Stay tuned as Aditya Nair brings you live updates:
The Lok Sabha is witnessing uproarious scenes with MPs from four parties storming the Well to protest for different demands. While the Congress and the Trinamool Congress want debate on the PNB scam, the AIADMK is protesting over the Cauvery issue. The TRS wants the Constitution amended to skirt the 50% ceiling for reservation in jobs and education, while the TDP wants special status for Andhra Pradesh.
There are more MPs in the well of the Lok Sabha than those sitting. The AIADMK is asking for a Cauvery management board, Congress and TMC are protesting against Nirav Modi-PNB scam, while the TRS is asking for an amendment to the constitution to give 50% reservation to minorities in educational institutions and jobs.
During the BJP parliamentary panel meet, PM Narendra Modi hailed the party's success in Tripura, Nagaland, and Meghalaya assembly elections. "It's a historic victory. Some people are saying that it is a small state, but let's not forget that every state, big or small, matters. It is an ideological victory. Whenever we win elections, issues are created to divert attention from it. Let's take full advantage of our victory," he said.
"I tweeted that he (Gautam Adani) seems to be like a trapeze artiste. Information came to me that he may be having as much as Rs 72,000 crore in Non-Performing Assets.This will be clear only after investigation. That's why I raised this question. As far as corruption is considered, the party has no role," says Subramanian Swamy. Here's what the BJP leader had tweeted about Adani:
The biggest NPA trapeze artiste in PSUs is Gautam Adani. It is time he is made accountable or a PIL is inevitable— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) March 6, 2018
During the BJP Parliamentary party, MPs raised slogans like, "Jeet humari jaari hai, ab Karnataka ki baari hai (Our victory march continues, now it's Karnataka's turn)." The ministers distributed Ladoos among each other as well. The BJP-IPFT combine scripted history by winning the Tripura Assembly polls with a two-thirds majority, ending 25 years of uninterrupted rule of the CPI(M)-led Left Front in the north-eastern state. The BJP and the Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT) won 43 seats and the CPI(M) won 16.
Demanding Special Category Status and fulfillment of bifurcation promises, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) will continue to fight and put pressure on the Centre. Dissatisfied over yesterday’s talks with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, TDP MPs will continue to protest inside and outside the parliament. Today too, TDP MPs have handed over adjournment notices in both houses of Parliament.
The government has also listed some other bills for consideration and passage in both Houses. In the Lok Sabha, it intends to bring 'The Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, 2017', ' The Specific Relief (Amendment) Bill, 2017' tomorrow, and 'The Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2017'. In the Rajya Sabha, the government has listed 'The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2017', and 'The State Banks (Repeal and Amendment) Bill, 2017', for the first day of the session.
Other issues that the opposition is likely to raise include those relating to crimes against Dalits and women. The issues of farmers distress, slowdown of the economy and rising unemployment were also expected to be raised by opposition benches. The second part of the session would primarily see the passage of the Union budget for 2018-19 and discussions on the demand for grants for various ministries.
The opposition is also likely to corner the government over the tussle between Prasar Bharti and the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. It is likely to raise issues concerning farmers, the Rafale deal, Staff Selection Commission "job scam", loss of life and property due to ceasefire violations on the LoC and increase in the cost of petroleum products.
The Finance Ministry has given banks a 15-day window to identify gaps and brace for increasing operational and technical risks to the banking system. The BJP, on its part, has been stating that the multi-crore PNB fraud has its genesis in the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government's tenure. A relief for the government is that the opposition is divided over suggestions for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the PNB fraud. The Trinamool Congress does not appear favourably disposed to the idea, having said that previous JPCs have not yielded results.
The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018, also known as the Anti-swindler Bill, which will be introduced during the session, provides for confiscation of properties of people who flee the country after committing huge financial frauds. It provides for giving an application before the Special Court for a declaration that an individual is a fugitive economic offender, attachment and confiscation of his property resulting from the proceeds of crime as also his other property in India and abroad, including benami properties. The Finance Ministry on February 27 directed public-sector banks to scan their Non-performing Asset (NPA) accounts above Rs 50 crore for possible fraud and refer any such fraud cases to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
On Day 2 of the Budget Session of Parliament, the government will seek to push its legislative agenda, including the bill for confiscation of properties of fugitives. Day 1 of the session was washed out yesterday after opposition MLAs targeted the government on a range of issues including the multi-crore bank frauds. The government will look to hit back at the Congress over former Finance Minister, P Chidambaram's son Karti Chidambaram's involvement in the INX media case.
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