New Delhi: All eyes are set on Parliament as the 26-day long winter session is commencing on Monday. This will be the second Parliament session of the BJP-led NDA government which stormed to power with a massive mandate in the Lok Sabha elections.
In this session, the Opposition, which has increased its strength look to attack the government over issues like economic slowdown and illegal detention of leaders in Kashmir, while the Narendra Modi-led Centre seeks to push through the contentious Citizenship (amendment) Bill.
Earlier on Sunday, after an all-party meet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted that the government is ready to discuss every issue and exhorted everyone to make the Winter session as productive as the last one, when Parliament gave its nod to the bifurcation of the then state of Jammu and Kashmir and nullifying Article 370, besides several other important bills.
“We look forward to a productive Parliament session, where people-centric and development oriented issues would be discussed”, PM Modi tweeted after the all-party meet
Opposition increases its strength
With the Shiv Sena moving to the Opposition benches, the joint Opposition strength has crossed the 200-mark in Lok Sabha. With total 18 MPs in the Lok Sabha and 3 MPs in the Rajya Sabha, the Shiv Sena has become the fifth largest constituent of the Opposition, as per details in the Lok Sabha website. The Congress has 52 MPs in the Lok Sabha, the DMK 24, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) 22, and YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) 22.
“Shiv Sena is working on a tie-up with the Congress as they have opted to sit in the Opposition. We have agreed to it and their Minister has also resigned from the government”, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi asserted yesterday.
Key bills to be Taken up
A total of 35 ordinances, including the Citizenship Bill, are scheduled to be tabled during the proceedings of the House. The contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which the ruling party seeks to pass with the aim of granting citizenship to non-Muslims from neighbouring countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan who came to India before December 31, 2014, is expected to be taken up today.
Other key bills that are likely to be taken up include the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, Anti Maritime Piracy Bill 2019 and Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019.
Also included are the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019 prohibiting commercial surrogacy; the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019. It removes the president of the Indian National Congress as a trustee and empowers the central government to remove nominated members.
Spread over a period of 26 days, the Winter Session is scheduled conclude on December 13, It will have 20 sittings.
First session of Parliament
The first session of the parliament was very productive as it saw both houses passing key legislations such as the one to penalise the practice of instant triple talaq and the other giving more powers to the National Investigation Agency.The two Houses also passed a resolution scrapping special status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcating the state into two union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.