Rajya Sabha session extended by a day to take up key bills
08 January 2019
The government now seeks to bring a constitutional amendment bill in this regard in Lok Sabha on Tuesday and in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, for which the session has been extended, sources said
The government has extended the winter session of the Rajya Sabha by a day till 9 January to enable the government bring a constitutional amendment bill to facilitate job reservation for the poor among the upper castes, even as the government is scrambling to pass key bills, including the one on Triple Talaq and amendments to the Citizenship Act.
Government seeks to bring a constitutional amendment for 10 per cent reservations in Lok Sabha on Tuesday and in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, after the union cabinet on Monday cleared a 10 per cent job and education quota for "economically weaker" sections among the upper castes.
The ruling BJP government also plans to use the extra day to make a final push for the passage of the Citizenship Act amendment bill and the Triple Talaq bill.
But, with the opposition Congress arty vehemently opposing the government’s Rafale fighter jet deal and raising the issue all the time the two Houses of Parliament meet, any extension of the proceedings of the two houses are unlikely to show any desirable results.
Opposition parties, including the Congress, have opposed any extension as they do not want to give any leeway to the government to push new legislations, especially when it would help the BJP in the coming elections.
But, for the BJP, the issue of extension of the session, earlier scheduled to end on Tuesday, assumes significance in the wake of the cabinet’s decision to bring a bill reserving 10 per cent of government jobs and slots in educational institutions for the economically weaker sections (EWS) among the general category.
Passage of the bills is aimed at placating the upper caste vote bank of the BJP ahead of the general election, which the opposition would not allow.
Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu decided to extend the current session of the House for another day in consultations with senior ministers and others, in order to complete essential business.
The government made a similar proposal at the Business Advisory Committee meeting of the Lok Sabha on Monday afternoon. Parliamentary affairs minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that an extension of one or two days may be given as the NDA government wants to complete some pending business.
Congress, along with other Opposition parties such as the Trinamool and Left promptly rejected the proposal.
On Monday, the Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day amid ruckus by opposition members, soon after it met in the post-lunch sitting. Deputy chairman Harivansh adjourned the House for 15 minutes. As the House met again at 2.20 pm, the scene was no different. The chair then adjourned the House for the day.
The Lok Sabha was also adjourned till 2.30 pm following ruckus by the opposition. Members of Samajwadi Party and Congress protested over a CBI probe against Akhilesh Yadav on alleged illegal mining and the Rafale issue respectively.