On day 1 of the Winter Session of the Parliament, Congress members forced the adjournment of proceedings in the Rajya Sabha by raising slogans protesting PM Narendra Modi's remarks at an election rally in Gujarat against his predecessor Manmohan Singh.
The House witnessed two adjournments in the morning of the first day of the Winter Session. While it saw an adjournment for 20 minutes till noon in the beginning after opposition uproar over disqualification of rebel JD-U leaders Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar Ansari, the second one was over the Prime Minister's remarks. The House was adjourned for the day at 3.25pm.
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The proceedings of the Lok Sabha on the first day of the Winter Session were adjourned after the House paid tributes to three sitting and seven former members who died during the inter-session period.
Before the start of the session, PM Narendra Modi hoped that the session will be a productive one with constructive debates and innovative suggestions that will help resolve the country's problems. "The Winter Session of Parliament is starting and I am confident that it will be a productive session. I hope there is good debate, constructive debate and we come up with innovative solutions to our nation's problems," the prime minister said.
The government is expected to table 25 pending bills and 14 new ones, including a bill providing Muslim women the right to seek maintenance in case of triple talaq, during the session.
Highlights of the day's proceedings:
3:10 pm: Both Houses adjourned for the day
03:28 pm: Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day
12:05 pm: Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till 2.30 pm.
12:02 pm: When the House reassembled after the first adjournment at noon, the Congress members also protested against Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks against his predecessor Manmohan Singh, after Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad raised the issue.
12:01 pm: Disruptions marred the first day of the Winter Session of the Rajya Sabha as a determined opposition stalled proceedings protesting the disqualification of former JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav and another MP of the same party and certain recent remarks of the prime minister.
11:40 am: Rajya Sabha adjourned till 12 noon following opposition uproar over disqualification of former JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav and other issues.
11:35 am: PM Modi introduces the newly inducted Cabinet ministers in Rajya Sabha.
11:20 am: Lok Sabha adjourned till 11 am of December 18 after paying tributes to three sitting and seven former members.
11:07 am: PM Modi welcomes newly-inducted ministers.
11:05 am: Making obituary references, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan informed members that three sitting Lok Sabha MPs -- Sultan Ahmed (TMC), Chand Nath (BJP) and Tasleem Uddin (RJD) had passed away recently.
11:04 am: Seven other former members -- Vikram Mahajan, Ram Singh, R Keishing, P C Barman, Dhanraj Singh, Amal Datta and Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi also died during the inter-session period. The House was also introduced to the new Secretary General, Snehlata Shrivastava, who took over on December 1. A former IAS officer, she is the first woman Secretary General of the Lok Sabha.
11:02 am: Before the proceedings began, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met leaders of various parties. When the Prime Minister entered the House, he greeted the members from the opposition benches with a 'namaste' and bowing his head.
11:01 am: Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan announces the names of parliamentarians who passed away during the inter-session period.
11:00 am: We are always in favour of constructive suggestion, we are very much interested to run Parliament and issues to be discussed, provided the government should take interest and create such an atmosphere which is conducive for discussion. They should respect the opposition, says Congress' Mallikarjun Kharge.
10:48 am: Generally winter starts with Diwali. But due to global warming winter has not come in full force. But winter session has started now and I hope that country would be benefited from fruitful 2017-2018 winter session in Parliament. I hope for positive and innovative arguments, says PM Modi.
10:30 am: Hope to see positive approach this Winter Session. Democracy will surely strengthen, says PM Modi before the start of the session.
10:00 am: PM Modi sought the opposition's cooperation for a constructive Winter Session of Parliament. Speaking at an all-party meeting on the session's eve, the prime minister again pitched for simultaneous polls for the Lok Sabha and state assemblies saying that holding elections once in five years will boost development.
09:52 am: Briefing reporters on PM Modi's remarks, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the prime minister appealed to leaders of all political parties to help build a consensus on the matter.
09:40 am: Friday, which is the first day of the session is likely to see no transaction of business at least in the Lok Sabha which is likely to adjourn till Monday after paying tributes to sitting members who passed away in the inter-session period. After the weekend break, the two Houses will meet again on Monday when the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh poll results will be announced.
09:32 am: The Gujarat poll results are keenly awaited as both the ruling BJP and the Congress have run a long and intensive campaign with their star campaigners, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi respectively, leading from the front.
09:30 am: A respectable show by the Congress will energise opposition ranks and embolden it in its fight against the BJP, which may be left dispirited by a poor show in Modi's and its chief Amit Shah's home turf.
09:21 am: However, a favourable outcome for the BJP will blunt whatever strategy its rival may plan against it in Parliament and encourage the saffron party to turn the heat on the Congress and other Opposition parties.
09:19 am: Delayed by almost a month due to the polls, this session will have fewer sittings than the usual - it has 14 work days compared to 21 in the last winter session- but the government is hopeful of pushing its legislative agenda in the short time.
09:17 am: According to a list compiled by think-tank PRS Legislative Research, some of the bills listed for consideration and passage at the session include Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016, Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013 and Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016.
09:16 am: The surrogacy bill prohibits commercial surrogacy and allows its altruistic form. It also specifies criteria for the intending couple and a surrogate mother, the think-tank said. Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013 proposes to make giving bribe an offence and modifies the definition of 'taking a bribe' and requires prior sanction to investigate officials, it said.
09:13 am: The transgender bill, on the other hand, defines a transgender person, prohibits discrimination against them and prescribes penalties for certain offences.
09:10 am: The new bills listed for introduction and passage include Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2017, Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriages) Bill, 2017 and Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States_Amendment Bill), 2017.
09:07 am: The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriages) Bill gives women from the community the right to seek maintenance from their husbands in case of triple talaq, while the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2017 prohibits certain persons, including promoters of defaulter companies, from submitting a resolution plan, the PRS added.