Last year, 100 elephants were killed but 500 people were also killed, we should not lose sense of proportion."

Seema Dwivedi of BJP mentions the issue of biomedical waste.

Rajya Sabha 9.35 am

Question Hour begins

78 habitations are affected by arsenic, 60 in West Bengal, says Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.

Dr. Amar Patnaik asks if a study has been conducted to determine city specific pollution causes. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar says each city is mapped for different pollution variants; that is why the AQI of each city is different.

M. Thambidurai (AIADMK) complains of non-removal of garbage.

Minister of Environment Prakash Javadekar says it is an issue of legaciness, where huge hills of garbage are formed. We now have bio mining. "In Indore, there was a huge landfill site. It is now completely gone and a beautiful garden has come up in its place now. This has been replicated in many cities," he says.

Jyotiraditya Scindia (BJP) says pollution is an invisible enemy. "How much does field burning contribute to pollution in Delhi?"

Mr. Javadekar says, "The issue of stubble burning affects Delhi every year from October 1 to November 30 every year. The direction of the wind is such that it comes to Delhi and turns into smog. 40,000 machine worth crores given to States but not being used. In Haryana, 25% less crop burning, but it increased 25% in Punjab from 50,000 to 75,000. We are looking at solutions and in next few years we will find one. Stubble burning contributes 2-40% pollution in Delhi."

Mr. javadekar says that the suggestion to dedicate more funds for conservation of Red Panda will not be an issue. "The number of tiger, rhino and birds has increased."

Dinesh Trivedi of TMC says no answer has been given on the pangolin census. Mr. Javadekar responds that they are in the thousands, and "we are looking for solutions".

Rajya Sabha | 9.30 am

Chair tells Binoy Viswam that since rescue operations are on in Uttarakhand, his notice for suspension of Business Hour to discus the flood is not allowed.

"As long as the Health Ministry and MHA guidelines for do gaz ki doori and mask is there, we will be sending a wrong message to the country if we allow more members to sit together," Mr. naidu says.

I appeal to all Members, children of the country deserve to be taught in their mother tongue. States need to promote the mother tongue. I am happy that the Prime Minister said that engineering and medical colleges should teach in mother language," Mr. Naidu says.

Rajya Sabha | 9.25 am

Responding to comments made by Congress' Jairam Ramesh, Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu said that he will not be cowed down by efforts to make the Chair dysfunctional.

"If any member is speaking, objectionable comments will be examined. Nothing was brought to my notice. These continuous allegations... I won't be cowed down by such efforts to make the Chair dysfunctional. I resigned from the party even before I accepted the proposal to become the Chairman,. Since then, I have not attended any party function. My heart is with the Constitution and the people of India," he says.

On Uttarakhand glacier burst

Speaking on the Uttarakhand glacier burst, Mr. Naidu says: "As far as issue of Uttarakhand is concerned, entire country is concerned. Today morning, I spoke to Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, and he told me all efforts are on. There is no certainty on number of casualties as the tunnel is long. Multiple agencies are working on rescue mission. Let us wait for some time and get full details, MHA is looking into this and PM is reviewing it."

"Wait for the full report and then I will ask the Home Minister to apprise the House of the situation," he says.

Rajya Sabha | 9.20 am

P. Wilson of DMK, Tamil Nadu, raises the issues faced by sugarcane farmers.

"Nearly 1,000 crore is owed to sugarcane growers in Tamil Nadu, and about 1 lakh farmers are in distress. They are not getting State advisory price as well," says Mr. Wilson.

Nabam Rebia of BJP from Arunachal Pradesh demands a separate cadre for Arunachal Pradesh. "We need a dedicated and committed cadre of All India Services officers for the State of Arunachal," he says.

Rajya Sabha | 9.10 am

Zero Hour continues.

Dr. Santanu Sen of TMC, West Bengal, brings up the issues with COWIN App.

"The App to help COVID vaccination hangs, and it says no person can be vaccinated offline. Another issue is random selection of people for vaccination. Many people who are selected are not interested in getting vaccinated, and those interested are not getting selected. The COWIN App should function properly," he says.

Rajya Sabha | 9 am

Rajya Sabha proceedings begin.

Subrata Bakshi of Trinamool Congress takes oath in Bengali.

Vijai Sai Reddy of YSR Congress raises certain remarks made by a TDP member few days ago, and demands action. Chair refuses to acknowledge his objection.

Zero hour begins in the House.

Subhash Chandra Singh of BJD, Odisha is the first speaker, followed by Syed Zafar Islam of BJP. The MP from Uttar Pradesh speaks on how the RBI guidelines addresses only NBFC's asset side, and not the liabilities side. RBI should come with a framework to address this, he says.


Rajya Sabha

Bill for Introduction

- National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Bill, 2021

- Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address

Highlights of the President’s Address 2021

Bill for Consideration and Passing

- Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2021

Lok Sabha

- Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address

Highlights of the President’s Address 2021

- General Discussion on the Union Budget for 2021-2022

Bill for Consideration and Passing

- Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2021

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