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    Hello and welcome to Business Standard Webchat. Today, Aditi Phadnis, Political Editor, Business Standard will answer your questions on what to expect in the monsoon session of the Parliament which starts tomorrow. This chat will start at 4 PM.

  • R


    Will the Land Bill discussion ensure that Parliament will be disrupted?


    Frankly, don't expect Land bill to come up at all... it will be disrupted before it can come up

  • T


    Do you expect a walkout by the opposition parties, like it has been happening in the last few years?


    It depends on the legislation... In the Rajya Sabha on GST, if the Congress walks out, the government CAN pass GST. I think the opposition will press an adjournment motion: which means all other business has to be put on hold and the opposition motion is given precedence. In that situation walkout will become irrelevant.

  • J


    Do you think the opposition is united enough to force a washout? And if they manage to force the govt into a corner, who is at a greater danger - Sushma Swaraj or Raje?


    The Opposition is exactly what it is - the opposition. It will swoop on any chance to embarrass the government. If they can force a washout, they will. As for who is in greater danger: well, if the PM if forced to change his foreign minister because the opposition so demands, well, he's not really a team leader, is he ? And Vasundhara Raje is the leader of the Legislature Party of the Rajasthan Vidhan Sabha. If the Vidhan Sabha wants it can force her out - certainly not the Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha...By that logic, no chief minister is safe...

  • V


    What's the political risk if the government decides to withdraw the land Bill?


    Zero. the Ordinance is already in place. All the government has to do is keep repromulgating the ordinance. In the mean time, the state governments can decide which bill they want to adopt - the central law, their own version of it of the 1894 law - which btw many state governments are already following.

  • A


    What is the most practical compromise formula that will allow some business to happen in the session?


    Really hard to say. There will be behind the scenes give and take - at the end of the day the opposition doesn't want to look like it is filibustering for the sake of it; and the government doesn't want to look as if it is drawing a veil over corruption, etc. I think Arun Jaitley will have to take off his Finance Minister hat and put on his arbitrator hat to concede on those issues which are fair while staying firm on those that aren't. That might break the ice.

  • R


    Will the Government come up with some legislation on transgenders considering that a private member bill was passed in last session?


    Good question ! Given that there was all round agreement on such legislation in the last session, you would expect the Congress and BJP to come together on at least this, right? but not sure if the hugging and kissing will happen in this session. The mood is not right.

  • J


    What kind of a mood is the opposition in today? Will they agree to any of the pending Bills?


    They might agree on something non-political, just so that they don't look obstructionist. But for the most part, in this session, I don't expect too much to happen. This is because the mood is that they need to confront the government - in Bihar. So the mood in Parliament is going to be a metaphor for the mood in the Bihar election.

  • N


    Has the government really made the land Bill a prestige issue as reported in some sections of the media?


    Yes, it is a prestige issue. What the government wanted was a uniform land bill to be adopted by all state governments. But this is impractical. States like Bihar where agricultural land is hard to acquire because the land is fertile and highly prized, would never have accepted this. In any case, Land Acquisition is on the concurrent list: which means state and central governments can have their own laws for land acquisition and if the law passed by the state has got the President of India's assent, then the centre cannot overrule it. So hypothetically, if a private industrialist wanted to buy land in a border state like Arunachal Pradesh, the President of India would never give his assent to a law that allowed him to do that. What I'm trying to say is, there are checks and balances in the system. So the centre's proposed changes were in any case, optional for state governments. As for itself, if it wants to build a national highway or a port, it has an ordinance in place that enables it to do that...

  • M


    Isn't there a limit to how many times the government can issue ordinances on the same bill?


    No there are no limits to the number of times an ordinance can be repromulgated. It doesn't look good, but it can be done any number of times.

  • R


    Is there any chance the opposition will get divided leading to the pending bills getting passed?


    Yes, there are good chances the opposition will get divided. It depends on what the government is offering and what the opposition wants. But the Congress, the Left parties and the AIADMK are unlikely to be divided. If the Congress abstains or walks out during GST voting, the bill can be passed because the total number of those present and voting will come down...