New Delhi, July 17: With an aggressive opposition pitching for a no-trust motion against the Narendra Modi government over various issues, the bitterness that saw complete washout of the Budget session is likely to spill into the monsoon session scheduled to commence from Wednesday.
As far as the legislative business is concerned, the government’s plate is more than full with as many as 18 bills — including the various GST amendment bills, RTI amendment bill and the DNA Technology bill — to be introduced for consideration and passage in both Houses during the session that will have only 18 sittings spread over 24 days.
Six other bills replacing ordinances, namely the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018; the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018; the Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018; the Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018; the National Sports University Ordinance, 2018; and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018, are also to be passed.
These are apart from the 15 bills already pending in the Lok Sabha and 10 in the Rajya Sabha, including the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Third Amendment) Bill, 2017; the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018 (Lok Sabha); and Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017, and the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2017 (Rajya Sabha).
However, the Congress and other opposition parties are pressing for no-confidence motion, with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) having already given the notice to the Lok Sabha Secretary General for including the no-trust motion in the day’s business on Wednesday, the opening day of the session.
A number of opposition MPs, in a letter to Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, on Tuesday expressed their displeasure at the government not only “bulldozing the House” to get the Budget 2018-19 “passed in din without any debate and discussion” but also “sneaking in most retrogressive and anti-democratic measures” into the Finance Bill.
“To do this, the government moved motions to suspend the rules to prevent surreptitious legislation. With a deep sense of anguish, we have to state the fact that without the Chair admitting such motions to move for suspension of the rules would not have come before the House in the first place,” the letter read. The opposition has also pointed out in the letter that the Speaker is not vested with discretionary powers under the rules with regard to admitting the no-confidence motion.
If 50 or more MPs rise to press for the no-trust motion, the Speaker will have to grant the leave and the motion has to be taken up within days from such date, they said. In the Budget session, too, the opposition had given multiple notices for taking up of no-trust motion, but Speaker Mahajan did not admit them, saying the House was not in order.
Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said the opposition would raise several issues for discussion in the session such as those of women’s safety, “misrule” in Jammu and Kashmir, dilution of SC/ST Act, attempts to abolish reservation policy and issues of farmers, besides special status to Andhra Pradesh.
The other issues the opposition would like to discuss through the no-confidence motion include rising petrol and diesel prices, depreciation of rupee and the “worsening” foreign policy.