Vol. XLIII No. 08 February 24, 2019

The Week in Parliament

CPI(M) Parliamentary Office

THIS was the last session of the 16TH Lok Sabha. The 16TH Lok Sabha was constituted on May 18, 2014 and the House met on June 4, 2014. In all, the House had 331 sittings. On February 13, 2019, both Houses of Parliament – the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha – were adjourned sine die.

The Rajya Sabha on the last day of the session passed the Personal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018 by voice vote and it was later passed in the Lok Sabha too. The bill removes leprosy as a ground for divorce under five personal laws, including the Hindu Marriage Act. The Upper House passed the bill without debate after consensus on the issue. However, consensus eluded the Consumer Protection Bill, which the government sought to push on that day, but it was met with vociferous protests.

On the last day of the session in the Lok Sabha, the BJP-led government introduced the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018. Speaking on the bill, CPI(M) leader Md. Salim and some other opposition members targeted the Trinamool Congress over aiding chit fund companies. It enraged TMC members who walked up the aisle. With fingers pointed at Salim, they shouted slogans against him. Sensing danger, the CPI(M) members immediately created a human wall between Salim and the three TMC members. The bill was passed by voice vote.

Salim said that some of the people suddenly get hyperactive whenever the issue of chit fund or ponzi scheme is raised. The entire country is aware that the erstwhile Left Front government of West Bengal brought in a bill to ban such schemes in 2002. If the erstwhile central government had acceded to the bill, such a large number of persons would not have lost their money. Therefore, I would like to support and thank the finance minister for bringing in this bill. I would like to make a demand that appropriate measures should be taken to return the money to the poor people.

The Lok Sabha on the last day of the session passed the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill. Speaking on the legislation, M B Rajesh said that he has been elected from Kerala but was born in Jalandhar, Punjab and felt emotionally attached to Punjab as well. On a visit to Jallianwala Bagh a couple of months ago, he was shocked to see that the light and sound show was cancelled due to lack of funds. The true lesson to be learnt from the sacrifice of thousands of our martyrs in Jallianwala Bagh is anti-imperialism, the secular unity of the people of the country and protection of democratic values. These are the core values which form the idea of India and which is still relevant to the idea of India. Rabindranath Tagore returned his knighthood in protest against the massacre.

In the end of the 16th Lok Sabha, valedictory reference was made by various Members of Parliament. On behalf of CPI(M), Lok Sabha Leader P Karunakaran said that there are a number of inspiring occasions as well as emotional occasions that you have witnessed for the last five years. It is the duty of the Opposition to raise the issues of the people. Sometimes, it may be in the form of shouting or trooping to the Well. I always remember your smiling face. It is said that the essence of democracy lies in discussion, debate and decision. I would like to say about only one issue before the prime minister – Kerala is yet to recover from the damage that was caused by the massive flood. I request that our prime minister and the government should show some more kindness to the state. (END)