A look at some of the major disruptions that will dominate the Parliamentary Monsoon session
The situation in Manipur and the Delhi services ordinance are set to dominate the Monsoon session of Parliament beginning Thursday with the Opposition gearing up to raise these issues to corner the government. The session begins close on the heels of 26 opposition parties forming the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) to take on the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
The Opposition has been raking up the issue of Manipur violence. The northeastern state is witnessing ethnic violence since May 3 that has claimed over 160 lives. BJP is expected to raise the issue of violence during Panchayat polls in West Bengal to corner Trinamool Congress.
The other key issue which is likely to trigger a face-off between the government and the opposition is the Delhi services ordinance which will come up as a bill in the session. Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is opposing the ordinance on the transfer and posting of bureaucrats in Delhi brought by the Centre in May, virtually negating a Supreme Court verdict giving the elected government in Delhi the control over services matter.
The AAP had demanded support from the Congress on the issue as a condition to attend the recent two-day Opposition meeting in Bengaluru. The Congress has made it clear that it will not back the ordinance and will oppose any attempt of the Central government to “sabotage federalism” in the country.
The ordinance seeks to set up a National Capital Civil Service Authority for the transfer of and disciplinary proceedings against Group-A officers from the DANICS cadre. Transfer and postings of all officers of the Delhi government were under the executive control of the lieutenant governor before the May 11 verdict of the apex court.
At an all-party meeting convened by it on the eve of the session, the government told floor leaders of various parties that it is willing to discuss every issue permitted under the rules and approved by the Chair in the session. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said there are 32 legislative items for the session.
Many opposition MPs said Joshi had earlier in a meeting of the business advisory committee called by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla asserted that the government was willing to discuss the violence in Manipur. After the all-party meeting, Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury asserted that if the government wants Parliament to function, it should give space to the opposition’s issues, and demanded a discussion on Manipur during the session.
“I participated in the Business Advisory Committee meeting and raised all the issues that need to be discussed. At the all-party also, I raised the issues…Our demand is that there is the issue of Manipur which must be discussed,” he told reporters.
“Two months have passed but Prime Minister Narendra Modi is silent. I would like to request that he has been silent for over two months but he should at least make a statement in Parliament and allow us to hold a debate,” he said.
Leaders of the opposition alliance INDIA will meet on Thursday morning to chalk out a joint strategy for the Monsoon session. The meeting will be held in the chamber of the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge. “The meeting has been called to discuss the issues to be taken up in Parliament from day one of the session,” an opposition party leader.
For the session, which concludes on August 11, the government has lined up 31 bills, including draft legislation to check film piracy, introduce age-based categories for censor certification, and set up the National Research Foundation. It has also listed bills on personal data protection, the one to amend forest conservation laws, and on the contentious ordinance on Delhi services for the session.
Also listed for consideration and passage during the session are the Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill and the Multi-State Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Bill, among others. The bills also include one seeking changes in the list of scheduled tribes for Jammu and Kashmir, and another for including Mahra and Mahara as synonyms of Mehar, Mehra, and Mahar in the list of scheduled castes in Chhattisgarh.
One bill also seeks to include the Valmiki community as a synonym of Chura, Bhangi, Balmiki, and Mehtar in the list of scheduled castes of Jammu and Kashmir, according to a Lok Sabha bulletin.
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