Parliament: Opposition leaders meet; key bills to be moved today
The ongoing Monsoon Session of the Parliament, which has been marred by Opposition protests, enters its final week today. Leaders from over a dozen Opposition parties met this morning to discuss a joint strategy to corner the government. Meanwhile, several key bills are set to be moved in both the Houses of the Parliament today. Here's the latest on the Parliament proceedings.
Opposition meet held in Kharge's office today
Members from 15 Opposition parties met this morning in the office of Mallikarjun Kharge, the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha. The meeting saw the attendance of leaders from the Congress party, the Trinamool Congress, the Shiv Sena, the DMK, NCP, SP, and CPM. RJD, AAP, CPI, NC, IUML, LJD, RSP, and KC(M) were also part of the meet.
Opposition parties to cooperate over the OBC Bill
However, the Opposition parties have decided to cooperate with the government to pass the OBC Bill in both the Houses. The bill aims to give states the right to make their own list of Other Backward Classes. This demand had been raised by several regional parties as well as the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) own OBC leaders.
Other bills to be moved in Parliament today
Other bills that are due to be moved in Parliament today are: The National Commission for Homoeopathy (Amendment) Bill, 2021. The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (Amendment) Bill, 2021. The Limited Liability Partnership (Amendment) Bill, 2021. The Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2021. The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
Other bills due to be moved today
Some other bills due for consideration today are the Tribunals Reforms Bill, 2021, the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, 2021, and the Appropriation (No.4) Bill, 2021.
Parliament's Monsoon Session began on July 19
Since this Parliament Session began on July 19, little work has been done due to Opposition protests over several key issues, including the farmers' protest and the Pegasus scandal. The disruptions have caused a wastage of over Rs. 130 crore of taxpayers' money. PM Modi and his party leaders have been attacking the Opposition for stalling the Parliament.
What is the Pegasus snooping row?
For the unversed, phone numbers of more than 300 Indian activists, journalists, Opposition leaders, among others, were hacked using the spyware program Pegasus, according to an investigation by media organizations around the world. The developers of the spyware say they only supply the product to vetted government clients and their agencies. The Indian government, however, has denied any involvement in the scandal.
What is the farmers' protest all about?
On the other hand, thousands of farmers have been protesting in and around Delhi against three new agricultural laws, passed last year. They are also currently holding a "Kisan Parliament" at the Jantar Mantar near the Parliament, demanding a roll-back of the laws. Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi and other Opposition leaders had earlier this week visited the monument to support the protesting farmers.
Opposition urges PM to attend the Parliament
Yesterday, Trinamool Congress party's Derek O'Brien tweeted a three-minute video, showing several Opposition leaders calling for discussions on these issues. He urged PM Modi to attend the Parliament, captioning the video "Mr. Modi, Come listen to us."