Government readies for tough week as Parliament debates 'intolerance'
The government braced up for a tough week in Parliament, with opposition parties giving a number of notices in both Houses seeking a debate on \'intolerance\' in society and action against some ministers for their alleged provocative remarks.
The government braced up for a tough week in Parliament, with opposition parties giving a number of notices in both Houses seeking a debate on 'intolerance' in society and action against some ministers for their alleged provocative remarks.
Congress and JD-U have given notices in Rajya Sabha to discuss the issue after suspension of business under Rule 267, while in Lok Sabha Congress and CPI-M have submitted notices for a debate under rule 193, which does not entail voting or require suspension of business.
In Lok Sabha, the matter has been listed for Monday, while in Rajya Sabha, it can happen any day in the week after the conclusion of the discussion on the "Commitment to India's Constitution" as part of the 125th Birth Anniversary celebration of Dalit icon B R Ambedkar initiated by Finance
Minister Arun Jaitley on November 27.
The first two days of the session that began on November 26 were functional, as parties did not want to be seen blocking a discussion on the Constitution on the occasion of Ambedkar's anniversary even though the opposition attacked the government over alleged rise in intolerance and communal violence.
"The real confrontation will be there this week when the government brings its legislative agenda on the table. Congress, JD-U, CPI-M, CPI and Trinamool Congress have given separate notices to seek a discussion with and without voting, pass a resolution by the House and seek action against ministers making provocative speeches. Much depends on how the government responds to the opposition's issues," said a senior opposition party leader on condition of anonymity.
The Congress' notice has been moved by Deputy Leader of Opposition in the House Anand Sharma and the party plans to attack the government over alleged "orchestrated campaign to create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation" and also raise issues like returning of awards by celebrated writers and others from the intelligensia.
The notice by Sharma, which also seeks passing of a resolution by the House, condemns the "assault on the freedom of expression".
JD-U general secretary K C Tyagi has given a separate notice under Rule 267 to discuss the issue and the party has decided to seek the resignation of five Union Ministers over their alleged provocative remarks.
"Prime Minister Modi must signal his intent to act against people making such provocative remarks, more so against those from his Cabinet. We have given a notice and we are seeking action against the ministers," Tyagi said.
In a tweet, JD-U President Sharad Yadav said, "PM should have assured d country in his speech that there shall not be any communal violence which is on rise after NDA Govt came to power."
CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury has also given a notice in Rajya Sabha seeking passage of a one-line resolution by the House condemning incidents of "intolerance" and asking the government to ensure that they do not happen again.
In the Lok Sabha, the notices of CPI(M) member P Karunakaran and Congress MP K C Venugopal for a discussion on the matter has been listed for Monday.
The opposition has been seeking a discussion on the issue of intolerance for quite some time.
At the all-party meeting held on November 25 in the backdrop of actor Aamir Khan's remarks on "growing intolerance", opposition parties had made a strong pitch for an early discussion on the issue, insisting that returning of awards by writers, artistes and filmmakers should not be taken lightly.
Six Left parties, including CPI(M), would also hold protests, both inside and outside the Parliament, on the "hate offensive" by BJP and Sangh Parivar outfits.
With most opposition parties keen on aggressively raising the issue, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said though the government does not agree with their perception of rising intolerance it was "willing to go along with the opposition in this regard for a discussion in an appropriate manner".
He had also contended that such incidents lie in the domain of the state governments, which are vested with responsibility to maintain law and order.
15 Nov 2019 8:56 AM GMT