The five-day “Amrit Kaal” session of parliament began today. The agenda includes discussions on the evolution of India’s parliamentary democracy. Eight bills are listed for the special session.
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Opening the discussion on 75 years of parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi struk a nostalgic note in the Lok Sabha. He recalled the first time he entered the parliament building. “I paid respects before entering the building,” he said. “This old Parliament building was built with sweat, hardwork, and money of our countrymen,” he said while beginning his speech. The PM also spoke about the success of the Chandrayaan-2 mission and the G20 Summit.
“It is time to remember inspirational moments associated with this Parliament building before we move to new premises,” he said, adding that we may be moving to a new building, but this building will always inspire future generations.
“It is this Parliament where Pandit Nehru spoke at ‘stroke of midnight hour’ which continues to inspire everyone,” the PM said, but also pointed out that the House also witnessed ‘cash for votes’ scam during the tenure of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The Lok Sabha speaker has said proceedings will move to the new parliament building from tomorrow. Heated exchanges began soon after Lok Sabha met. Some Opposition members complained that the National Anthem was played twice. Speaker Om Birla blamed technical failure and said he will get it looked into. He then started his address by speaking on the successful conduct of the G20 summit.
Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs will today gather in Central Hall for a function to “commemorate the rich legacy of the Parliament of India and resolve to make Bharat a developed Nation by 2047”. It will be followed by a photo session.
After today’s function at the Central Hall, the sitting will be shifted to the new parliament building. A small puja may take place tomorrow as it happens to be Ganesh Chaturthi. The legislative business for this session will include the Post Office Bill, the Advocates (Amendment) Bill, and the Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill.
On Sunday, Vice President and Rajya Sabha chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar raised the national flag on the new building. Lok Saha Speaker Om Birla was also present on the occasion.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge were absent. The Prime Minister, who turned 73, had his calendar full. Mr Kharge and other Congress leaders were attending a session of the Working Committee – the party’s highest decision-making body – in Hyderabad.
At an all-party held in the evening, several regional parties, including Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal and K Chandrasekhar Rao’s Bharat Rashtra Samithi, pushed for the tabling of women’s reservation bill.
Calling the special session of parliament a “diversionary tactic” of the BJP, Opposition leaders said it was time to prioritise critical issues. Earlier, Sonia Gandhi had written to PM Modi, listing nine issues – including the violence in Manipur and wrestlers’ protest – for discussion in the special session.
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