Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s faction of the JD (U) had demanded the disqualification; Sharad Yadav says he will continue fight to save democracy
In a haste rarely seen in decisions taken by the Rajya Sabha secretariat when it comes to demands for expulsion of members of Parliament’s Upper House, Chairman Venkaiah Naidu, on Monday evening, disqualified rebel Janata Dal (United) MPs, Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar from the Rajya Sabha.
The move by Naidu, who as Vice President is the ex-officio chairman of the Rajya Sabha, comes three months after Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s faction wrote to him demanding that Rajya Sabha memberships of rebel leaders, Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar, be terminated.
On Tuesday, Yadav and several other Opposition leaders slammed Naidu’s decision to disqualify the two veteran parliamentarians without even giving them a chance to reply to a notice that over the imminent decision that was reportedly served to them from the Rajya Sabha secretariat only hours before the remainder of their Upper House tenures were terminated.
In a brief response to news agency IANS, Sharad Yadav had confirmed that a 15-page notice on his disqualification was served to him at his Delhi residence “late on Monday night” and that he had hoped to go through the notice on Tuesday before sending his reply to the Rajya Sabha secretariat. However, he was informed that his membership of the Rajya Sabha had been terminated with immediate effect.
On Tuesday, before he left for Gujarat to campaign for his faction of the JD (U), which is fighting the upcoming Assembly polls against the BJP on seven of the state’s 182 seats under the banner of Bharatiya Rashtriya Tribal Party, Sharad Yadav asserted that he would “continue to fight to save democracy”.
Yadav and Anwar’s expulsion from the Rajya Sabha comes as the result of their opposition to JD (U) chief and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s decision of dumping the party’s ‘Mahagathbandhan’ with Lalu Prasad Yadav’s RJD and the Congress and instead forming a ruling coalition with the BJP earlier this year. The Mahagathbandhan was a pre-poll alliance between the JD (U), RJD and Congress that had been stitched together by Lalu Prasad, Nitish Kumar, Sharad Yadav and the Congress leadership in a bid to stop the BJP’s victory march at the hustings under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah’s leadership.
However, after allegations of corruption were raised against Lalu Prasad’s son and Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi in August this year, Nitish had stunned and political observers and his party colleagues like Sharad Yadav by first announcing that he was resigning as chief minister and then – within 24 hours – returning to office with the BJP as part of his new ruling coalition. Yadav and Ali Anwar had declared Nitish’s decision as a “betrayal of the mandate given to the Mahagathbandhan by the people of Bihar” and vowed to fight against the chief minister’s autocratic style of functioning.
On Tuesday, following his disqualification from the Rajya Sabha, Sharad Yadav took to Twitter to assert that he will continue his protest against Nitish Kumar’s betrayal.
Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal moves Women’s Reservation Bill in Rajya Sabha, says census, delimitation necessary
Congress MP Rajneeth Ranjan stated that they want rights, adding that women don’t want to be pitied.
Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal moved the Women’s Reservation Bill in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday. Addressing the house, the Union Law Minister noted that census and delimitation are necessary for the quota bill. He further expressed that the historic bill would bring equality to women.
The Union Law Minister underlined that through the Constitutional Amendment Bill, a section will be inserted in Article 330, Article 332 and Article 334. Through these, 1/3rd of the seats will be reserved in Lok Sabha and all State Assemblies of the country, he continued. Arjun Ram Meghwal further hailed that this bill is a major step ahead.
Initiating a debate on the Women’s Reservation Bill, BJP President J P Nadda praised Prime MInister Narendra Modi for the quota bill. He mentioned that the bill will strengthen women’s empowerment. The BJP President further expressed confidence that the Women’s Reservation Bill will be passed in Rajya Sabha unanimously without any obstacles.
On the other hand, debating on the historic bill, Congress MP Rajneeth Ranjan stated that they want rights, adding that women don’t want to be pitied. Referring to the name of bill, Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam, the Congress MP remarked that the government should not bow down to them, but provide them equal rights and equal opportunities.
As far as reports are concerned, the Rajya Sabha will allocate seven and a half hours for the bill’s discussion and it is widely expected to receive approval in the Upper House. After the bill is passed in the Rajya Sabha, it will require the approval of the majority of state assemblies. Notably, the implementation of the historic bill will occur following a delimitation exercise based on census data completion. Reportedly, this is the seventh attempt to pass the Women’s Reservation Bill in the Rajya Sabha.
Women Reservation Bill: Here’s a look at 20 states with 50% quota for women in panchayats, municipalities
At present, there are 15 lakh elected women representatives in panchayats and municipalities across the country.
Taking a significant step ahead, the Women’s Reservation Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha during the special session of the Parliament on Tuesday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the Opposition to unanimously pass the bill, Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam. The Women’s Reservation bill was stuck for almost three decades.
While the Women’s Reservation Bill that seeks to provide a 33 per cent quota for women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies remained stuck, around 20 states witnessed 50% reservations for women in local government bodies. As far as reports are concerned, at present, there are 15 lakh elected women representatives in panchayats and municipalities across the country.
States like Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand and West Bengal have made provisions for 50% reservation of women in Panchayati Raj Institutions in their respective State Panchayati Raj Acts.
Evidently, the move for reservation for women in local bodies dates back to 1992 and 1993, when the then prime minister P.V. Narasimha Rao reintroduced the Constitution Amendment Bills 72 and 73, which reserved one third (33%) of all seats and chairperson posts for women in rural and urban local bodies. The Bills were passed by both the houses. Earlier, in May 1989, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi introduced the Constitution Amendment Bill to provide one-third reservation for women in rural and urban local bodies. The Bill was passed in Lok Sabha but failed to get passed in Rajya Sabha in September 1989.
Echoing the contribution of the aforesaid leaders in Women’s Reservation, several Congress leaders including Sonia Gandhi, KC Venugopal took the credit of the bill. However, though the Women’s Reservation Bill is introduced in the Lok Sabha, the legislation will come into effect after the next delimitation exercise, which might be carried out after 2026. At present, only 14% of the members in the Indian Parliament are women.
Furthermore, it is to be noted that in 1988, the National Perspective Plan for Women recommended the provision of reservation for women at various political levels, from Panchayati Raj institutions to Parliament.
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury holds Constitution of India in hand as Congress MPs enter new Parliament building | Watch
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury emphasized the importance of the old Parliament building.
Leader of Opposition in the Parliament Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury held the Constitution of India in hand as Congress MPs including Rahul Gandhi, Gaurav Gogoi entered into the new Parliament building, designated as Parliament House of India. Following the programme at Central Hall on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with other MPs moved towards the new Parliament building.
Earlier, addressing at the Central Hall, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury emphasized the importance of the old Parliament building. He expressed that he feels elevated and elated for standing in the podium that has witnessed a caravan of historical episodes and events in the midst of the galaxy of luminaries who had racked up their brains and burned the midnight oil to frame the Constitution of India.
In addition, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury also questioned the timeframe that the Centre has set for the nation to turn into a developed nation. He asked why India cannot become a developed country before 2047. He also called for sustainable solutions and measures to resolve the nation’s issues.
Meanwhile, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge recalled Nehru’s ‘Tryst with Destiny’ speech, and thanked the Prime Minister for remembering it during his opening speech on Monday. Speaking at the Central Hall, the Congress President said working together is the only way to build the country. He also remembered the contributions made by Rajendra Prasad, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, BR Ambedkar, GV Malvankar, and Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan among others.
The parliamentary proceeding will now shift from the old building to the state-of-the-art new facility. Notably, the historic shift takes place on the auspicious occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi. On the first day of the Parliament Special Session, all members of the Parliament gathered at the old Parliament building to recall their experiences there. PM Modi also paid tribute to every brick of the old Parliament building, mentioning that it would inspire the coming generations.