New Delhi: The proceedings of the Lok Sabha were adjourned for the day on Thursday after repeated disruptions by opposition parties raising slogans on the plight of farmers and related issues.
As soon as the House assembled and took up the Question Hour, opposition members, largely from the Congress, trooped into the Well raising slogans saying the Prime Minister should answer.
Parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar said the Lok Sabha had on Wednesday night concluded a discussion on the issue by sitting late. But the slogan shouting continued, forcing Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to adjourn the house till 11.30am, just about 10 minutes after it assembled at 11am.
Here are the latest updates from the Day four of the ongoing Parliament monsoon session:
■ China intends to unilaterally change the status of the tri-junction with Bhutan, which poses a challenge to India’s security, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said today.
Responding to supplementary queries during Question Hour, she informed the Rajya Sabha that there was a written agreement between India, China and Bhutan in 2012 that the three nations will together decide on the boundaries at the tri-junction point.
The Minister said the boundaries between India and China are yet to be finalised and the two nations will do that bilaterally through discussions, while the same between China and Bhutan too will be done through bilateral talks.
She also accused China of building roads using bulldozers and excavators, which has been protested by Bhutan in writing to China.
The minister also said that India was not “unreasonable" on the issue and all nations were with it.
“India’s position is not wrong on the tri-junction and all nations are with it. The law is with our country," she said.
Swaraj said all countries are supporting us and they understand that the stand taken by India on the issue is not wrong. She said the matter can be resolved through talks and “We are willing to talk, but both sides have to first take back their armies." (PTI)
■ Congress and TMC stage walkout from Rajya Sabha over the comments made by HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar during a debate on lynchings. (ANI)
■ The Congress today contended that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had not taken up with President Donald Trump the issue of H1B visa restrictions imposed by the US and asked the government to take steps to address the matter affecting Indian professionals.
Raising the issue in the Rajya Sabha during the Zero Hour, Congress leader Anand Sharma asked the government to be “sensitive" to the concerns of Indian IT industry and professionals.
The Congress member said that H1B visa fees have been doubled, spouses who were allowed to travel (with the IT professional) have been disallowed and the number of visas to Indian professionals has been cut.
Sharma said that he expected the Prime Minister to take up this matter with the US President during his recent visit to Washington and get a credible assurance that restrictions imposed on Indian IT professionals would be removed.
The Congress leader said the movement of Indian IT professionals and grant of H1B visa should be assured. Sharma said a large number of US professionals work in India in different sectors and there should be a “reciprocity".
He highlighted that Indian IT companies have made a significant contribution to the US industry and economy, and that value addition has helped in creation of jobs in US. (PTI)
■ Rajya Sabha chairman accepts BSP chief Mayawati’s resignation from the House. (PTI)
■ Airlines have no authority to impose flying ban on anybody, including parliamentarians, and the law of the land should take its course, Rajya Sabha deputy chairman P J Kurien said today.
The remarks came after SP member Naresh Agrawal raised the issue of recent flying ban imposed by major domestic airlines, including state-owned Air India.
Agrawal wanted to know if the airlines could impose such restrictions. According to him, such an action was a breach of privilege of the Members of Parliament.
To this, Kurien said agreed that Agrawal has raised a “valid point" that if any MP has committed a crime or something against the law, the law of the land should take its course. (PTI)
■ Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2pm.
■ EAM Sushma Swaraj in Rajya Sabha: “If China unilaterally changes status-quo of tri-junction point between China-India & Bhutan then it poses a challenge to our security. The world understands our viewpoint on the issue and not questioning our position." (ANI)
■ Lok Sabha adjourned for the day amid unabated opposition protests over agrarian crisis and the farmers’ plight.
■ In Rajya Sabha, Congress MP Anand Sharma asked that why there was no mention of H1B visas and the issue of Indian IT professionals in joint statement issued after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s US visit.
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj’s replied: “Without using the word H1B visa there was extensive discussion on its spirit between President Donald Trump and PM Modi." She also said “Proud to say PM was able to make President Trump agree that Indian skilled professionals are contributing greatly to American economy." (ANI)
■ Lok Sabha adjourned for second time till noon as noisy protests by opposition over farm issues continue.
■ Following is the legislative business for the two Houses of Parliament:
— Lok Sabha: Bills for consideration and passing: The Indian Institutes of Information Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2017. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill,2017.
— Rajya Sabha: Further discussion on the situation arising out of the reported increase in the incidents of lynching and atrocities on minorities and Dalits across the country.
Bills for consideration and passing: The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2017. The Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Bill, 2017. The Collection of Statistics (Amendment) Bill, 2017.