Parliament roundup: Rajya Sabha passes electoral reforms bill, Opposition stages walkout and more
New Delhi, Dec 21: Parliament is now in its final days of the winter session this year introduced and passed many bills amid a ruckus by Opposition MPs in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
Rajya Sabha passes electoral reforms bill, Opposition stages walkout
Parliament passed the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021, on Tuesday with Rajya Sabha approving it through voice vote amid a walkout by the Opposition. The Bill seeks to link electoral rolls with the Aadhaar ecosystem to weed out duplication of voters and weed out fake votes. It was passed by Lok Sabha on Monday. The opposition parties were demanding a division of votes as they had moved a motion to send the Bill to a select committee, which was rejected by voice vote. Members of opposition parties like Congress, TMC, Left parties, DMK and NCP staged a walkout from the House in protest.
Rajya Sabha approved the Bill after members of BJP, JD(U), YSRCP, AIADMK, BJD and TMC-M supported it, saying it will help in eradicating duplicate and fake votes from the electoral rolls.
Bill to increase marriage age for women referred to Par panel
A bill that seeks to have a uniform age of marriage for men and women was introduced in Lok Sabha on Tuesday amid protests by opposition members, with Union minister Smriti Irani urging the chair to refer it to a parliamentary panel. Irani introduced the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill 2021 that seeks to increase the legal minimum age for women to marry to 21 years, bringing it at par with that of men. Irani said the bill also seeks to override all existing laws, including any custom, usage or practice governing the parties in relation to marriage. The bill was referred to a parliamentary panel for detailed scrutiny. The House was later adjourned for the day amid continuous protests by opposition members over various issues, including the Lakhimpur Kheri killings.
Opposition takes out march to demand sacking of MoS Ajay Mishra
Opposition leaders on Tuesday took out a protest march here demanding that action be taken against Union Minister Ajay Mishra in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case, with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi saying they will not rest till the minister is sent to jail. Leaders of several opposition parties took out the march from Gandhi statue inside Parliament complex to Vijay Chowk demanding that the minister, whose son has been arrested in the Lakhimpur violence case, be immediately sacked. They also demanded that the suspension of their 12 MPs be immediately revoked. MPs of various parties raised slogans against the government and held placards and banners demanding the immediate sacking of the minister.
Bill on CA, cost accountants, company secretaries referred to standing committee
Lok Sabha on Tuesday referred a Bill to amend the laws governing chartered accountants, cost accountants and company secretaries to a standing committee for more scrutiny. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal moved the proposal for referring the Bill to the panel. He said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had requested that it be referred to the standing committee. He further said the standing committee should submit its report in the coming Budget session.
Word 'anti-national' not defined in statutes; first inserted during Emergency: Govt tells LS
The word 'anti-national' has not been defined in statutes but was first inserted in the Constitution during Emergency in 1976 and subsequently removed a year later, Union minister Nityanand Rai informed Lok Sabha on Tuesday. Rai said this while replying to a question of Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, who asked whether the government has defined the meaning of 'anti-national' under any legislation or 11 rules or any other legal enactment that is enforced in the country.