Opposition lawmakers created a ruckus in Lok Sabha on Monday over the Supreme Court’s order on reservation in job promotions. The social justice minister said the Centre was never a party to the SC order on quota.
On Friday, the court said it cannot force states to provide reservation unless the data showed an imbalance in representation for certain groups in government service. The Constitution does not confer any fundamental right to claim reservation in the matter of promotions in public posts, the court said in its ruling.
In Rajya Sabha, Congress leader P Chidambaram said the government was ‘living in denial’ on the state of economy and was unwilling to admit its mistakes.
Here is how the day unfolded in Parliament:
10 pm: The BJP issues a whip asking its MPs to be present on Tuesday when Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is expected to reply to discussions on the Union Budget, PTI reports.
9.32 pm: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will address the Rajya Sabha about the Budget at 4 pm on Tuesday, reports The Indian Express. The first session of the Budget Session will conclude on Tuesday. The second session will begin on March 2.
8.02 pm: Congress has accused Social Justice Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot of misleading the Lok Sabha about reservations, and warned it will move a privilege motion against him, reports The Indian Express. The party has said it will protest at the district level in the coming weeks against the Narendra Modi government’s “conspiracy to end reservation” for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Classes.
5.34 pm: In the Rajya Sabha, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh says the budget’s significance has declined in the last few years. “In last few years, the three big announcements – demonetisation, GST and corporate tax cuts – have been outside the budget,” he says, according to The Hindu.
5.32 pm: The two Houses are discussing the Union Budget 2020-’21.
5.27 pm: Communist Party of India (Marxist) TK Rangarajan says the country’s economy needs 14.4% Gross Domestic Product in the coming years to achieve the $5 trillion economy target, reports The Hindu.
3.16 pm: In Rajya Sabha, minister Gehlot says he will give the Centre’s written response to the Supreme Court’s order on reservation in job promotions at 4 pm.
2.53 pm: Congress MPs walk out of Lok Sabha.
2.50 pm: Gehlot says the order on quota was passed on a 2012 Uttarakhand government decision when Congress was in power in the state.
2.47 pm: Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot says the government is holding high-level discussions on the matter. “I would like to make it clear that GoI was never made a party in the case,” he adds.
2.32 pm: The Lok Sabha Speaker warns Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra against making certain remarks during debates. “Honourable member, please don’t make undue comments and that too when sitting in someone else’s seat. Whether I am impartial or not, the House will decide...,” he adds.
Earlier, Moitra made a few remarks after she was not allowed to ask an additional question on the country’s Gross Domestic Product during Question Hour.
2.29 pm: Birla has made the remarks after BJP leaders from West Bengal held posters reading “Save Democracy in West Bengal” when Trinamool Congress leader Saugata Roy began speaking on The Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda Bill, 2020.
2.28 pm: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla expresses displeasure over MPs carrying placards and posters in the Lower House, PTI reports. He says there should be a debate on whether they can be allowed to be display the posters during proceedings.
1.06 pm: Rajya Sabha too is adjourned till 2 pm.
1.02 pm: Lok Sabha adjourned till 2 pm.
1.01 pm: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh accuses the Congress of politicising the matter. He urges lawmakers to wait for the social welfare minister to make a statement.
12.58 pm: Apna Dal leader Anupriya Patel says the party does not agree with the Supreme Court judgement. “So far, it is the most unfortunate decision given by the Supreme Court,” Patel adds.
12.45 pm: Lok Janshakti Party leader Chirag Paswan says the SC’s order is not acceptable to his party. He adds that the Centre should include all the matters pertaining to caste reservation in the 9th schedule of the Constitution.
12.40 pm: Congress’ Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury blames the government for the Supreme Court’s order on reservation in promotions in public posts. He says the government is trying to snatch the rights of the SC/STs.
On Friday, the court said it cannot force states to provide reservations unless the data showed an imbalance in representation for certain groups in government service. The Constitution does not confer any fundamental right to claim reservation in the matter of promotions in public posts, the court said in its ruling.
12.22 pm: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan says India is taking all preventive measures against coronavirus. “We are monitoring and reviewing the situation daily,” he adds. Till now 1,118 flights have been screened. He thanks Air India and the medical staff who were involved in the rescue mission of Indian students from Wuhan.
12.14 pm: In Lok Sabha, Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal speaks on the alleged molestation cases at Delhi’s Gargi College. “It has come to our notice that some outsiders had entered the college, which is not right,” he says. “The college administration has been asked to look into it.”
11.40 am: “The government has marked its failure by numbers which are not credible,” he adds. The former finance minister also accuses the government of trying to suppress unemployment data. “Was it suppressed in view of the elections [Lok Sabha elections 2019]?” he asks.
11.24 am: Chidambaram reminds the BJP that it is managing the economy for the last six years. “How long are you going to blame the previous governments for inheriting a bad economy?” he asks.
11.23 am: Chidambaram says the finance minister did not pick a single idea from the Economic Survey in the Union Budget. “Not even a single idea was discussed in Parliament,” he adds.
11.22 am: Chidambaram says it is good that the government has forgotten the “empty slogan” of “achche din”. He adds: “But she did mention a new slogan ‘sabka sath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas’. Tomorrow, we will know whether this slogan is acceptable to the people, at least from one part of India [in reference to Delhi election results on Tuesday].”
11.17 am: “I heard the finance minister’s Budget speech,” says Chidambaram. “It was a tiring speech for her and us alike. I hope she is doing fine now.”
11.15 am: In Rajya Sabha, Congress leader P Chidambaram says the government is “living in denial” on the state of economy and is unwilling to admit its mistakes.
11.03 am: Congress gives suspension of business notice in Rajya Sabha under Rule 267 over Supreme Court ruling that reservations for jobs, promotions, is not a fundamental right.