Legislators of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam walked out of the Rajya Sabha on Friday, as they continued their protests against the construction of a dam across the Cauvery river. Rajya Sabha Chairperson Venkaiah Naidu said their exit was preferable to the commotion they usually cause in the House, The Hindu reported.
The Rajya Sabha also discussed the Women’s Reservation Bill. Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan said the bill in its present form is “cosmetic” and favours only rich and urban women. But, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP Kanimozhi said that throughout life, “women have to live with the decisions of men”, even in Parliament. “It’s time we changed this,” she added, backing the bill.
Congress MP Viplove Thakur reminded the House of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s initiative to provide 33% reservation to women in local bodies. She said Parliament should pass the Women’s Reservation Bill so that women “stand shoulder to shoulder” with men. The Telugu Desam Party also decided to back the legislation.
The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2018, Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018, New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill, 2018, Personal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018, Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2017 and National Medical Commission Bill, 2017 will be tabled in the Rajya Sabha on Friday.
In the Lok Sabha, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, replying to a question, claimed that the Reserve Bank of India is trying to recover the losses it suffered during the 2008-2014 period. He also claimed that no one will lose their job due to the merger of state-owned banks. “In the earlier days, banks were being looted, now banks are being saved,” he added, to protests from the Opposition.
Union Health Minister JP Nadda said the Centre is making efforts to combat malaria and other communicable diseases. He said that the World Malaria Report, 2018 has acknowledged that number of deaths due to the disease has reduced in India.
Earlier in the day, Congress MPs sold potatoes outside Parliament to protest against the farm crisis, The Indian Express reported. Telugu Desam Party MLAs, who were demonstrating for special status to Andhra Pradesh, also joined the Congress’ protests.