New Delhi: The Lok Sabha monsoon session started on a stormy note on Monday, with the opposition creating a ruckus and preventing Prime Minister Narendra Modi from introducing his newly inducted Union ministers to the House.
The session began a day after a global report alleged the surveillance of cell phones by Israeli spyware Pegasus sold only to governments of all countries, including India. The report claimed that more than 300 verified mobile phone numbers, including those of two sitting ministers, more than 40 journalists, three opposition leaders and a sitting judge, as well as dozens of businessmen and activists, could have been targeted for hacking.
In addition, the opposition was ready to confront the government on various issues such as the management of CVID-19, rising fuel prices, agitation of farmers, etc. Many opposition MPs were likely to give recess notices, seeking discussions on these issues. .
The government, for its part, has prepared a major legislative program for the monsoon session.
As the Lok Sabha convened on Monday, chaos erupted, resulting in an adjournment of nearly 40 minutes until 2 p.m.
Amid the uproar, the prime minister reportedly said his new ministers should be “considered introduced”, according to media reports.
The prime minister said he expected members of the House to show enthusiasm by typing on their desks as large numbers of those from Dalit communities, Scheduled Tribes and the CBO alike. that sons of farmers and those from economically backward and rural backgrounds have become ministers in the recent rejig.
“However, probably some people did not like people from this background to have become ministers and that is why they are now behaving with such behavior,” the prime minister said, mocking the opposition.
Modi asked the President to consider presenting the ministers with the submission of their list to the House.
Responding to the Prime Minister’s call, the President announced that the House had accepted the ministers’ presentation.
Criticizing the opposition for not allowing the prime minister to introduce the new ministers, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said such a thing was happening for the first time in 24 years of parliamentary career.
Earlier, four newly elected members — Maddila Gurumoorthy (YSR Congress), Mangal Suresh Angadi (BJP), MP Abdussamad Samadani (IUML), Vijayakumar (Congress) — were sworn in as the House convened after a interruption of almost four months.
Following this, the Prime Minister rose to introduce the newly inducted ministers who were sworn in on July 7 following a major cabinet reshuffle.
As soon as Modi stood up, opposition MPs started shouting slogans and disrupting the debate.
On Sunday, the opposition parties held a separate meeting after the all-party meeting in which 33 parties attended.
During the all-party meeting, opposition parties opposed the government’s offer of a joint Prime Minister’s speech to all MPs on COVID-19 in Parliament’s annex, saying it would be “very irregular” at a time when Parliament is in session and it aims to “sidestep” the standards.
Executives, including from TMC and CPI (M), have also said that when the pandemic and related issues can be discussed in the House, what is the need to go “outside”.
The annex is a separate building within the premises of the Parliament complex.
“What is the need to get out of Parliament? Any address should be on the floor of the House,” said Derek O’Brien, member of TMC RS, who was present at the meeting.
CPI leader (M) Sitaram Yechury said the party’s position has always been that when Parliament sits, whatever the government has to say, it can do so in the House.
“It is very irregular for the government to do this. When Parliament is in session, any speech or presentation the government wants to make, it has to be done from inside Parliament,” he said.
O’Brien claimed that all opposition leaders present at the meeting, including opposition leader Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress leader Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Ramgopal Yadav of SP and Satish Misra of BSP refused to address “outside” Parliament.
Separately, various parties, including Congress and TMC, said they would demand the restoration of MPLAD funds at the multi-party meeting chaired by Lok Sabha chairman Om Birla, sources said.
Birla assured them he would raise the issue with the government and its senior officials, they said.
The government has registered 17 new bills to be introduced during the session. Three of the bills are intended to replace recently published ordinances.
One of the ordinances of June 30 prohibits any agitation and strike to any person engaged in essential defense services.
The 2021 Essential Defense Services Ordinance came against the backdrop of the announcement by the main federations of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) to call an indefinite strike from the end of July to protest against the government’s decision to transform the OFB into a company.
The Essential Defense Service Bill, 2021 has been listed to replace the ordinance, according to an LS bulletin.
The 2021 bill on the Commission for the management of air quality in the national capital region and surrounding areas is another measure intended to replace an ordinance.