Parliament Winter Session: Child marriage, Lakhimpur Kheri violence discussed
As Parliament's Winter Session resumed Monday, the Opposition reiterated demands for the resignation of Minister of State (Home) Ajay Mishra in the Lok Sabha. The Rajya Sabha stalemate over the suspension of 12 MPs continued as the Opposition dismissed the government's outreach for resolution. The government is also looking to raise the legal age of marriage for women from 18 years to 21 years.
Why does this story matter?
The Lok Sabha was adjourned until 11 am Tuesday amid the ongoing ruckus. Notably, the Rajya Sabha's productivity has dropped to 37.60% in the third week of the current Winter Session amid Opposition protests. The 25-day-long Winter Session is set to conclude on December 23. The previous session had also remained largely unproductive due to Opposition protests over multiple issues.
Opposition rejects government's olive branch
Currently, there appears to be no resolution to the logjam over the suspension of MPs. The government had proposed a meeting convened by Leader of the House Piyush Goyal Monday morning. However, the Opposition had refused to attend the meeting as the "select invitations were unfortunate." The Opposition said all leaders should have been invited to the meeting.
Rajya Sabha productivity fell to 37.60%
The Rajya Sabha's productivity dropped to 37.60% in the Winter Session's third week after 49.70% and 52.50% productivity in the first and second weeks, respectively. The RS Secretariat said the Question Hour—meant to hold the government accountable—suffered the most.
Opposition demands Mishra's immediate resignation
The Opposition leaders submitted adjournment motion notices Monday, demanding the immediate resignation of MoS Mishra. Opposition MPs plan to rally from Parliament's Gandhi statue till Vijay Chowk at 12:30 pm Tuesday to push for the demand. Mishra's son, Ashish Mishra, is notably the prime accused in the Lakhimpur violence, which led to the deaths of eight people, including four protesting farmers.
Raising legal marriage age for women likely
The government is reportedly likely to introduce bills to revise the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006. The Union Cabinet has resolved to raise the legal marriage age for women to 21 years. However, some political leaders have opposed the move. Incidentally, the legal marriage age for men is already 21. The proposed bill might also make other significant changes to marriage-related personal laws.
Delay in resolving pensioner complaints
Separately, a parliamentary panel discussed delays in resolving pensioner concerns beyond the 60-day deadline. The panel suggested introducing an accountability mechanism. It also recommended increased accountability for grievance redressal authorities for dismissing grievances without taking appropriate qualitative action. Further, it requested that the government consider a 5% increase in pension upon reaching the age of 65.
What were the other bills proposed in Parliament?
The Data Protection Bill was proposed because there is no law to regulate data. A bill that required companies to devote a quarter of their CSR budget to the preservation of historical monuments was introduced. The Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021, to link Aadhaar to electoral rolls, was also proposed. A bill has been submitted to provide a statutory framework for anti-drug agencies.