Opposition seeks discussion on report on Mahua Moitra in Parliament’s Winter Session
New Delhi: The impending expulsion of Trinamool Congress (TMC) member Mahua Moitra from the Lok Sabha, three bills to replace criminal laws and a proposed law for the appointment of election commissioners are issues set to dominate the Winter Session of Parliament, with the government urging the Opposition to ensure a conducive environment for discussions in the House.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh presided over a meeting of floor leaders of political parties in Parliament on Saturday, which was attended by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh, Gaurav Gogoi and Pramod Tewari, TMC leaders Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Derek O’Brien and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Fouzia Khan, among others.
The results of the Assembly elections in four states — Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Telangana — on Sunday are also expected to have a bearing on the Winter Session of Parliament that begins on Monday and will continue till December 22.
The report of the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee recommending the expulsion of Moitra from the Lower House over a “cash-for-query” complaint is also listed for tabling in the House on Monday, the first day of the session.
At the all-party meeting on Saturday, TMC leaders demanded a discussion in the Lok Sabha on the Ethics Committee report, before any decision is taken to expel Moitra from the House.
Tewari said the Opposition also insisted on a discussion in Parliament on issues such as the situation in Manipur, rising inflation, “misuse” of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the “imposition” of Hindi through the names of laws, particularly in reference to the three bills to replace criminal laws.
“We are ready for a discussion on any issue. But when you seek a short-duration discussion, you also have to ensure an atmosphere conducive for a debate in the House,” Joshi told reporters.
Shiv Sena leader Rahul Shewale said the House should discuss the issue of reservation for the Maratha and Dhangar communities, which were a subject of a hot debate in Maharashtra.
Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) member N K Premachandran and AIADMK member M Thambi Durai opposed the “imposition” of Hindi by naming criminal laws Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), Bharatiya Sakshya (BS) and Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS), which are set to replace the Indian Penal Code, the Indian Evidence Act and the Code of Criminal Procedure respectively.
“It is very difficult to pronounce as far as the people belonging to the south Indian states are concerned,” Premachandran said, adding that opposition parties will raise the issue during the Winter Session of Parliament.
The government has listed 19 bills and two financial agenda items for the Winter Session of Parliament.
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader Mahua Maji demanded that smaller parties be given more time to raise issues in the House.
“Smaller parties barely get three minutes to speak in Parliament. We need more time to put across our views effectively,” the Rajya Sabha member said.