The Lok Sabha on Tuesday cleared three labour bills as Opposition members boycotted Parliament proceedings to protest against the suspension of eight Rajya Sabha members and the passage of agriculture bills. Meanwhile, the Rajya Sabha passed seven key bills in three-and-a-half hours.
The Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, Trinamool Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party and Telangana Rashtra Samithi are among the parties boycotting the session.
The Occupational Safety, Health And Working Conditions Code, 2020, the Industrial Relations Code, 2020 and the Code on Social Security 2020 bills were passed through voice vote.
Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the government will consider revoking suspension of the eight MPs only after they apologise for their “unruly behaviour”.
Here are the top updates of the day:
8.30 pm: The Lok Sabha Speaker extends the session of the House till 10 pm.
8.20 pm: Lok Sabha passes the Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill, 2020, through voice vote. Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy says it was a demand of the people of Jammu and Kashmir that the language they speak should be the official language.
8 pm: Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar says the reforms that are being undertaken by the government will prove to be a milestone for the welfare of workers.
7.50 pm: Lok Sabha passes the Occupational Safety, Health And Working Conditions Code, 2020, the Industrial Relations Code, 2020 and the Code on Social Security 2020 bills through voice vote amid boycott by Opposition parties.
7.25 pm: The Rajya Sabha has called its Business Advisory Committee meeting after Opposition leaders boycotted the proceedings, reports Hindustan Times.
7.20 pm: Congress leader and Maharashtra Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat says the government is trying to “enslave” farmers to select industrialists through the agriculture bills, reports PTI. Thorat, who heads the state Congress unit, alleges the BJP-led NDA government has been taking “anti-farmer” decisions since it came to power in 2014.
6.16 pm: Lok Sabha is discussing three labour reforms bills even as Opposition members are absent from the proceedings.
6 pm: More than one crore migrant labourers returned to their home states on foot during March to June amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown, the Centre tells Lok Sabha, reports PTI.
4.40 pm: Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar tells Lok Sabha that the three agriculture bills will help farmers, reports ANI. He also alleges that those protesting against the bills are not farmers, but those related to Congress.
4.35 pm: Opposition parties led by Congress boycott Lok Sabha session to protest against the suspension of eight Rajya Sabha members, reports ANI.
4.15 pm: Lok Sabha proceedings resume. Speaker Om Birla urges members to follow safety protocols amid the coronavirus pandemic.
3.37 pm: Congress MP Ravneet Singh says he and three other members went on a candle march for the farmers in Delhi but were “manhandled”, The Hindu reports. Speaker Om Birla says he has sought report from the Delhi police. “You will protect us, sir but who will protect the farmers,” the MP asks. Singh’s party colleague Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury raises the matter of minimum support price for the farmers.
3.28 pm: The Lok Sabha is adjourned for an hour as Opposition MPs shout slogans, ANI reports.
3.16 pm: The suspended MPs have ended their protest, The Hindu reports
3.06 pm: The proceedings in the Lok Sabha begin.
3.01 pm: The Lok Sabha will take up the Occupational Safety, Health And Working Conditions Code, 2020, The Industrial Relations Code, 2020, The Code On Social Security, 2020 and The Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020 for discussion, The Indian Express reports.
2.56 pm: “The requirement of mandatory universal screening of all international passengers arriving in 21 airports in India for was implemented by Government of India with effect from March 4, 2020,” V Muraleedharaan, Minister of State for External Affairs, adds, according to ANI.
2.52 pm: The Ministry of External Affairs tells the Rajya Sabha that when United States President Donald Trump visited India in February, coronavirus tests were not mandatory for foreign travellers, ANI reports. The ministry adds that the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic in March.
2.48 pm: Trinamool Congress leader Dola Sen, who was among the MPs suspended from the Rajya Sabha, says the party will continue to oppose to the Centre’s farm bills, ANI reports. “We’re protesting for farmers, labourers, the country and for humanity,” she says. “We’ will keep fighting till the people who are selling this country are out of power. Suspension isn’t a big deal. The entire Opposition’s united and we’ll boycott the House session.”
2.00 pm: The Rajya Sabha returns the Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation and Amendment of Certain Provisions) Bill, 2020, The Hindu reports.
1.51 pm: Rajya Sabha passes the Rashtriya Raksha University Bill, 2020, The Hindu reports.
1.48 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal criticises the government over the passage of the “dangerous” farm bills in Rajya Sabha through a voice note. He also lauds the eight suspended MPs for their continued protests against the government. Kejriwal says the legislators are fighting for the rights of farmers without worrying about the weather, mosquitoes and other inconveniences.
“They are not asking for anything for themselves,” he tweets. “They are fighting for democracy and the Constitution. They are struggling for the farmers of the country.”
1.44 pm: Rajya Sabha passes the National Forensic Sciences University Bill, 2020, ANI reports.
1.43 pm: Rajya Sabha passes the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2020, PTI reports.
1.40 pm: “We expected the Congress to oppose such unruly behaviour by Opposition members in Rajya Sabha,” Prasad adds, according to The Indian Express. “What kind of politics is this that a tweet comes from abroad and MPs behave like this,” the minister says, referring to tweets by Rahul Gandhi. “We have never seen a Congress MP dancing on the Rajya Sabha table and tear papers.”
1.38 pm: Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad says the government will consider revoking suspension of the eight MPs only after they apologise for their “unruly behaviour”, PTI reports.
12.54 pm: Rajya Sabha passes the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill 2020, ANI reports.
12.47 pm: Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar says he will fast for a day in solidarity with his Rajya Sabha MPs who have been suspended and are protesting, ANI reports.
12.32 pm: Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy gives adjournment motion notice in Lok Sabha over “farmers’ protest against government policies in the farming sector”.
11.45 am: The Rajya Sabha has now taken up the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, according to The Hindu.
11.41 am: Rajya Sabha passes the Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
The draft law seeks to declare five Indian Institutes of Information Technology set up under the public-private-partnership model in Surat, Bhopal, Bhagalpur, Agartala, and Raichur as institutions of national importance.
11.29 am: Congress Rajya Sabha MP Syed Nasir Hussain tells ANI all the Opposition parties boycotted the rest of the session. “They appealed to all the people who were sitting at the dharna [demonstration] to finish it and join them in boycotting the rest of the session,” he adds. “That is how we have ended this dharna.”
11.16 am: Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Singh writes to President Ram Nath Kovind against the Opposition leaders’ behaviour towards him in the House on Sunday, reports ANI.
11.14 am: Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu urges Opposition parties to rethink their decision to boycott the House proceedings, reports PTI.
11.06 am: Several Opposition parties, led by the Congress, have staged a walkout in Rajya Sabha, reports PTI.
10.24 am: Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda says the government should come to an understanding. “Both the Opposition and the government should sit together to help run the House,” he adds. “Democracy should work with cooperation.”
10.20 am: Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad says the Opposition will boycott the Rajya Sabha session to protest against the suspension of the eight MPs and the contentious farmer bills, ANI reports.
9.58 am: Aam Aadmi Party leader Sanjay Singh tweets: “Modiji, we are not fighting over tea. We are fighting for the welfare of our farmers, which you have taken away. I humbly request you – I am returning your tea with all due respect, please return my farmers’ morsel.”
9.56 am: Azad calls for the revocation of the suspension order against the MPs, reports ANI. “Till our demands which include revocation of suspension of the eight MPs and government to bring another bill under which no private player can purchase below MSP [minimum support price] are not met, the Opposition will boycott the session,” he adds.
9.53 am: Congress MP Ghulam Nabi Azad says no one is happy with the incidents that have occurred in the Rajya Sabha. “The public want that their leaders should be heard,” he adds, according to ANI. “No one can put across their views in just two to three minutes. There will be 90% de-escalation if MPs [are] not constrained by time to speak.”
9.17 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweets in support of Harivansh Singh.
9.14 am: Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Singh will observe a day-long fast against the “unruly behaviour” with him in the House by Opposition MPs.
9.01 am: Suspended Congress MP Ripun Bora says they will continue their protest. “Harivansh Ji said he came to meet us as a colleague and not as deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha,” he tells ANI. “He also brought some tea and snacks for us. We started this sit-in demonstration yesterday as a protest against our suspension. We’ve been here all night.”
8.32 am: Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party MP Manoj Tiwari demands the arrest of the eight suspended Rajya Sabha members for allegedly scuffling with a Marshal during the passage of the farm bills in the House on Sunday, PTI reports. Tiwari says strict action is needed against the members involved in “unruly behaviour”.
8.31 am: Hundreds of farmers, labourers and members of Dalit organisations in Bengaluru on Monday protested against the contentious farm bills passed by the Centre. The protestors also demonstrated against land legislations proposed by the Karnataka government.
8.29 am: Former Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot says the Centre may have passed “anti-farmer” bills in the Rajya Sabha by suppressing the voice of the Opposition, but the Congress is standing with farmers and will continue their fight, PTI reports. Condemning the suspension of eight Rajya Sabha MPs, the Congress leader says it symbolises dictatorship.
8.28 am: Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson Harivansh Narayan Singh serves tea to the suspended MPs who are protesting inside the Parliament complex.