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Parliament Live: Sushma Swaraj likely to make statement on missing Indians in Iraq

LiveMint logoLiveMint 24-07-2017 PTI

New Delhi: After a tumultuous first session last week, the second week of Parliament’s monsoon session began on Monday with the opposition parties continuing their demand to have a debate over incidents of cow vigilantism and agrarian crisis.

The Question Hour in the Lok Sabha faced disruption with the opposition raising slogans against the government over incidents of cow vigilantism. Unlike previous occasions, however, the proceedings were not adjourned even as the ruckus continued for over an hour.

Here are the latest updates and developments from the Parliament’s ongoing monsoon session:

■ The reported remarks of the Israeli Prime Minister on the reasons Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave for skipping Palestine on his recent visit to the Jewish state as raised in the Rajya Sabha by the Congress today.

Raising the issue, Anand Sharma (Congress), who gave a notice under rule 267 seeking suspension of listed business of the day to discuss the subject, said it was the Prime Minister’s prerogative to visit any country and he had delinked his visit to Israel with Palestine.

Sharma said an audio released by a reputed Israeli newspaper stated that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during a close-door session with leaders from Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia, had told them that Modi chose the Jewish state to get technology and water and, in the process ignored Palestine.

As the Congress members sought a response from the government, Kurien said he was not blocking the government from responding but at the same time he cannot direct them to do so. “It is up to government whether to respond or not,” he said.

■ Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2pm.

■ Lok Sabha Speaker says Sushma Swaraj will give a statement on missing Indians in Iraq in the House at 5pm today, The Hindu reports.

■ A bill to authorise the RBI to direct banking companies to resolve the problem of stressed assets was today introduced in the Lok Sabha by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017, seeks to amend the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 and replace the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017, which was promulgated in May this year.

The measure allows the RBI to initiate insolvency resolution process on specific stressed assets.

The RBI would also be empowered to issue other directions for resolution, appoint or approve for appointment, authorities or committees to advise the banking companies for stressed asset resolution.

Jaitley introduced the Bill amid protests in the House by opposition members protesting over the alleged incidents of lynching by cow vigilantes in different parts of the country.

Ray demanded that the bill be referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee.

When Speaker Sumitra Mahajan asked Jaitley if he has to say anything on Roy’s remarks, the Finance Minister said the issues does not relate to the introduction and would be dealt with when the bill comes up for a discussion.

■ Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien today indicated that distortion and reporting of expunged remarks of a Samajwadi Party MP by certain media houses may be referred to the privileges committee. Kurien said he had last week stated that media should not report anything expunged by the Chair from the records.

And if the remarks of any member are distorted, it “amounts to breach of privilege” of the Member of Parliament, he said. He made the remarks after KTS Tulsi (Nominated) said that 50 lawmakers from 12 parties have signed and given a notice under rule 188 for breach of privilege by certain media houses for twisting and distorting of the remarks by Naresh Agarwal (SP).

■ Interestingly, even as TMC members were indulging in sloganeering along with the Congress MPs, one of their (TMC) members – Ratna De Nag – asked two supplementary questions and one relating to pension benefits for Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya teachers was taken up for discussion by the House.

■ Speaker Sumitra Mahajan ruled out suspension of the Question Hour and asked the members to go back to their seats.

“Discussions will not be stopped. Question Hour will not be stopped. This is not the way. I have not stopped any discussion on any issue. Discussion is open but only after the Question Hour. Don’t disturb the House. You have to mend the ways,” she said amid sloganeering by the opposition members.

■ Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, who had served an adjournment motion, claimed that people were being lynched but the “government is sleeping” and demanded an immediate discussions on the issue of the alleged lynching incidents by cow vigilantes.

■ As soon as the House took up business after obituary references, members belonging to Congress, TMC and RJD came to the Well raising slogans demanding suspension of the Question Hour to discuss the alleged incidents of lynching by cow vigilantes in different parts of the country.

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