New Delhi, Dec 9 (IECurrentAffairs) Stage is set for the month long winter session of Parliament beginning December 11, Tuesday. This is also being billed as the last full-fledged session under the Narendra Modi-led dispensation before next year’s general elections.
The session will continue till January 8 passing through Christmas and New Year’s eve festive season
amid indications that the BJP-led NDA would table several important draft legislations, including the high-voltage Triple Talaq Bill and the draft personal data protection Bill.
No clear indications have been given yet on how the ruling party proposes to deal with the much talked about Ram Temple issue at Ayodhya on the floor of both the Houses of Parliament.
BJP chief Amit Shah on Saturday told a function that “a grand Ram temple should be built immediately and without any delay”. At an event organised by the Dainik Jagran media group in the capital, he said Ram Temple has been a promise made in the party’s manifesto.
He also accused the Congress of trying to create hurdles in the path of temple construction and said there was no basis when Congress leader Kapil Sibal had petitioned the Supreme Court to postpone the hearing of the Ayodhya title suit till the 2019 polls were over.
The impact of elections results in five states – Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram – could also be felt during the session. An expected good show by Congress in BJP-ruled states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in Hindi heartland – will only intensify fight between Congress and the BJP-led NDA both inside Parliament and outside.
The possible good show by regional outfit Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) in Telangana and an enhanced vote share by Ajit Jogi-Mayawati combine in Chhattisgarh could again rekindle the clamour for a viable third front or a federal front of regional parties supported by the Leftists.
The prospects of washout in both the Houses due to ruckus on Ram Mandir and Enforcement Directorate raids on Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s brother-in-law Robert Vadra’s firm in Delhi too looked possible.
BJP’s floor managers would be wary of the game of one-upmanship by its oldest all Shiv Sena, which
has sought to steal all the thunder from the saffron party on Ram Temple plank. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray recently traveled to Ayodhya and sought to blame the BJP government for neglecting its commitment on the Temple.
There would be a few BJP hardliner members and a few possible ministers too who could rake up the Temple issue and join the frenzy sparked off by the Hindutva forces like the VHP.
Since early 1990s, the BJP has been promising about constructing a grand Ram Temple at Ayodhya. But in last four and half years – with absolute majority in Lok Sabha on its own and a majority for NDA in the Rajya Sabha – no substantial progress was made for the construction of temple, a section of party leaders said.
Vocal VHP leader Pravin Togadia, also a bitter critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has alleged BJP of betraying people’s trust on the Temple issue.
The Triple Talaq Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on December 28, 2017 but the draft law stands stalled in the Upper House with Congress and other opposition parties demanding amendments.
However, in September this year, the government had brought in an Ordinance making the Triple
The government had said there was a “compelling necessity” and an overpowering urgency to
come with the executive order as the issue of Triple Talaq had nothing to do with ‘religion’ but
it is linked to gender justice and gender equality. This Ordinance will now need to be ratified by Parliament.
BJP sources said the ordinance for disbanding the Medical Council of India is also on the list. Altogether about 40 bills are to be introduced in both the Houses of Parliament.
The Opposition parties including the Congress and TDP are expected to raise issues related to the working of the CBI and also Rafale aircraft deal.
Sources said the opening day on Tuesday will only see obituary references to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar who died during the inter session period.
Narendra Singh Tomar is now the new Parliamentary Affairs Minister.
“I don’t think there’s any reason to think that developments in states or elections are going to decide the agenda or the fate of a Parliament session,” Mr Tomar has said and hoped that Parliament will transact its business smoothly.
The executive meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Party will be held on Monday. NDA allies are also likely to meet in the afternoon.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mr Tomar has convened a customary meeting of all political parties also on Monday. The same day, both the presiding officers Rajya Sabha Chairman, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan have also called the meetings of all parties.