parliament

THE WEEK IN PARLIAMENT

IN the concluding week of the monsoon session, there was a special discussion to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Quit India Movement in both the houses. In the Rajya Sabha, Sitaram Yechury said this was a very solemn occasion to recollect not only the history but also the purpose and what was it that made it a successful movement. Highlighting the role of the Communists in the freedom struggle, he said in the Cellular Jail today, eighty per cent of the names that are written there, are all Communists from Bengal or the undivided Punjab.

THE WEEK IN PARLIAMENT

The Rajya Sabha had a discussion on India's foreign policy and engagement with strategic partners. CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury took part in the discussion and stated that the discussion was being held at a very crucial time. Our pursuit should be of an independent foreign policy. India's security, international borders' security and the defence can't be compromised. The government is turning India into a subordinate partner of the US foreign policy in the world. Privatisation of sectors like defence procurement, Railways and Air India will not be in our interest.

THE WEEK IN PARLIAMENT

THE week began with an uproar in the Lok Sabha over the recent incidents of lynching. Along with other opposition members, CPI(M) MPs gave adjournment motion notice, but it was disallowed by the Speaker. Speaker suspended six Congress MPs for five days after they stormed into the well of the House, tore papers and hurled them towards the chair. The House was disrupted on the second day on the same issue. Subsequently, the House decided to take up the matter for discussion next week.

THE WEEK IN PARLIAMENT

THE monsoon session of parliament started on July 17 with the presidential election. Both the houses met and adjourned after obituary reference. All our MPs casted their votes. The counting of votes was scheduled on July 20 and subsequently, Ram Nath Kovind, fielded by the ruling NDA, was elected the 14th president of India. He is the first from the BJP and the second dalit to enter the Rashtrapati Bhawan. Ram Nath Kovind secured votes of 65.65 per cent of the electoral college while the remaining 34.35 per cent went to opposition candidate Meira Kumar, former Lok Sabha speaker.

THE WEEK IN PARLIAMENT

THE Rajya Sabha passed the four GST Bills -- The Central Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017, The Integrated Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017, The Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Bill, 2017 and The Union Territory Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017. CPI(M) MPs moved several amendments and asked for division but was defeated. Speaking on this, Sitaram Yechury said the fundamental problem with the GST is that it concerns the federal structure of the Constitution. The government refused to heed our request and brought this as a Money Bill.

THE WEEK IN PARLIAMENT

THIS week Parliament mainly had discussions on various important Bills. On the first day, the Rajya Sabha discussed the Finance Bill. The government has come under heavy criticism from the opposition for some of the alterations made to the Finance Bill. Being a Money Bill, the Lok Sabha, where the BJP has a majority, can choose to accept or reject the changes proposed by the Upper House to the Finance Bill. The opposition leaders claimed that it was an attempt to push through far-reaching, non-financial changes bypassing the Rajya Sabha.

THE WEEK IN PARLIAMENT

THE Rajya Sabha took up short duration discussion on electoral reforms. Speaking on this, Sitaram Yechury said there is a need to fine-tune the electoral process. Because of money power and other such things, democracy is at stake. These infirmities need to be corrected. The government, in the Union Budget for 2017-18, has made two proposals -- the cash donations to political parties would now be restricted to Rs 2,000 each person and the introduction of electoral bonds. These are a mere eyewash. It is a mockery.

THE WEEK IN PARLIAMENT

THE second phase of Budget Session began on March 9. The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day on the first day without transacting any business as a mark of respect to sitting member Haji Abdul Salam who died recently. Salam represented Manipur in the Upper House.

The week in parliament

The second week of the Budget Session started with the discussion on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address, wherein all the opposition parties slammed the government’s decision of demonetisation which has resulted in job losses, economic slowdown, agricultural distress and overall misery for the people.

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