Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday told the Rajya Sabha that the results of the 2019 General Elections show that the people wanted political stability. He also criticised an MP who claimed that the country has lost the elections. Modi asked if the country lost the polls in Wayanad and Rae Bareli. The prime minister condemned the incident of mob lynching in Jharkhand, but said the whole state cannot be blamed for one incident.
There were discussions on the Motion of Thanks to the president’s address in Parliament on Wednesday. A number of bills are likely to come up for discussion, including The Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Bill, and the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill.
Here are the main updates of the day:
7.20 pm: BJP MP from Bihar Rama Devi says during the Zero Hour that the government should take timely steps to prevent cases of acute encephalitis syndrome and ensure that the disease is eradicated, PTI reports. She points out that over 120 children have died because of encephalitis
in Muzaffarpur district of the state.
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7.10 pm: Union Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal says the Indian Railways has recruited over 3,000 women candidates in technical categories in the last three years, PTI reports. A total of 2,79,60,224 applications were received and out of these, 46,76,928 (16.73%) were from women, Goyal adds.
7 pm: The government tells Parliament that the Indian Railways’ has spent over Rs 3,500 crore in building Road Over Bridges and Road Under Bridges in the year 2018 to 2019. It has allocated Rs 4,100 crore for the purpose in the current financial year, PTI reports.
6.44 pm: The BJP issues a three-line whip to all of the party members in the Lok Sabha, asking them to be present in the House on Friday and Monday, PTI reports.
5.38 pm: AAP leader Sanjay Singh addresses the water crisis in Delhi in the Rajya Sabha. He suggests that the state and the Centre should join hands on the matter. “We should use the rain water which could rise the sea level and we want the government’s help in it,” he adds.
5.36 pm: In Rajya Sabha, Samajwadi Party leader Ravi Prakash Verma says Bundelkhand is one of the regions facing water crisis. “It is unfortunate that the municipalities, gram pachayats or zilla panchayats have not been able to draw a plan on how they plan to tackle the water crisis and what measures should be taken,” he says. “And therefore we need a district-wise blueprint which will show where wells should be constructed, in which areas is water needed.”
5.34 pm: TRS leader Prakash Banda requests the Centre in Rajya Sabha to release funds for drinking water in Telangana. “Not a cent has been given to the state towards drinking water,” he alleges.
5.33 pm: Communist Party of India leader D Raja calls the water crisis in Tamil Nadu unprecedented. “Despite rain water harvest, Chennai is facing severe drinking water crisis,” he tells Rajya Sabha. “TN has river water problem because except one river, all other are inter-state rivers. And all are in dispute. Centre should see these disputes are resolved in civil manner.”
5.27 pm: The Indian Air Force lost 27 aircraft, including 15 fighter jets and helicopters, in crashes since 2016, Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik tells Lok Sabha. In the 2016-’17, the IAF lost six fighter jets, two helicopters, one transport aircraft and one trainer. In 2017-’18, two fighter jets and one trainer aircraft crashed. However, in 2018-’19, the IAF lost seven fighter jets, two helicopters and two trainers.
4.32 pm: Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury says the government is using suppressive tactics against the media. During Zero Hour, he alleges that the government was undemocratic and suffered from megalomania, claims that it used advertisement measures to create pressure on the media.
4.29 pm: Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP TR Baalu raises Chennai’s water shortage during the Zero Hour of the session. “There is a severe water crisis in the state which is leading to water emergency in Tamil Nadu,” he says.
4.25 pm: BJP leader KJ Alphons says minorities have never been more safe than under the Prime Minister-led administration and says that he is “more democratic” than those before him. “Have you seen any Christian being beaten up or any church being burnt [since the BJP came to power],” he asks.
4.05 pm: Two Indian Administrative Service officers and nine Indian Police Service officers have been suspended on corruption charges in the last five years, said Union Minister Jitendra Singh, reports PTI.
3.34 pm: The Union Home Ministry tells the Lok Sabha that there was no intelligence failure in the Pulwama terror attack, which killed 40 jawans of the Central Reserve Police Forces, NDTV reports. “All agencies are working in a coordinated manner and the intelligence inputs are shared among various agencies on a real-time basis,” Union Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy says.
3.13 pm: Modi says that 222 districts in the country are facing a water crisis. He says the government is exploring various options to resolve the problem. Modi adds that the newly formed Jal Shakti ministry will look into the matter.
3.10 pm: “I still believe had Sardar Patel been made the first prime minister of India, Kashmir issue would have been resolved,” Modi says. “Sardar Patel lived and died as a Congressman. When we are paying tributes to the great leader, Congress has a problem.”
3.02 pm: “The deaths in Bihar due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome are unfortunate and a matter of shame for us,” he says. “We have to take this seriously. I am in constant touch with the state government and I am sure we will collectively come out of this crisis soon.”
Modi says that the Ayushman Bharat scheme needs to be strengthened so that the poor can get affordable and best quality treatment.
2.57 pm: Modi asks his MPs to maintain dignity while speaking in public. Targeting the Congress, he also says that the the perpetrators of anti-Sikh riots are in constitutional posts today.
On criticism about the National Register of Citizens, Modi says the government is only following the orders of the Supreme Court.
2.50 pm: The prime minister speaks about mob lynchings. He says the whole of Jharkhand cannot be blamed for one incident, The Hindu reports. He says the perpetrators must be brought to justice. Modi’s remarks were in response to some MPs purportedly calling Jharkhand the “hub of lynching”.
“All violence, be it Jharkhand or West Bengal or Kerala, must be condemned,” Modi adds.
2.45 pm: Modi criticises the Opposition for dismissing every initiative of the government outright, The Hindu reports. He lists out the achievements of the government – building toilets, giving LPG connection, providing electricity etc.
2.39 pm: Modi mocks a Congress MP who had said that he wants the Old India back. “Old India where cabinet decisions were torn in press meets, old India where Navy was used for personal trips, old India where numerous scams existed,old India which supported tukde tukde gang?” Modi asks.
2.36 pm: “The voters now are very very aware, they not only know what is happening in Lok Sabha but also what is happening in Rajya Sabha, and they voted this time keeping these facts in mind,” the prime minister says according to ANI.
2.30 pm: “My friends in the Congress have not been able to digest victory, they have not been able to accept defeat,” the prime minister says. “This is not a healthy sign in a democracy.”
He adds that the same attitude can be seen in the matter of “One Nation, One Election”. Modi calls for a discussion on the matter of holding simultaneous polls.
2.22 pm: Modi says there was a time when BJP had just two MPs in Parliament, and was mocked. “But we worked harder and won trust of people,” he says. “We did not make excuses and blame polling booth.” Modi made the remarks with reference to allegations that electronic voting machines are not tamper-proof.
Modi says only two Opposition parties – the Nationalist Congress Party and the Communist Party of India – had accepted the Election Commission’s invitation for a seminar on EVMs. “There was a time when headlines of newspapers after polling day would highlight booth capturing,” he says. “But thanks to EVMs, we talk about increasing voting percentages.”
2.17 pm: “I am shocked, even media was abused, it was said elections were won because of the media,” Modi says. “What do such people mean? That media is on sale? Does same logic apply to Tamil Nadu and Kerala?” Congress and its allies had swept the Lok Sabha polls in the two states.
2.09 pm: Modi criticises an MP who said the country has lost the elections, The Hindu reports. “Did India lose in Wayanad or Rae Bareli?” he asks. Congress President Rahul Gandhi won the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat, while United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Sonia Gandhi won in Rae Bareli.
Modi reminds the Congress that it could not win a single seat in 17 states. “I was saddened when some leaders said the BJP and allies won the elections but the country lost and democracy lost,” the prime minister says. “These statements are really unfortunate. Why should we question decision of voters?”
2.04 pm: Narendra Modi says the Lok Sabha election results show people’s wish for political stability, ANI reports. He is replying to the Motion of Thanks on the president’s address.
1.35 pm: Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP D Ravikumar moves a private member’s bill for data privacy in the Lok Sabha.
1.25 pm: The Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till 2 pm.
1.18 pm: Indian Union Muslim League MP Abdul Wahab says in the Rajya Sabha that the president’s address had unrealistic statements, The Hindu reports. He says there was no mention of economic slowdown or unemployment. Wahab adds that the BJP and Sangh Parivar’s agenda for the Sabarimala matter is different from that for triple talaq.
1.04 pm: BJP MP KJ Alphons says in the Rajya Sabha that minorities have never been safer in India than under Narendra Modi’s rule, the Hindustan Times reports. Modi is “more democratic” than anyone before him, Alphons claims. Opposition MPs jeer and mention mob lynchings as Alphons makes his speech.
12.40 pm: Union Minister and BJP MP Mansukh Mandaviya has arrived in Parliament riding a bicycle.
12.32 pm: The Delhi High Court refuses an urgent hearing of a plea seeking direction to the Lok Sabha Speaker to appoint a Leader of Opposition in the House, reports PTI. A vacation bench lists the matter for hearing before an appropriate bench on July 8.
Advocates Manmohan Singh Narula and Susmita Kumari, who filed the plea, say the Speaker was not performing the statutory duty of appointing the Leader of Opposition, thus setting a wrong precedence and diluting the democracy.
12.09 pm: Congress MP Manish Tewari asks in the Lok Sabha if India will continue importing crude oil from Iran or comply with the US sanctions on Tehran, The Hindu reports.
11.45 am: Congress MP Anand Sharma asks in the Rajya Sabha why the president did not mention mob lynchings in his speech. He also talks about former Prime Minister Jawarharlal Nehru’s achievements. Sharma asks the country to “do their yoga”, but not to “tarnish the image of Pandit Nehru”.
11.27 am: In the Lok Sabha, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey reads out a list of real estate properties, The Hindu reports. He asks: “Who do these belong to? Do they belong to Robert Vadra?” This leads to ruckus in the House.
10.50 am: Revolutionary Socialist Party MP NK Premchandran has given an adjournment motion notice in the Lok Sabha over incidents of mob lynching, ANI reports. Indian Union Muslim League MP PK Kunhalikutty has also given a similar notice.
10.44 am: Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal will move The Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Bill, 2019, in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, The Hindu reports.
10.39 am: Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will move The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 for consideration and passing, The Hindu reports. The bill conforms to a Supreme Court judgement last September on the constitutionality of the Aadhaar Act. It had led to much outrage by the Opposition in Parliament on Monday.
10.35 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, The Hindu reports. On Tuesday, the prime minister spoke in the Lok Sabha, exhorting parliamentarians to help build the India that the freedom fighters dreamed of. He also spoke about his government’s performance during the three-week period after taking oath, and criticised the Emergency.