The agenda indicates that the government could use the special session to finally shift to the new Parliament building…reports Asian Lite News
Ending the suspense on the agenda of the Special Session of Parliament, which will be held from September 18 to 22, the Parliamentary bulletin revealed that on the first day of the session, the two Houses will hold a discussion on Parliament’s 75-year journey, starting from the Constituent Assembly that first met on December 9, 1946.
The bulletins issued by both the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha noted that on September 18, the first day of the special session, there will be a discussion on the subject, “Parliamentary Journey of 75 years starting from Samvidhan Sabha – Achievements, Experiences, Memories and Learnings”.
The agenda indicates that the government could use the special session to finally shift to the new Parliament building. Though it was inaugurated on May 28, the new building was not used for the Monsoon Session of Parliament; there was no official explanation on why the session was not held in the new building.
As per the Rajya Sabha bulletin, three Bills will be taken up in this special session: the Post Office Bill, 2023 to “consolidate and amend the law relating to Post Office in India”; the Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, to “regulate the appointment, conditions of service and term of office of the Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners”; and The Repealing and Amending Bill, 2023 to “repeal certain enactments and to amend an enactment”.
In addition to the legislations on Election Commissioners and the Post Office, the Lok Sabha will take up two additional Bills: The Advocates (Amendment) Bill, 2023, and the Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill, 2023.
The first day agenda was revealed amidst the Opposition’s persistent criticism of the government for not revealing the expected business for the special session. Congress Parliamentary Party leader Sonia Gandhi, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had slammed the government for keeping the Opposition in the dark.
Reacting to the Parliamentary bulletins, the party’s communications chief Jairam Ramesh said in a post on X (formerly Twitter), “Finally, after pressure from Sonia Gandhi’s letter to the Prime Minister, the Modi government has condescended to announce the agenda for the special 5-day session of Parliament beginning September 18th. The Agenda as published at the moment, is much ado about nothing– all this could have waited till Winter session in November.”
However, the Opposition still suspects that the government might not be revealing its cards just yet. “I am sure the legislative grenades are being kept up their sleeves to be unleashed at the last moment as usual,” Ramesh added. He further said that the INDIA parties would “steadfastly oppose the insidious CEC Bill”.
The Bill on Appointment of Election Commissioners was introduced in Rajya Sabha during the Monsoon session on 10 August.
This Bill also deals with the procedure for the transaction of business by the Election Commission. Besides, it proposes that the Election Commissioners will be appointed by the President on the recommendation of a panel comprising the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, and a Union Cabinet Minister nominated by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister will chair the panel.
The Bill, if it comes into effect, will negate the Supreme Court’s March 2023 judgement that held that the appointment of Election Commissioners will be done by the President on the advice of a panel comprising the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, and the Chief Justice of India. However, in its judgement, the apex court had held that the procedure underlined by it would hold till a law is enacted by Parliament.
The proposed bill also evoked sharp reactions from the opposition parties with the Congress leader KC Venugopal earlier stating that the legislation aims to make the Election Commission a “puppet in the hands of Prime Minister”.
Congress issues whip
Congress has issued a whip to its MPs in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha asking them to be present in Parliament during the Special Session from September 18 to 22.
The whip to the party’s Lok Sabha MPs said that very important issues will be taken up for discussion in the House during this Special Session.
“All members of Congress party in the Lok Sabha are requested to kindly remain present in the House from 11 am onwards till the adjournment of the House from September 18 to September 22 without fail and support the party’s stand. This may be treated as most important,” it said.
A similar whip was issued to Congress MPs of Rajya Sabha.
The government has convened an all-party meeting on September 17 for the smooth function of the two Houses in the Special session of Parliament.
The Special Session will see discussion on Parliament’s 75-year journey, starting from the Samvidhan Sabha that first met on December 9, 1946.
A discussion on ‘Parliamentary Journey of 75 years starting from Samvidhan Sabha – Achievements, Experiences, Memories and Learnings’ will be held in Parliament on the first day of the five-sitting long special session, a parliamentary bulletin said on Wednesday,
Parliament is likely to start functioning from the new building during the session. (ANI)