Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday said the presidential address before the start of the Parliament session did not address the crisis in the country due to the protests against the amended Citizenship Act. Addressing the Lok Sabha, he said the Centre’s Stand Up India scheme should be renamed “sit down, shut down, and shut up India”.
Earlier in the day, the Ministry of Home Affairs told the Lower House that the Centre has not taken any decision to rollout the National Register of Citizens. “Till now, the government has not taken any decision to prepare National Register of Indian citizens [NRIC] at the national level,” Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said in a written reply in the Lower House.
Meanwhile, the Rajya Sabha witnessed an uproar over recent shooting incidents at anti-CAA protests in Delhi. Opposition members shouted “Goli chalana band karo [stop shooting]” in the House.
Here’s are the updates from the day:
7.35 pm: Both the Houses have been adjourned for the day.
7.34 pm: Telangana Rashtra Samiti MP K Keshava Rao told the Rajya Sabha that the state government has decided to pass a resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Act on the principle that there cannot be a legislation that can alter the Constitution, The Hindu reported.
5.49 pm: Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad says in Rajya Sabha that the ruling BJP at the Centre has misled the country on demonetisation, the goods and service tax regime, and the amendments to Article 370 to rescind Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.
5.33 pm: In the Lok Sabha, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi says that the failure of the Centre’s “neighbourhood first” policy was evident from three things, The Hindu reports. He claims that firstly, Nepal has reportedly offered to mediate between India and Pakistan in the Jammu and Kashmir matter, secondly, the United States’ Congress and senators have been discussing New Delhi’s policies; and that the European Union Parliament has passed a resolution against the amended Citizenship Act.
He also asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to clarify if the National Population Register and the National Register of Citizens are two sides of the same coin.
The population register is linked to the Census, due in 2021, and is a list of “usual residents” in the country but it has also been linked to the NRC – a proposed nationwide exercise to identify undocumented migrants and differentiate them from Indian citizens. The Centre’s critics fear that the amended citizenship law and the proposed NRC would be misused to harass and disenfranchise Muslims.
4.46 pm: Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad brings up anti-CAA protests in Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh locality. “If you had brought constructive matters, we would have bowed before you, but you brought destruction,” he says in the Rajya Sabha, according to The Indian Express. “What is Shaheen Bagh? It is your creation. If you will do such work, then Shaheen Bagh will come up everywhere in India.”
4.27 pm: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor says the president’s address failed to address the prevailing political and constitutional crisis in the country due to protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. He adds the Centre’s Stand Up India scheme should be renamed “sit down, shut down, and shut up India”.
4.20 pm: Fifteen people were arrested after the Citizenship Amendment Act protests in Jamia Millia Islamia University in December 2019, the Ministry of Home Affairs has informed the Lok Sabha. At least 62 police officials and 127 civilians, including 36 students, received injuries.
“As reported by Delhi Police, they entered the University campus chasing the violent congregation of students/mob, to nab/disperse the offenders, control the situation and to protect the government property as well as saving the lives of innocent students residing in the campus area,” the ministry says.
3.06 pm: Janata Dal (United) leader Rajeev Singh Ranjan says in the Lok Sabha that no one protested when the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was introduced in Parliament. He adds that some people are now compromising the country’s integrity and unity for political gains, reports The Hindu.
2.34 pm: BJP MP Bhupendra Yadav is speaking in the Rajya Sabha. He says states passing resolutions against the amended Citizenship Act are in violation of the Constitution, adding that Congress leader Kapil Sibal has also pointed it out. He adds that that India has always condemned religious persecution cases in the world.
2.33 pm: In the Lok Sabha, BJP’s West Bengal unit chief Dilip Ghosh calls the Citizenship Amendment Act a “historic step”, and thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for it, reports The Hindu.
2.31 pm: Both the Houses have resumed and have taken up discussions on the Motion of Thanks on the president’s address.
1.42 pm: The Lok Sabha has also been adjourned till 2 pm.
1.39 pm: Hegde claims he was just discussing the freedom struggle and that he had “never said a word against Mahatma Gandhi or Pandit [Jawaharlal] Nehru”, reports ANI.
At a public event in Bengaluru on Saturday, the BJP MP had said: “None of these so-called leaders were beaten by the police with batons even once. Their independence movement was one big drama. It was staged by these leaders with the approval of the British. It was not a genuine fight. It was an ‘adjustment’ freedom struggle.”
1.36 pm: Meanwhile, BJP MP Hegde speaks to ANI about the controversy over his statements on Mahatma Gandhi. “All related media reports are false, I never said what is being debated over,” he says. “It is an unnecessary controversy.”
1.32 pm: The Rajya Sabha has been adjourned. It will reconvene at 2 pm.
1.30 pm: Congress leaders have staged a walkout from the Lok Sabha, claiming they received unsatisfactory answers from the Centre over the controversy involving Hegde, reported The Indian Express.
1.23 pm: The Lok Sabha has reconvened and Leader of the Congress in the House Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has made an objectionable comment, referring to BJP MP Anantkumar Hegde’s remarks about Mahatma Gandhi. “They [BJP leaders] are abusing Mahatma Gandhi,” he said, according to Outlook. “They are the children of Ravan. They are disrespecting the devotee of the deity Ram.”
11.50 am: Opposition MPs shout slogans against the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens in Rajya Sabha.
11.29 am: Uproar in Rajya Sabha over recent firing incidents in Delhi. Opposition members shout “Goli chalana band karo” slogan in the House.
11.16 am: Lok Sabha adjourned till noon.
11.14 am: Uproar in Lok Sabha over BJP MP Anantkumar Hegde’s statement against Mahatma Gandhi. Hegde had claimed that the independence movement led by Mahatma Gandhi was staged.
11.11 am: Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha says the government has not taken any decision to prepare National Register of Indian Citizens at the national level till now, reports The Indian Express.
11.06 am: TMC’s Derek O’Brien and DMK’s T Siva give suspension of business notice in Rajya Sabha under Rule 267 over the “prevailing situation in the country due to proposed NPR-NRC following the Citizenship Amendment Act”.
10.59 am: Congress MPs Gaurav Gogoi, K Suresh, Abdul Khaleque and Hibi Eden give adjournment notice in Lok Sabha over BJP leader Anantkumar Hegde’s statement on Mahatma Gandhi.