Addressing floor leaders of parties in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, ahead of the Monsoon Session 2018 of Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Government gives huge importance to the issues raised by all Political Parties and urged all Political Parties to collectively strive to create a constructive atmosphere in Monsoon Session to achieve National Good. Modi expressed confidence that all political parties would cooperate on smooth running of the Parliament and undertake constructive discussion on issues of national importance. A host of issues were brought up by the leaders of parties during the meeting. There was a consensus across party lines on ensuring smooth functioning of the Parliament without disruptions and deadlocks to be resolved through constructive discussions in both the Houses. Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Ananthkumar, later briefing media persons said that the Government has requested all parties, especially the opposition, for their co-operation for the smooth functioning of the House. “The people of India want the Parliament to function. Government calls for cooperation from all parties in country's interest”, he said. The Minister informed that all parties were in favour of a productive Monsoon session. The Government is always ready to discuss on the floor of the House, any issue as permitted under Rules of Procedure. The Government will leave no stone unturned to facilitate smooth functioning of the Parliament during the ensuing Monsoon Session, he added. Ananthkumar further informed that the Monsoon Session, 2018 of Parliament is scheduled to be held from Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, and subject to exigencies of Government Business, the Session may conclude on Friday, 10th August, 2018. The Minister said that the Session will provide a total of 18 sittings spread over a period of 24 days and 48* items have been identified for being taken up during the Monsoon Session, 2018. (*Includes 46 Bills and 02 financial item) Six Bills replacing ordinances namely (i) The Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018; (ii) The Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018; (iii) The Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018; (iv) The Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018; (v) The National Sports University Ordinance, 2018; and (iv) The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018 are required to be passed during the ensuing Monsoon Session. Further, some important pending legislations in the Houses required to be considered and passed during the Session are (i) The Consumer Protection Bill, 2018; (ii) The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill, 2018; (iii) The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016; (iv) The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Third Amendment) Bill, 2017; (v) The National Medical Commission Bill, 2017; (vi) The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017; (vii) The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2017; and (viii) The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013. Some important new bills likely to be introduced, considered and passed during this session apart from the 6 Bills replacing Ordinances are (i) The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2018; (ii) The Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018; (iii) The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2018; (iv) The Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Development (Amendment) Bill, 2018; (v) The National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities (Amendment) Bill, 2018; (vi) The Dam Safety Bill, 2018; and (vii) Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018. The all-Party meeting was attended by Union Minister for Home Affairs, Rajnath Singh, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Statistics & Programme Implementation, Vijay Goel, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources, River development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Arjun Ram Meghwal, along with other Ministers.
The President of India make the following four nominations to the Rajya Sabha: Ram Shakal: He is an eminent people’s leader and public representative from Uttar Pradesh, who has devoted his life for the welfare and well-being of the Dalit community. A farmer leader, he is widely respected for championing the cause of farmers, labourers and migrants. He has also been a three-time Member of Parliament, representing Robertsganj constituency of Uttar Pradesh. Rakesh Sinha: A respected and widely read author, Rakesh Sinha is the Founder and Honorary Director of the Delhi-based think-tank “India Policy Foundation.” A Professor of Motilal Nehu College of Delhi University, he is also currently a member of the Indian Council of Social Science Research. He is a regular columnist in a range of newspapers. Raghunath Mohapatra: He is an internationally renowned authority on stone carving. Practicing since 1959, he has trained over 2000 students. He has contributed to the preservation of traditional sculpture and ancient monuments, and has worked on the beautification of the Sri Jagannath Temple, Puri. His famous works include a 6 feet high statue of the Sun God carved in grey sandstone, in the Central Hall of Parliament; and the Wooden Buddha, Buddha Temple, Paris. Sonal Mansingh: She is among India’s foremost exponents of Indian Classical Dance. She has been performing Bharatnatyam and Odissi for over six decades. She is also a well-known choreographer, teacher, orator and social activist. She founded the Centre for Indian Classical Dances, in Delhi in 1977. Background Article 80(1)(a) read with Article 80(3) of the Constitution of India provides that the President can nominate to Rajya Sabha, 12 persons having special knowledge, or practical experience in respect of literature, science, art and social service. There were, currently, eight nominated members in the Rajya Sabha, and hence, four vacancies.
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addressed a public meeting in Jaipur. He unveiled a plaque to mark the laying of foundation stone of 13 Urban Infrastructure projects for the State of Rajasthan. He then witnessed an audio-visual presentation of experience sharing by select beneficiaries of schemes of the Government of India and Government of Rajasthan. This presentation was moderated by the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Vasundhara Raje. The schemes included Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, and Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, among many others. Addressing the large and enthusiastic gathering, the Prime Minister said he is witnessing first-hand, how Rajasthan welcomes visitors. He said visitors can see the true picture of the progress the State has made in the last few years. He described Rajasthan as a land of courage. Be it living in harmony with nature or defending our nation, Rajasthan has shown the way, he added. Praising the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, the Prime Minister said she had changed the work culture in the State. The Union Government and the State Government are working together for the progress of Rajasthan, he said. He said that the happiness of the beneficiaries who featured in the presentation today, was evident to everyone present at the gathering. The Prime Minister spoke at length about how the Union Government is working for the welfare of the farmers. He talked about the increase in Minimum Support Price for various crops, announced for the current Kharif season. The Prime Minister also mentioned the progress made by various schemes of the Union Government in the State of Rajasthan, including Swachh Bharat Mission, Jan Dhan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, Mudra Yojana, Ujjwala Yojana, and Saubhagya Yojana. Noting that Rajasthan completes 70 years next year, the Prime Minister gave a call to reaffirm the commitment of creating a developed Rajasthan, which will play a pivotal role in the building of a New India.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi gets a major relief in the form of Supreme Court ruling as the top court ruled that the real power must lie with the elected government in the national capital. The Supreme Court's five member constitution bench led by chief justice Dipak Mishra pronounced a significant verdict in a case filed by the AAP against a High court's ruling which states that the Lieutenant Governor has the independent decision-making power. "Lieutenant Governor's power is not equivalent to Governor. Not every activity required Governor's permission. The Governor must also act accordingly to the cabinet decision", the court said. The Supreme Court's landmark ruling will come as a major boost for the AAP government who is always in a power battle with the Lieutenant Governor as well as with the centre.
The Monsoon Session of Parliament 2018 would be held from 18th July till 10th August, informed Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers and Parliamentary Affairs, Ananthkumar. The Minister was briefing the media after the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, chaired by Union Minister for Home Affairs, Rajnath Singh. Ananthkumar further informed that the session would have a period of 18 working days and appealed to all political parties to constructively cooperate with the Government to make this session a productive one. The legislative business would include passing of six Ordinances promulgated during the inter-session period before the Monsoon Session, 2018. The Minister said that the Government would bring other important bills, including the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Third Amendment) Bill, 2017, Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017, Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016, National Medical Commission Bill, 2017, Rights of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Second Amendment) Bill, 2017, inter alia, for consideration and passing in both the Houses of Parliament. Ananthkumar also informed that the election to the post of Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha would also be held during the session as the term of P. J. Kurien is ending this month.
The Jammu & Kashmir state turns into Governor's rule once again as the President signed in the recommendation of union home ministry to impose governor's rule in the state. The Governor will take charge in Kashmir after three years. The state was placed under Governor's rule a day after the BJP decided to ended its partnership with chief minister Mehbooba Mufti's People's Democratic Party (PDP). BJP's decision to stay away from the PDP alliance is a determined move to make gains from the state in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The BJP alleges that the lack of peace in the state is due to the unnecessary actions of PDP. The centre had grudgingly gone along with Mehbooba Mufti's idea of a unilateral ceasefire for the month of Ramzan as a peace initiative. The union Home Ministry assesses that instead of letting up, terrorists backed by Pakistan, seized the chance to intensify attacks, reports NDTV. The centre's refusal to extend the ceasefire was seen as the straw that broke an alliance already weighed down by the conflicting ideologies of alliance partners BJP and PDP.Over the past three years of the BJP-PDP rule, the rift widened amid disagreements over the handling of the aftermath of Hizbul-Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani's killing, the gang-rape and killing of an eight-year-old in Kathua and the Ramzan ceasefire, NDTV reported.
Several prominent leaders from the opposition side stayed away from the first iftar party hosted by Rahul Gandhi as the Congress President. Thrinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, BSP chief Mayawati, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and SP's Akhilesh Yadav were among leaders who were found missing. Manmohan Singh, former President Pratibha Patil, former Vice-President Hamid Ansari and former President Pranab Mukherjee were the key figures who attended the iftar. Pranab's presence was widely noticed as the former president and Rahul Gandhi met for the first time after the latter delivered a speech at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur despite few days back despite strong objections from the Congress party. A lot was expected from Rahul's iftar party as it hoped for an another case of showcase event for opposition's unity. But the absence of many leaders cast doubts over the future alliance that would take on Narendra Modi and Amit Shah in the 2019 elections.
Eighteen MLAs of the ruling AIADMK remained disqualified in Tamil Nadu as the Madras High Court delivered a split verdict. The MLAs were disqualified ahead of a floor test in the state assembly last year where the AIADMK was divided into two as Panneerselvam group and Palaniswamy group. The chief minister Edappadi Palaniswmay will be a relieved man after the high court's verdict as the rebel lawmakers are loyal to jailed party chief VK Sasikala and her TTV Dhinakaran. Dhinakaran recently won the election from RK Nagar, a seat which fell vacant after the death of party supremo J Jayalalithaa. If the disqualification of 18 MLAs are cancelled, the government faces a stern test as they already one short of majority - ruling AIADMK has currently 116 MLAS out of the 234-member assembly.
As the sit-in protest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and three of his cabinet colleagues at Lieutenant Governor (LG) Anil Baijal's house entered the third day, several regional parties, including the Trinamool Congress backed the protest, reports NDTV. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee appealed to the centre to resolve the problem "immediately", NDTV reported. "Elected Chief Minister must get due respect. May I appeal to the government of India and the LG to resolve the problem immediately so that people do not suffer", tweeted Ms Banerjee.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi completely avoided the poor and weaker sections of the society, says Congress President Rahul Gandhi while attending the OBC convention in New Delhi. "The government ruled by Modi, Amit Shah and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat stand for only some people in the country. Backward people, Dalits and poor ones are devoid of government benefits. Modi says that Indians lag behind in the skills. But he is telling lies. Indians are skilled people, but not getting opportunities", said Rahul.