LS passes two bills without
discussion as parliament deadlock continues (Roundup)
March 15, 2018
As the deadlock
continued for the ninth consecutive day in Parliament, the
government on Thursday managed to pass two bills in the Lok
Sabha without discussion even as members from different parties
were protesting over several issues including the PNB bank fraud
and the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.
Like the passage of the Finance Bill, 2018 as well as the
Appropriation Bill and demands for grants on Wednesday in the
Lok Sabha, the two bills--The Payment of Gratuity (Amendment)
Bill, 2017 and The Specific Relief (Amendment) Bill, 2017--were
passed by voice vote in the lower house without any debate
amidst din. Then the House was adjourned for the day.
Members from the Congress, Trinamool Congress, Telugu Desam
Party (TDP), YSR Congress and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS)
gathered near the Speaker's podium, and kept protesting while
the bills were passed.
When the House reassembled after the first adjournment, Minister
of State for Labour, Santosh Kumar Gangwar moved The Payment of
Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, 2017, which was passed through voice
vote in the din.
The government then
moved The Specific Relief (Amendment) Bill, 2017 which was also
passed amid din through voice vote.
The Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 amendment increases the upper
ceiling of the gratuity from the present Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20
Under The Specific Relief Amendment Bill, certain civil courts
may be designated as Special Courts by the state government, in
consultation with the Chief Justice of a High Court.
The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day soon after it met
after multiple earlier adjournments, amid a ruckus by the
Congress, TDP and AIADMK members who thronged near the Chair's
podium shouting slogans and displaying placards.
The Rajya Sabha witnessed noisy scenes as some of the Congress
members trooped near the chair's podium taking exception to the
remarks by former Union Minister and TDP leader Y. S. Chowdary
on the bifurcation of the United Andhra Pradesh.
He alleged that the formation of Andhra Pradesh in February,
2014 was hasty and unscientific. The Congress members strongly
protested his remark and forced the chair to adjourn the House.
The situation was not different when it met at 2 p.m. and again
at 3 p.m.
The upper house was scheduled to take up the Finance Bill and
two Appropriation Bills for discussion and returning to the Lok
Sabha. However, the Bills could not be taken up in the house as
the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the AIADMK members created
The TDP members have been agitating over the alleged "injustice"
meted out to Andhra Pradesh by the Centre by not giving it
special status, while the AIADMK has been demanding the
constitution of a Cauvery Water Board to look into the Cauvery
water dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien asked the agitating MPs to go back
to their seats, saying if the House was not in order he would
have to adjourn it and the responsibility for the house's
failure to pass the Finance and Appropriation Bills would lie
with "those who are shouting slogans".
"The responsibility for not taking up the Finance Bill is on
you," Kurien told the MPs who had gathered near his seat before
adjourning the house for the day.
As the logjam continued, the government expressed concern and
urged the parties to ensure smooth functioning of both the
houses by participating in debates while the Congress blamed the
"allies of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)" for not allowing
the house to function.
"The proceedings of the House must not be disrupted under any
circumstances. People expect that their elected representatives
would raise their issues and actively participate in
parliamentary debates," Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh told
reporters seeking cooperation from all political parties to
ensure the smooth functioning of Parliament.
Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said that parliament
was expected to function but "the allies of the BJP" were not
allowing it to.
The members from the Congress, the Trinamool and some other
opposition parties have been protesting against the banking
fraud committed by Nirav Modi and his associates, while the TDP
and the YSR Congress have been demonstrating for special status
to Andhra Pradesh.
The AIADMK has been demanding the setting up of a board for the
management of the Cauvery river water.
This news can also be viewed at: