LS takes up important bill on winter session's last day

Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill taken up in Lok Sabha on last day of winter session.

Written by: IANS
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New Delhi, Dec 16: The Lok Sabha on Friday took up the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill for consideration and passing during zero hour as most of the Opposition left to meet President Pranab Mukherjee.

The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday had passed, by voice vote, the bill which expands the list of disabilities from 7 to 19, and makes accessibility to public buildings, transport, polling station a mandatory requirement and provides for a national fund for welfare of the disabled.

Parliament

The bill, which replaces the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995, has been brought in to comply with the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which India signed in 2007.

There were disruptions in the house as it was adjourned till noon on the last day of winter session, as opposition demanded a discussion on demonetisation.

As soon as the house met, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge was on his feet.

"We were ready for the discussion yesterday (Thursday), but the Parliamentary Affairs Minister (Ananth Kumar) made reckless charges against us," Kharge said.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, however, said that the issue could be raised at 12 noon and tried to proceed with the question hour.

Opposition members then trooped near the Speaker's podium shouting slogans demanding a debate.

In the din, the house was adjourned till 12 noon.

On Thursday, Ananth Kumar had said in Lok Sabha that treasury benches wanted a debate on the Agusta Westland issue and said the names of Congress leaders were mentioned in middleman Christian Michel's diary.

He had also mentioned the sting operation by the India Today groups which showed leaders from Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Bahujan Samaj Party (the BSP), Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Janta Dal-United (JD-U).

The leaders were caught on camera at their party offices negotiating terms for changing demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.

IANS

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