Rajya Sabha Chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday announced that the election to the post of deputy chairperson of the Upper House will be held on August 9. The nomination papers will have to be filed before noon on August 8.
The post has been vacant since the retirement of PJ Kurien in June. Kurien had been elected to the Upper House on a Congress ticket from Kerala. The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance may need the support of regional parties to get its candidate elected to the post.
Naidu said the Upper House would be sitting late on Monday because it was running out of time. The ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament is scheduled to end on August 10. The Rajya Sabha passed The Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill that grants constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes and the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2018, which allows for death penalty or life imprisonment for people convicted of raping girls below the age of 12 years.
Meanwhile, the Lok Sabha was adjourned for a brief period on Monday after Congress member Ranjeet Ranjan protested against the rapes at a shelter home in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur. Ranjan, who submitted an adjournment motion, said an eyewitness in the case had gone missing. He alleged that there was an organised effort to shut down the case.
Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Jay Prakash Narayan Yadav also joined the protest, and said the girls in the shelter home were being used like toys. “The onus is on the government,” he said. Ranjan and Yadav were supported by Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, Nationalist Congress Party leader Tariq Anwar and others.
Trinamool MP Saugata Roy also moved a privilege motion in the Lok Sabha after a delegation of Trinamool lawmakers was detained at Silchar Airport in Assam last week. The Lok Sabha passed the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2018. It was expected to discuss the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2018 and the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018.
Before the Parliament session started, members of the Trinamool Congress and the Telugu Desam Party protested for two separate reasons. While the Trinamool demanded clarity on the National Register of Citizens in Assam, the Telugu Desam Party demanded special category status for Andhra Pradesh.