Enactment of key legislations like strengthening of anti-rape laws, land
acquisition bill and Lokpal bill is likely to be delayed with some Opposition
parties objecting to the present form of the proposed measures.
Some parties were opposed to these measures in their present form and were
pressing for amendments, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath told
reporters ahead of the Budget Session of Parliament beginning Thursday.
On the Criminal Laws Amendment Ordinance, promulgated by the government to
strengthen anti-rape laws in the wake of the Delhi gangrape incident, some
political parties insisted it should go through a standing or a select
committee, he said.
Nath said there were also differences on the Lokpal bill despite the measure
going through a standing committee and a select committee with some political
parties opposing it today and wanted it to go through some more scrutiny.
There were also differences over the Food Security Bill, the Land Acquisition,
Relief and Rehabilitation Bill, the Women's Reservation Bill and the bill to
provide reservation in promotion for SC/STs, he said.
"Political parties are not a homogeneous lot. Concerns of one party may be
a red rag for other parties," Nath said urging all parties not to scuttle
or obstruct Parliament.
To questions on whether government wanted some of these measures to go the
standing committee after having been scrutinised by another committee, his
refrain was government would have to go by the sense of the House.
"All parties have their views and this is the essence of their views...
Normally, it does not go (again) to such committees. We do not think it
necessary to go to Standing Committee.. We have to go by the sense of the
House," he said.
Nath, an MP for over 30 years, gave an ambivalent answer to a specific question
whether he was confident that Women's Reservation bill and Lokpal bill would be
passed during the tenure of the 15th Lok Sabha. Parliamentary polls are still 15
The argument of some parties was that if measures like criminal law amendment
ordinance were passed hastily without giving much thought to the implications of
the provisions, it would create havoc. Similar was their reasoning with the
other key legislations including the land acquisition bill.
The criminal law amendment ordinance was promulgated by the government early
this month after a committee headed by Justice J S Verma made a slew of
recommendations for safety of women in the wake of the outrage over the Delhi
Significantly, the meeting of Chief Whips saw representatives of smaller parties
asking the government to take up only those measures on priority basis on which
there was a consensus between the Congress and the BJP. Their contention was
that only such measures could be passed which have the backing of the two major
The three-month-long session beginning from Thursday with President Pranab
Mukherjee's Address, will have 34 sittings.
The session has a heavy legislative agenda, including getting Parliament nod to
three ordinances, introduction of as many as 16 bills, consideration and passage
of 35 bills.
These include the national food security bill, the criminal law amendment bill,
reservation for SC/STs in promotion bill and a bill aimed at prevention and
prohibition of sexual harassment of women at workplace. Besides, 13 items
related to financial business, including discussions on General and Railway
budgets, and budget for Jharkhand which is under President's Rule.
Nath appealed to all political parties to ensure smooth conduct of Parliament
saying that members come to the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha to participate in
discussion and not to scuttle and obstruct the proceedings. "Government is
not in any way hesitant to discuss anything."
Besides discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the President for his Address,
Parliament will also take up a discussion on the Statutory Resolution seeking
approval of imposition of President's rule in Jharkhand.
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