Winter Session of Parliament: Union Home Minister Amit Shah rejected the opposition criticism.
Protests are being held in parliament against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, a day after the controversial legislation cleared Lok Sabha after a nearly seven-hour long debate during Parliament's Winter Session. Home Minister Amit Shah also said peace has prevailed in Jammu and Kashmir since the scrapping of Article 370.
On Monday, the Citizenship Amendment Bill was cleared by the Lok Sabha around midnight with 311 voting in support and 80 against. Union Home Minister Amit Shah rejected the opposition criticism that it violates the constitution's core principles of equality, saying it was not even "0.001% against India's minorities".
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the Lok Sabha minutes after the legislation was passed. "Delighted that the Lok Sabha has passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019, after a rich and extensive debate. I thank the various MPs and parties that supported the bill. This bill is in line with India's centuries-old ethos of assimilation and belief in humanitarian values," he tweeted.
Here are the highlights of parliament winter session:
Issue of non-payment of salaries to HPCL employees raised in Rajya Sabha
The issue of non-payment of salaries and wages to workers and employees of Hindustan Paper Corporation Ltd (HPCL), which is undergoing the insolvency process, from the last 35 months was raised in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour, All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) member Dola Sen demanded that the central government should take necessary action in this regard.
She said a sum of Rs 90 crore was provided by the Centre in the budget for 2018-19, but the same was not disbursed. Dola Sen said the National Company Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) ordered in May this year to release pending salaries.
Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu asked Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to look into this issue. Dola Sen said the public sector firm HPCL is in deep distress and its two manufacturing units in Assam have been closed. The insolvency process started in HPCL in June last year.
The AITC leader said workers are not getting salaries from the last 35 months and many of them have died during this period.
Vijila Sathyananth (AIADMK) demanded that the Centre should provide urea to Tamil Nadu as area under coverage for various crops have increased by around 3.5 lakh hectare compared to last year.
She said 1.16 lakh tonnes of urea have been provided as against the allocation of 1.58 lakh tonnes and demanded that the balance quantity should be released immediately. Ram Gopal Yadav (SP) demanded that old pension scheme for teachers, which was stopped in 2005, should be reinstated.
Teachers in Uttar Pradesh are agitated and concerned about the safety of their money, he said.
Ram Gopal Yadav pointed out that teachers are not able to ascertain
the amount deducted from their salaries and also where money is being deposited as well as invested.
Government should work with regulators to fix problems in Karvy, DHFL fraud cases: Congress
The Congress in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday said steps being taken by multiple regulatory authorities in cases related to alleged fraud at Karvy Stock Broking (KSBL) and DHFL could be "legally questionable" and the government should work with regulators to fix the problem. Karvy is under regulatory lens for allegedly misusing securities of over 95,000 clients which it was holding to raise over Rs 600 crore in loans.
Debt-ridden mortgage firm DHFL, through layers of shell companies, has allegedly siphoned off Rs 31,000 crore out of total bank loans of Rs 97,000 crore. Raising the issue during Zero Hour in the Upper House, Congress member M V Rajeev Gowda said, "We have had crisis created at KSBL and we have also seen similar activities with DHFL. ...At a time we want to draw more investment, we are seeing a situation where people are turned off from the market. It is important for regulatory authorities to proactively fix these problems."
Instead, multiple regulatory authorities are jumping in and taking preemptive measures, he said and added, "They may be urgent measures but legally questionable. This is another problem."
If these cases get struck in litigation, getting access to funds will become a real problem for customers, he said.
"I urge the government to work with regulatory authorities to help fix these problems and ensure that customers and investors'' interest is not hurt. Need of the hour is to revive investors'' sentiment," he added. On the Karvy fraud case, Gowda said when customers sign up for brokerage firms, they give a power of attorney for them to indulge in transactions on their behalf. "These have been misused and the money which should have been returned to customers has been kept and diverted to other activities like real estates. This has caused hardships to lakhs of investors," he added.
Trinamool MPs stage walkout in Rajya Sabha
Protesting against a West Bengal issue, Trinamool Congress MPs on Tuesday staged a walkout in Rajya Sabha during the Question Hour.
As soon as Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu announced Question Hour, Trinamool Congress members barged into the well demanding raising of an issue related to the West Bengal Governor.
Party MP Derek O'Brien tried to raise the issue but Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu did not allow. Following this, members of TMC trooped into the well-raising slogans. Later, they staged a walkout.
The members were heard sloganeering "SC/ST Bill Me Deprivation Nahi Chalega" to which the Chair said "Members should respect the House" and "Maintain Decency."
M Venkaiah Naidu appealed to them to follow rules for the conduct of the House and said members had the right to oppose any issue but they should follow rules.
He said he cannot allow members to raise the issue here and appealed for maintaining peace and order to which M Venkaiah Naidu said: "what is this happening?"
However, they were unrelenting and continued to protest. The Bill is concerning the formation of SC & ST commission in the State.
States must not delete ration cardholders' names for lack of Aadhaar: Ram Vilas Paswan
The central government has asked states and union territories to ensure that the names of people are not deleted from the ration card database due to the non-possession of Aadhaar, Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Tuesday.
Identification of beneficiaries in Fair Price Shops (FSPs) is done primarily on the basis of Aadhaar authentication through the electronic Point of Sale (ePoS) mechanism.
The minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution told Lok Sabha that in case of Aadhaar authentication failure, certain other alternatives have been prescribed to avail benefits under the public distribution system.
"This department has reiterated time and again to all State/UT governments to ensure that no instance of denial of foodgrains or deletion of names of family from the ration card database only on the ground of non-possession of Aadhaar takes place," Ram Vilas Paswan said in a written reply.
AIADMK demands inclusion of 4 tribes of Puducherry in ST list
The AIADMK on Tuesday demanded that the government expedite inclusion of four tribal
communities of Puducherry-- Kattunayakan, Malalikuravan, Yerukkula and Kuruman -- in the scheduled tribe (ST) category.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour in Rajya Sabha, AIADMK member N Gokulakrishana said a committee constituted by the Puducherry government had recommended inclusion of five tribal communities under Article 342 of the Constitution in the ST list.
However, the Central government notified inclusion of only ''Irular'' community as ST and no action has been taken yet for including the remaining four tribes such as Kattunayakan, Malalikuravan, Yerukkula and Kuruman.
These tribals are living in isolated pockets in Puducherry region. As a result, they are not able to enjoy the benefits of reservation and other concessions available to these communities, he said.
He also said that the Puducherry government has been pleading for long time for including these communities in the list of STs but no action has been taken.
"I request the government to expedite the matter and include the left over tribes in the ST category," he added.
84 infiitration attempts in Jammu and Kashmir since August: G Kishan Reddy
As many as 84 infiltration attempts were made along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu
and Kashmir and 59 terrorists could have entered the valley since August 2019, Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said in Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
In a written reply to a starred question in the House, Reddy said regular attempts of infiltration by terrorists through the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir sponsored and supported from across the border are being made.
"84 such attempts have been made from across the border and it is estimated that 59 such terrorists could have infiltrated," he said.
As many as 22,557 terrorists have been neutralised in incidents of terrorist violence by security forces till December 1 this year, 1011 terrorists killed, 42 apprehended and 2253 pushed back from 2005 till October 21, 2019 due to efficient vigil of security forces, he said.
Infiltration attempts are part of proxy war agenda of adversary to replenish the depleted terrorist strength in the valley to achieve its intention to ratchet up violence in Jammu and Kashmir, Mr Reddy said.
289 declared foreigners detained in Assam in 2019; 227 deported: Minister
As many as 289 declared foreigners were detained in Assam in 2019 and 227 others were deported to their country of origin, Union minister Nityanand Rai said in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
Replying to a written question, he said according to the information made available by the Assam government, 181 declared foreigners and 44 convicted foreigners had completed more than three years in detention.
"As per the information made available by the Assam government, 289 declared foreigners have been detained in 2019. Besides, 227 foreigners have been deported to the countries of their origin as on December 5, 2019," the minister said.
He added that 290 women were declared as foreigners during the period and there was no incident of suicide in any detention camp for declared foreigners in Assam in the last six months.
Government duty-bound to set up trust within 3 months to construct Ram temple: G Kishan Reddy
The Centre is duty-bound to set up a new trust for the development of Ayodhya and construction of a Ram temple within three months as per the directive of the Supreme Court, Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said in the Lok Sabha.
In a written reply to a question, he said, the November 9 Supreme Court judgment in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid matter included formulation of a scheme by the Centre with necessary provisions for the setting up of a trust with a board of trustees or any other appropriate body, the functioning of the trust, the powers of the trustees, transfer of land to the trust and all necessary, incidental and supplemental matters.
"Central government is duty bound to act as per the directions and orders of the Hon''ble Court, within the stipulated time-frame," Mr Reddy said.
Mehbooba Mufti, issues whip to its lone MP to vote against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Rajya Sabha
Amit Shah attacks Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury over Article 370:
Protest in assembly and parliament against Governor's unprecedented anti-state government, anti SC ST community role, says Trinamool Congress:
Trinamool MP gives adjournment notice in Lok Sabha over ''baton-charge against JNU students''
Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy has given adjournment motion notice in Lok Sabha over alleged "brutal lathicharge" on JNU students by Delhi Police.
The police resorted to baton-charge following a clash with protesting JNU students, who were marching towards Rashtrapati Bhawan on Monday.
The students were marching from JNU campus to Rashtrapati Bhawan seeking to meet President over fee hike issue.
Congress gives adjournment motion over killing of Unnao rape victim
The Congress gave an adjournment motion notice in the Lok Sabha over the brutal killing of Unnao rape victim.
The woman was set on fire by four men including the rape accused when she was on her way to the court outside her village in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao on December 5.
She sustained more than 90 per cent injuries and was rushed to a hospital. She died in Safdarjang Hospital in New Delhi.
Amit Shah speaks on scrapping of Article 370 in Lok Sabha amid chaos
"Not one bullet fired since the scrapping. 99.5 per cent students have taken exams. Situation absolutely normal in Jammu and Kashmir." -- Amit Shah
BJD gives Zero Hour Notice in Rajya Sabha over ''alarming position of India in Global Hunger Index''
The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP Prasanna Acharya gave Zero Hour Notice in Rajya Sabha over an alarming position of India in 2019 Global Hunger Index.
In the 2019 Global Hunger Index (GHI), India ranked 102nd out of 117 qualifying countries. With a score of 30.3, India suffers from a level of hunger that is considered "serious".
The GHI is a tool designed to comprehensively measure hunger at the regional, national and global level.
Protests in Parliament Against Citizenship Bill