The Modi government and the Opposition appear set for a showdown in Parliament's monsoon session beginning Wednesday. The Congress is pushing for a no-confidence motion, while the BJP is likely to raise its president Rahul Gandhi's reported statement that his party "is for Muslims" to corner it.
Closing ranks, leaders of Opposition parties in the Lok Sabha, including the Congress, CPI(M), Samajwadi Party, NCP, IUML, CPI, RJD and some other parties, wrote to Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, accusing the BJP of denigrating rules and the Constitution which "lowered" the dignity of Parliament and the Chair.
However, politics aside, as far as the legislative business is concerned, the government's plate is more than full -- including the various GST amendment Bills, RTI amendment Bill and the DNA Technology Bill. Bills on women's reservation, instant triple talaq, and nikah halala will also be taken up in Parliament.
Currently, according to PRS Legislative Research, there are 68 Bills pending in Parliament. Of these, during the monsoon session, 25 Bills are listed for consideration and passage and three for withdrawal. Further, 18 new Bills are listed for introduction, consideration, and passage.
The session will have only 18 sittings spread over 24 days. It is being held between July 18 and August 10, 2018. Some speculate that this could even be the last session if elections are to be advanced.
Here's your full brief on what to expect from the monsoon session:
On the political front
1) The Monsoon Session could prove to be a washout, with both the government and the Opposition engaged in acrimonious exchanges in its run-up over a host of issues, including religious polarisation, lynching incidents, and banking scams.
2) Like the Budget Session before, the Monsoon Session will also see the government tackling the prospect of facing a no-trust vote:
- The Congress party on Tuesday said it will bring a no-confidence motion against the Modi government in the session and added that it is in talks with other opposition parties on the issue
- The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has already submitted a notice for no-trust motion
- On Monday, out of 17 opposition parties, 12 parties which were present in the opposition meeting agreed to move a vote of no-confidence against the government
3) However, another possibility could be that the no-confidence motions are rejected.
A number of opposition parties had given notices for no-confidence motion during the Budget Session, but Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan had rejected them all.
- Mob lynching
- Woman safety
- "Misrule" in Jammu and Kashmir
- Dilution of SC/ST Act
- Attempts to abolish reservation in autonomous institutions
- Farmers' issues
- Poor investments
- Special status to Andhra Pradesh
- Rising petrol and diesel prices
- Depreciation of rupee
- "Worsening" foreign policy
- Issues of black money and 50 per cent increase in Swiss Bank accounts
5) Allegations against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah might also come up during the session. Ahead of the session, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge accused the government of indulging in corruption during demonetisation. He alleged that there was a scam in the Ahmedabad District Co-operative bank accepting over Rs 7.5 billion -- highest among cooperative banks -- post the note ban announcement. Amit Shah is the director of the Ahmedabad District Co-operative, Kharge underlined.
6) The government may seek to corner the Congress on the issue of women empowerment. On Tuesday, the government urged the opposition party to provide women with a "new deal" of equality and adequate representation by joining hands to pass the Bills on women's reservation, instant triple talaq and nikah halala in Parliament.
7) BJP is unlikely to take the Opposition offensive lying down. The ruling party has been raising the pitch over Rahul Gandhi's reported remarks, which have been denied by the Congress, that his party is for Muslims. It has accused the Congress of Muslim appeasement and practising divisive politics.
Here's the legislative agenda
PRS Legislative Research has provided a full list of Bills that will be in play during the session:
Bills listed for consideration and passage
- The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018
- The Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2017
- The State Banks (Repeal and Amendment) Bill, 2017
- The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Second Amendment) Bill, 2017
- The National Council for Teacher Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017
- The National Sports University Bill, 2017
- The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013
- The Whistle Blowers Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2015
- The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017
- The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016
- The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2017
- The Specific Relief (Amendment) Bill, 2017
- The Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017
- The National Commission for Backward Classes (Repeal) Bill, 2017
- The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill, 2018
- The National Medical Commission Bill, 2017
- The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016
- The Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2017
- The Consumer Protection Bill, 2018
- The Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2016
- The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2017
- The Major Port Authorities Bill, 2016
- The Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property (Amendment) Bill, 2017
- The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment) Bill, 2017
- The Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Bill, 2017
Bills listed for introduction, consideration and passage
- The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2018
- The Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018
- The Central Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2018
- The Integrated Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2018
- The Union Territory Goods and Service Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2018
- The Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Amendment Bill, 2018
- The Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2018
- The Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2018
- The Criminal Law Amendment Bill, 2018
- The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2018
- The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018
- The Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2018
- The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2018
- The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2018
- The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (Amendment) Bill, 2018
- The National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities (Amendment) Bill, 2018
- The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2018
- The Dam Safety Bill, 2018
Bills listed for withdrawal
- The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (Amendment) Bill, 2015
- The Nalanda University (Amendment) Bill, 2013
- The Armed Forces Tribunal (Amendment) Bill, 2012