Why is this session important?
Opposition parties will want to retain the post of deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha, which has been held by the Congress for four decades now. However, opposition unity may be challenged as the Trinamool Congress is also looking to field a candidate. The National Democratic Alliance, which is in a minority in the Rajya Sabha, is looking to elect a candidate of its own. The Bharatiya Janata Party is the single largest party in the Rajya Sabha. P.J. Kurien’s term as deputy chairman ended on 1 July.
What key bills are likely to be taken up?
According to PRS Legislative Research, 25 bills have been listed for consideration and passage, and three for withdrawal during the session. 18 new bills, including the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) bill, 2018, are expected to be introduced. Important bills listed for consideration and passage include Fugitive Economic Offenders bill, 2018, Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) bill, 2017, and Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) bill, 2016.
What are parties doing ahead of the session?
Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan has called an all-party meeting on Tuesday. On Monday, opposition parties met to discuss their strategy.
What issues are likely to be raised?
Opposition parties will look to corner the government on various issues including the increase in mob lynchings, cases of communal violence, crimes against women, higher fuel and commodity prices, the situation and recent political developments in Jammu and Kashmir, bank frauds, agrarian crisis and the Karnataka assembly polls. The Telugu Desam Party is also preparing to introduce a no-confidence motion against the government.
How productive was the previous session?
The budget session earlier this year was the least productive session of Parliament since 2000. The session saw repeated adjournments, and Lok Sabha productivity was at 21% and Rajya Sabha at 31%. Parliament spent just 1% of its time on legislative business in the Lok Sabha and 6% in the Rajya Sabha. The key issues for the stand-off were public sector bank frauds and the setting up of a Cauvery board.