Thursday, October 28, 2021
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Logjam still continues in the Parliament

There is no end to the logjam in the Parliament. The hungama outside the parliament still continues. As many as 13 opposition leaders have been protesting since the first day of the monsoon session over various reasons, especially the Pegasus controversy. The other factor includes the farm laws and increase in the fuel prices.

The hungama is expected to be in both the houses- Lok Sabha as well as Rajya Sabha. The opposition is not in mood to relent over the Pegasus snooping. The fierce adjournments and protests has taken a toll on the productivity rate of both the houses. The productivity now stands at just 14% and 20% for Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha respectively.

Meanwhile the defence minister Rajnath Singh tried to reach out to at least two senior leaders from the opposition party on Monday, trying to bring the ongoing monsoon session of the Parliament back on track and get back its productivity. He spoke to the Rajya Sabha’s leader of the opposition Mallikarjun Kharge of the Congress and the Trinamool Congress’s Lok Sabha chief Sudip Bandopadhyay.

Both stated that a debate on the Pegasus snooping row is a must for disruptions to end, people familiar with the matter said. 

The government managed to introduce the Tribunals Reforms Bill in the Lok Sabha amidst the din. During the day, the Lower House passed the General Insurance Business (Nationalization) Amendment Bill, 2021 before it was adjourned for the day. The Rajya Sabha approved the Inland Vessels Bill, 2021.

Rahul Gandhi met all Opposition MPs over breakfast in a bid to consolidate the Opposition’s new-found unity and discuss the strategy for the remaining part of the session. The Akali Dal’s Naresh Gujral said his party was not invited for the meeting.

The Pegasus row erupted on July 18 after an international investigative consortium reported that many Indian ministers, politicians, activists, businessmen and journalists were among the 50,000 numbers that were potentially targeted by Israeli company NSO Group’s phone hacking software, Pegasus, with a forensic analysis of 10 of the targets proving they had been hacked or that there had been attempts to do so.

The government’s floor managers, however, said the opposition was given a chance to discuss the Pegasus issue but instead opted to disrupt the House. The Opposition wants Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah to be in the House during the debate. The BJP leader added that the opposition had a chance to ask questions when IT Minister Ashwani Vaishnaw made a statement on the controversy in both houses of Parliament. “The government did not run away from addressing the issue. A statement was made by the minister in charge on the floor of the House in Parliament…”

Now, amidst the heat of the hour, let’s see what comes out to be the end results of today’s meetings.

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