The five-day “Amrit Kaal” session of parliament begins today. The agenda includes discussions on the evolution of India’s parliamentary democracy. Eight bills are listed, including a controversial one on the Chief Election Commissioner pick.
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Monday’s discussion on 75 years of parliament likely to be opened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha and BJP’s senior leader Piyush Goyal in the Rajya Sabha.
At 11 am on Tuesday, there will be an assembly of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs in the 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 Tuesday’s function at the Central Hall, the sitting will be shifted to new parliament building. A small puja may take place as it happens to be Ganesh Chaturthi.
The legislative business will include the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, 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. 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 the women’s reservation bill.
Earlier this week, the government announced the agenda, putting an end to days of speculation about the country’s name change or a bill on “One Nation One Election”. The government claimed there is no tradition of revealing the agenda of a special session, which the Opposition has vehemently contested.
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.
A special session of parliament was also held when India completed 50 years of Independence. On 15 August 1997, a midnight session was convened.
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