Parliament proceedings | September 21, 2020

BJD's Bhartruhari Mahtab speaks on the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

BJD's Bhartruhari Mahtab speaks on the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

Rajya Sabha was adjourned on Monday without taking up business as Opposition members protested the suspension of eight members for the remainder of the monsoon session. The members were suspended after the Parliamentary Affairs Minister raised a motion for the same, citing their unruly behaviour against the Deputy Chairman during the voting on farm Bills on Sunday.

The Upper House saw multiple brief adjournments before it was adjourned for the day as the suspended MPs refused to leave the House as directed by the Chair.

The Parliament, which was initially scheduled to end on October 1, will wind up on September 23 taking into account the increasing number of COVID-19 cases.


Here are the latest updates:

12.20 am | Lok Sabha

The Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020, and the Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020, are undertaken.

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor opposes both the Bills.

Mr. Vardhan responds to Members' concerns.

Both the Bills, as passed by the Rajya Sabha, are passed by a voice vote.

The House is adjourned till 3 p.m. on Tuesday.

11 pm | Lok Sabha

Pragya Thakur, BJP, expresses gratitude to doctors and supports the Bill.

Congress's Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury says the lockdown was declared suddenly. Before passing the Bill, precautions must be adopted. "Certain sections of the Bill are concerning," he says.

Speaking on the legal implication of the Bill, he says in a hurry to save the lives of healthcare workers, the Bill might fail the Constitutional test. The Ordinance could have been the first step towards ensuring protection for them beyond the pandemic, he adds.

He says the Ordinance also breaches the country's criminal law norm. He suggests that the Bill be sent to a standing committee.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan draws parallels between the COVID-19 pandemic and the Bubonic plague. He informs the House that the government has been working on the draft of the National Public Health Act.

"We did not ask for funds from the States. The centre paid the premiums for insurances of 22 lakh workers across the country.

The COBAS machines were first sent to Maharashtra, West Bengal first, he says.

"It is an empowering Act. We have empowered States so that they can claim the insurances of COVID warriors who pass away," he says.

The COVID-19 vaccine will be available in the early part of next year, Mr. Vardhan adds.

He informs the House that aside from the categories already in the Bill, State governments can add categories of workers themselves. The police are already considered corona-warriors, he adds.

10 pm | Lok Sabha

Anupriya Patel, Apna Dal, asks if sanitation workers working in hospitals are within the purview of the Bill.

Hanuman Beniwal of RLP supports the Bill.

Ajay Bhatt, BJP, hails the Bill as "historic".

Jaskaur Meena, BJP, says the Prime Minister played a role in uniting the people of India during the pandemic. ASHA and Anganwadi workers worked extremely hard but get paid very little, she says, adding that they should also be protected under the Bill.

Jagdambika Pal, BJP, says this is not just a law but a significant step to ensure respect for the healthcare workers in the years to come.

Achyutananda Samanta, BJD, says it is essential to inspire the COVID warriors. He supports the amendments on behalf of his party and thanks the PM and the Union Health Minister.

9.15 pm | Lok Sabha

Shrikant Eknath Shinde, Shiv Sena, supports the Bill.

Kaushalendra Kumar, JD(U), also supports the Bill.

BJD's Bhartruhari Mahtab appreciates Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik's role in fighting COVID-19 in the State. He questions the need for an amendment. Why not bring a new Bill in 2020, he asks. He says there is a need to give protection not just to health workers but also to the police.

Gaddam Ranjith Reddy, TRS, says 95% of COVID-19 deaths occurred while the patients were on the ventilator. He wonders if those deaths were due to hypoxia. He also requests financial assistance for Telangana.

Sangeeta Kumari Singh Deo, BJP, says the Bill seeks to restore the dignity and morale of healthcare workers.

Dr. Heena V. Gavit, BJP, says even though the medical fraternity worked relentlessly, they often became the target of violence and perceived as carriers of the disease.

K. Ram Mohan Naidu, TDP, also stresses on the role of the police in addition to healthcare workers.

K. Navas Kani, IUML, expresses concern with the presumption of guilt (until proven innocent) for those found guilty under the Act. He apprehends that this might be misused by the government.

The House passes the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020, as passed by the Rajya Sabha, is passed by a voice vote.

8.15 pm | Lok Sabha

Congress's Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury withdraws his statutory resolutions. The House approves the withdrawal.

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020, as passed by the Rajya Sabha, is passed by the House by a voice vote.

The House is to take into consideration the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020, as passed by the Rajya Sabha. The proposed amendment extends protection to frontline workers, including healthcare professionals.

Suresh Kodikunnil, INC, cites examples of incidents of violence against frontline healthcare workers. A special law has to be framed to protect the lives of frontline workers, he says.

"I must highlight the gross inequalities they suffer," he adds. He also alleges irregularities in salaries received by doctors employed in treating COVID-19.

Many healthcare workers have been subjected to violence and abuse in the line of duty, says Dr. Subhash Bhamre, BJP. If a person is found positive for COVID-19, that house is subjected to boycott. Doctors treating the infection are prevented from entering their homes, he adds. 68,000 healthcare workers have tested positive and more than 500 doctors have died of COVID-19 so far, Mr. Bhamre says.

The Ordinance is intended to make acts of violence against healthcare workers a punishable and non-bailable offence. Mr. Bhamre supports the Bill.

Dr. T. Sumathy Thamizhachi Thangapandian, DMK, says the lives of frontline workers have to be protected beyond the duration of the pandemic. Since the Act is of the colonial era, there are areas which need to be clarified in the Bill, she adds. There should also be a classification in priority for vaccination.

7.40 pm | Lok Sabha

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman thanks the House for its constructive inputs and willingness to engage with the government on the Bill.

On the Bill, she says the ordinance brought on June 5 was a timely ordinance, which clearly suspended the application of three sections (7,9 and 10) of the Code. "We had to prevent any company, stressed because of COVID, from being pushed into insolvency".

"We did not want to hurt any other proceedings initiated before March 25 due to the reasons apart from those associated with the Covid-19 fallout.

"The Bill replaces the ordinance. The six months of suspension of the three provisions will be over on September 24. This may be extended for six more months as per the proposed amendment."

The whole approach is to provide immediate relief and in the later phases companies unable to be aided by hand-holding will also be relieved, she says.

"IBC's performance related to NPA of public sector banks compared to other tools: Lok Adalat (2018-19) 40.89 lakh cases referred; Rs.2,816 crore ( 5.3%) recovery; in DRT, there were 10,574 cases with only 3.5% recovery; in SARFASI: with over 2 lakh cases, only Rs.41,876 crore (14.5%) was recovered. Under IBC, recovery rate is 42.5%," she informs the House.

This Code is not a recovery law, she adds. "MSMEs have several other ways through which they can recover their claims".

7.15 pm | Lok Sabha

Manish Tewari, INC, says the GDP had been in free fall for 7 quarters even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. "Relief of Rs.1.45 lakh crore was given to the corporate sector, which addressed the supply side issues, while they absolutely ignored liquidity injection for increase on the demand side.

"The Code has become a parallel system to DRT for debt recovery.

"There is a need for the government to rectify the Bill, directly linking the moratorium to the Covid-19 crisis. "Please initiate appropriate action against those found to have subverted the banking system, otherwise stop spreading the canard over and over again," he says, in reference to the allegation of Rs.14 lakh crore NPA during UPA regime.

C. Thomas, KC(M), says there may be some companies which were distressed before the COVID-19 pandemic.

6.30 pm | Lok Sabha

Chandeshwar Prasad, JD(U), supports the Bill.

Pinaki Misra, BJD, says the government needs to distinguish companies that have been affected by COVID-19 from other affected companies.

Shyam Singh Yadav, BSP, says there are ambiguities in the Bill in usage of terms like "certain situations" and "due diligence". He says there should be transparency in electoral bond donations. He says the provisions of the Bill should be made more stringent.

Supriya Sule, NCP, says she supports the Bill and it is the need of the hour.  "Ms. Sitharaman had mentioned that in the Bill there would be a specific rule to ensure that all Indian investors will be protected in case of cross-border issues. How is that going to be done?" she asks.

There are several companies which are getting closed, she says, citing the case of Air India. She talks about Jet Airways- "why is Jet AIrways differently from Air India?" She asks what time-bound measures are being taken to assure investors.

6 pm | Lok Sabha

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar informs the Lok Sabha about the Union Cabinet's approval to increase the MSP of six Rabi crops. "Between 2009-2014, in UPA government, 1.52 lakh metric tonne dal was procured by the government, while 76.85 lakh metric tonne has been produced during our rule, we have disbursed Rs.7 lakh crore under MSP arrangement, which is twice the amount during the UPA rule. The Opposition was claiming that MSP and APMC will be removed after the passing of agri-reform Bills, but by today's decision, the government has confirmed that both will remain".

The Opposition members raise questions on the manner in which the statement was made without giving an opportunity to them to respond.

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020 is being discussed. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman moves the Bill.

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury says he takes exception to the fact that Ordinances are repeatedly promulgated under "the pretext of the COVID-19 pandemic". He says the Bill will adversely impact the interest of MSMEs.

The Bill, which is for replacing an ordinance promulgated on June 5, will contribute to increasing the number of cases of intentional defaults, he says.

Dr. Nishikant Dubey, BJP, says NPAs to the tune of Rs.14 lakh crore was a result of the decisions taken under the Congress-led government, adding that the entire banking system was in a disarray when the NDA came to power. "The banks could earlier recover dues through the Lok Adalat system, only 5.3% recovery was made through this system in 2018, just about 3% recovery was made through the Debt Recovery Tribunal route. However, the Code's recovery rate is about 42.5%.

"Isn't there a need to save companies to save jobs? As per an estimate, the world over 5% jobs will be lost amid the COVID-19 crisis."

5 pm | Lok Sabha

Lok Sabha passes Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020

Discussion on the FCRA amendments continues.

Supriya Sule, NCP, questions the step making Aadhar mandatory, when the Supreme Court has repeatedly said that the Aadhar is not compulsory. "What logic is there behind the focus on SBI, Delhi?" she asks. "Are you trying to sow suspicion that other banks are not capable of opening an FCRA account?"

"I request the central government to stop bulldozing people who do good work," Ms. Sule says. There may be a bad apple among the NGOs, but there are a hundred others doing good work, she adds.

Vincent H Pala, INC, says the Bill is against the minorities and is a means to harass them. "This government is not for employment, or for the rural... I request the government to withdraw the Bill".

Nityanand Rai, MoS, Home Affairs, responds to MPs' concerns. He says the amendments are not against any minority religion or NGO. He says PM Modi's attempts are to promote national security as "past mistakes" have endangered the country. This amendment is necessary for 'atmanirbhar Bharat', he says.

To ensure FCRA is not violated, emergency measures have to be taken, he says. " If we do not freeze the bank accounts of those under investigation, how will we conduct the probe?"

He says the misuse of foreign funds will be prevented through the amendments. He claims that many NGOs use public funds for their personal use, to justify the step to cut administrative expenses from 50% to 20%.

While the Supreme Court has said that Aadhar is not compulsory for identification, but it is a necessity in certain scenarios, he says. The Aadar Card is a significant proof of identification, he adds.

E.T. Mohammed Basheer, IUML, opposes the Bill.

Gaurav Gogoi, INC,  appeals that the Bill be sent to the Standing Committee.  "The present Bill will result in closure of several organisations which are doing good work".

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, says on one hand the government invites foreign funds, but when such funds come for educational and charitable purposes, it is prevented. There is a political agenda behind this, he says. He asks how much foreign fund has come into the PM-CARES Fund. "The Minister himself said between 2010-11 and 2019, 19000 licences were cancelled; 78% licences were cancelled during your tenure, then why bring this Bill?" he asks.

Mr. Rai responds again.

Responding to the charge by a Member that the Bill would hit the funds being received by educational institutions being run by the Christian community, Mr. Rai says the government is not against any religion. "This Bill is to ensure that the money being contributed from abroad is not misused".

If any NGO creates assets, the Bill provides that the State Chief Secretaries can be empowered to maintain the assets, says the Minister of State. The NGOs can open several accounts, including the one in SBI-Delhi as provided in the Bill, he adds.

Congress's Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary quotes a report, stating that Hindu organisations have not come under the scrutiny of FCRA.

In 2012 (when UPA was in power), the licences of as many as 3,922 NGOs had been cancelled, the Minister says. No one will have to come to Delhi to open the SBI account, he adds. "After the Bill is passed, all the FCRA licensed NGOs can be linked to the Niti Aayog's  Darpan portal," he adds.

The Bill, cleared by the Rajya Sabha, is passed by the Lok Sabha by voice vote.

4.10 pm | Lok Sabha

FCRA amendments targetting minorities: Anto Antony

A Bill seeking to regulate Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act is being taken up for discussion. Anto Antony (Congress) is the first speaker. He calls the Bill "another exotic adventure".

Mr. Antony warns the Bill will kill the NGOs.

The Bill seeks to make it mandatory for providing the Aadhar numbers of the office-bearers of any NGOs. Public servants will be barred from receiving funds from abroad.

The Bill also proposes to enable the Centre to allow an NGO or association to surrender its FCRA certificate.

Mr. Antony claims the Bill was brought to target minorities.  He says all Christian charities are not indulging in coversion. These charity institutions have uplifted the poorest of poor, he says.

Dr. Veeraswamy Kalanidhi, DMK, says the government was elected for the second time with a huge majority, but their agenda is only Hindutva. The government needs to understand why people are converting (from their religion), he says. His comment is in response to the previous speaker Dr. Satya Pal Singh of BJP.

Rajendra Agrawal, who is in the Chair now, asks him to limit himself to speaking on the Bill.

Sougata Ray, AITC, says high-handed Hindu revivalism is this government's credo and that there is no need for this Bill.

Bellana Chandra Sekhar, YSRCP, says the Bill is a step towards the government's efforts to ensure transparency. He says his party supports the Bill.

Shrirang Appa Barne, Shiv Sena, says in many parts of the world, foreign funds are used for religious conversions. These conversions are done by offering money to people from backward sections, he says and concludes by supporting the Bill.

BJD's Bhartruhari Mahtab speaks in Odia.

Ritesh Pandey, BSP, says that the ruling government may curb dissent through the Bill. Speaking on suspension in case of contravention, he says earlier suspension could be for six months but now the MHA can extend the suspension for one year, which would mean a freeze on those accounts under the MHA's control.

Bheemrao Baswanthrao Patil, TRS, also says the Bill would lead to inordinate powers in the hands of the MHA.

3.50 pm | Lok Sabha

Srinivas Patil (NCP) speaks on Supreme Court quashing Maratha reservation. A legislature passed by Maharashtra legislative Assembly and Council, was struck down. Centre should intervene, he says.

Anupriya Patel (Apna Dal) speaks on the necessity to be prepared for earthquakes. Learn from Japan, she adds.

Benny Behnan (Congress) speaks on Kerala gold smuggling scam.

Rajiv Pratap Rudy (BJP) speaks on floods caused in Bihar due to water coming from Nepal.

Apurupa Poddar (Trinamool) speaks in Bengali. She seeks special package for migrant workers.

Tamizhachi Thangapandian (DMK) speaks on protecting Velachery lake.

Jayadev Galla (TDP) speaks on temples in Godavari districts.

Hanuman Beniwal (RLP) seeks army recruitment drive in Nagore.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (Congress) speaks on Rabinranath Tagore and Bengali literature. He seeks classical language status to Bengali.

Zero Hour ends.

3.40 pm | Lok Sabha

Rajeev Lallan (JD-U) urges the government not to close diesel locomotive plant in Bihar.

Manish Tewari (Congress) seeks to know if government agencies will continue its procurement since three agri-Bills were passed recently. He highlights the farmer demonstrations, and urges the government to give assurance to such protesting farmers.

K. Kanimozhi (DMK) seeks a trans-shipment hub in Thoothukudi.

Sikkim MP Indra Hang Subba says Tamang and Himbu tribes have been recognised as STs. But Assembly seats have not been reserved for them, he says.

Manjulatha Mondal (BJD) speaks in Odiya.

Kalyan Banerjee (Trinamool) requests the Railways not to evict poor people from land adjacent to railway lands of Serampore.

Gaurav Gogoi (Trinamool) asks when the government will accept Biplab Kumar report on Clause 6 of Assam Accord.

Uday Pratap Singh (BJP) speaks on floods in Madhya Pradesh.

3.30 pm | Lok Sabha

Shankar Lalwani, BJP MP from Madhya Pradesh, says farmers in the State are reeling under stress due to loss by cultivating soya bean. He seeks loan waiver.

Arvind Sawant (Shiv Sena) reminds the House that BSNL is yet to start 4G services. He claims the government is systematically destroying BSNL. People who have opted for VRS haven't been paid yet.

Manoj Kotak  (BJP) seeks stoppages of trains in more stations.

Ajay Bhatt (BJP) seeks completion of rail over bridges in his constituency.

Parvesh Saheb Singh (BJP) targets AAP on land acquisition. Some MPs object.

Ritesh Pandey (BSP) speaks on deterioration of law and order in Uttar Pradesh. The government cannot be the judge, jury and executioner, he says.

Jyotirmoy Mahato (BJP) seeks railway line to connect Purulia to Jhargram.

K. Sridhar (YSRCP) speaks on banning plastics. He says there is no guidelines in place yet. Plastics is a longer pandemic, he says.

Santosh Kumar (JD-U), highlights the poor drainage infrastructure in Purnia, Bihar.

Annapurna Devi (BJP) seeks pumps in wastelands of Jharkhand so that they can be converted into farm lands.

3.20 pm | Lok Sabha

Zero hour proceedings begin.

Abdul Khaleque, Congress MP from Assam, seeks Centre's support to improve bell metal handicrafts, which is unique in his State.

Pankaj Choudhury, Gorakhpur MP, seeks government to declare Terai region as a tiger reserve.

Rama Naidu (TDP) opposes the closing down of Waltair division of Railways. He seeks a new South Coast railway zone comprising Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.

Saptagiri Ulaka (Congress ) seeks to add Jagannath Sagar lake in National Lake Conservation Plan. He also says the mobile network connection in Koraput is very low.

Ranjit Reddy (TRS) seeks 10.4 MT urea for Telangana.

Ashok Nete , BJP MP, speaks in Marathi.

Shashi Tharoor (Congress) seeks compensation to fisherfolk of Thiruvananthapuram.

Sangeetha Azhar (BSP) says reservation is not properly implemented in many universities. She blames the attitude of recruiters for deliberately not appointing SC, ST and OBC teachers.

3.10 pm | Lok Sabha

Papers being laid on the table. This includes various papers pertaining to various ministries, reports of committee on estimates, reports of committee on petitions, and statements by various ministers.

3.00 pm | Lok Sabha

Lok Sabha assembles. Speaker Om Birla is in the Chair. He announces the demise of four former members.

He reads obituary references to the passing away of:

  1. Nandi Yellaiah (Member, Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh and Sixteenth Lok Sabhas);
  2. Vijay Annaji Mude (Member, Eleventh Lok Sabha);
  3. Ramdeo Rai (Member, Eighth Lok Sabha);
  4. Roza Vidyadhar Deshpande (Member, Fifth Lok Sabha).

The House pays silent tribute.

1.10 pm

Goondaism, says Pralhad Joshi

Speaking to reporters Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi likened the act of suspended MPs to 'goondaism'.

"When the Chairman names a member then that member has to leave the House. Never before a member defied the orders of the Chair," Mr. Joshi says.

"Eight suspended MPs had misbehaved, it was a type of goondaism. They've proved that they have no trust in democracy," ANI quoted him as saying.

1 pm

Suspension won't silence us: Kareem

Opposition MPs on a silent protest outside Parliament building, to protest against the suspension of eight Rajya Sabha members.

Opposition MPs on a silent protest outside Parliament building, to protest against the suspension of eight Rajya Sabha members.


Suspended CPI-M MP Elamaram Kareem tweeted: "Suspension won't silence us. We will stand with farmers in their fight. Dy.Chairman throttled Parliamentary Procedures yesterday. Suspension of MPs exposed the coward face of BJP. People will see through the attempt to divert attention from their undemocratic actions."

12.20 pm | Rajya Sabha

Opposition MPs have announced that they will take up an all-night long dharna at Parliament House.

Derek O Brien, one of the MPs suspended today, says Congress, SP, DMK, CPI-M, CPI, AAP, IUML, TRS, Trinamool Congress, JD(S), Shiv Sena, and NCP will participate in this silent Dharna.


12 pm | Rajya Sabha

Rajya Sabha reconvenes again.


Vice Chairman Bhubaneswar Kalita reads out Rule 256 regarding suspension of members. He repeats that he wants to invite the Leader of Opposition to speak, but before that he wants the MPs who were named by the Chairman to follow the rule and leave the House.

Opposition protest this, as before, and shout slogans.

Mr. Kalita tells the suspended members to leave again. "The Leader of Opposition will raise your views," he says.

Rajya Sabha adjourned till 9 a.m. on September 22.

11.07 am | Rajya Sabha

Rajya Sabha resumes for the third time.

Vice Chairman Bhubaneswar Kalita says Leader of Opposition will be allowed to speak, but before that, the members named by the Chairman should be out of the House.

Opposition continues sloganeering. A group of MPs, including a few of those suspended, stand inside the well and shout slogans.

The Vice Chairman repeats that the Chairman's order has to be obeyed and the suspended members should leave the House. He asks the MPs to maintain COVID-19 protocol as well.

As protests continue, House is adjourned again till 12 p.m. The MPs who have been named continue to sit in the House as they fear that they won't be allowed back in.

10.36 am | Rajya Sabha

Rajya Sabha reconvenes.

Deputy Chairman Harivansh says he will ask Leader of Opposition to speak first before any Bills are discussed, but those who have been named by the Chairman can't participate. Opposition members object to this.

Rajya Sabha adjourned again for 30 minutes.

10 am | Rajya Sabha

Upper House reconvenes after adjournment.

Opposition members continue to shout slogans. It is understood from the Deputy Chairman's comments that the suspended members have not left the House.

Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank starts to move the Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

However, as the shouting continues, Deputy Chairman Harivansh asks the members who have been named by the Chairman to not participate in the proceedings.

Deputy Chairman says he is willing to hear out the Leader of Opposition, but asks those who have been named by the Chairman to leave the House.

As commotion continues, he announces that the House is adjourned for 30 minutes.

9.30 am | Rajya Sabha

8 Opposition members suspended from Rajya Sabha

Chairman Venkaiah Naidu says that on Sunday, the Deputy Chairman persistently asked the members to go back to their seats. Because of continuous disruption of the House, the division could not take place, says Mr. Naidu.

He rejects the no-confidence motion moved against the Deputy Chairman by saying that the motion was not in proper format.

"The notice period of 14 days is required. I rule that the motion by LoP and other members is not admissible," says Mr. Naidu.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister of State V. Muraleedharan moves motion for suspension of Derek O'Brien (TMC), Sanjay Singh (AAP), Rajeev Satav (Congress), K.K. Ragesh (CPIM), Syed Naseer Hussain (Congress), Ripun Bora (Congress), Dola Sen (AITC) and Elamaram Kareem (CPIM).


They have been suspended for the remainder of the session. Chairman asks the named members to leave the House. Opposition shouts slogans.

House adjourned till 10 a.m.

9.25 am | Rajya Sabha

Chairman addresses Sunday's events

Chairman Venkaiah Naidu says he was pained about what happened on September 21. It was a bad day for Rajya Sabha, he says.


"Some members came to the well of the House, they threw papers, they broke microphones, they abused the Deputy Chairman, according to him," he says.

It tarnished the image of Parliament, says Mr. Naidu, and suggests that the MPs introspect.

If marshals were not called on time, I'm worried what would have happened to the Deputy Chairman, he says.

He names TMC MP Derek O'Brien, and asks him to leave the House while the  Opposition disrupts.

"The Deputy Chairman was physically threatened. The government will move a motion. I have received a letter from Opposition leaders on  no-confidence against Deputy Chairman saying he violated rules," says Mr. Naidu.

9.20 am | Rajya Sabha

Zero Hour continues.

DMK MP P. Wilson says that the UPSC and SSC examinations are scheduled to start from October 4 even as the COVID-19 pandemic rages. He asks the competitive exams to be postponed until the pandemic is under control.

Congress MP K.C. Venugopal says the government has announced economic packages, but banks are not lending, particularly to MSME sector.

In special mentions, BJP MP Roopa Ganguly raises matter of "whimsical" rules by States on air travel.

BJD MP Amar Patnaik demands government confer classical status to Odisha music.

9.10 am | Rajya Sabha

Zero Hour continues.

Congress MP P.L. Punia raises the matter of deployment of CRPF personnel in Chhattisgarh.

Trinamool Congress MP Dola Sen raises issue of BSNL workers not being paid salaries. Only 2,000 permanent BSNL employees are left in Bengal, she says, and goes on to criticise the ruling party for its treatment of BSNL. She is cut off by Chairman Venkaiah Naidu who points out that Zero Hour is not the time for political debates.

Mir Mohammad Fayaz of PDP speaking in Kashmiri. He speaks about pharmacies, but Chairman says Mr. Fayaz has given notice to speak on the national institute of sports, and should hence stick to that topic.

BJD MP Prasanna Acharya says Central government has taken a good decision to name ports after prominent people. He asks the government to name Paradip port in Odisha after Biju Patnaik.

9 am | Rajya Sabha

Rajya Sabha proceedings begin as scheduled. Papers being laid for consideration.

Zero Hour starts.

Tamil Mahila Congress MP G.K. Vasan raises the issue of manual scavenging.

"We have been very progressive in our outlook but have somehow failed to stop this practice," says Mr. Vasan. He asks the government to implement the existing laws or bring in a new law to stop manual scavenging.

CPI MP Binoy Viswam asks government to provide good quality free masks to the deprived sections of society. Mr. Viswam had brought up this point in earlier sessions as well.

BJP Om Prakash Mathur raises the matter of incomplete dam projects in Rajasthan.

Shiv Sena MP Anil Desai raises the issue of poisonous substances in some pesticides used in Maharashtra, asks Centre to look at banning them all.

Rajya Sabha

Bills for Consideration and Passing

  • Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020
  • Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2020
  • Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020
  • Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020
  • Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation and Amendment of Certain Provisions) Bill, 2020
Lok Sabha

Bills for consideration and passing

  • Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020
  • Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020
  • Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020
  • Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020
  • Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020
  • Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020

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