Rahul Gandhi to be voice of Manipur in Parliament next week? No trust motion to Delhi bill, crucial debates listed

Rahul Gandhi to be voice of Manipur in Parliament next week? No trust motion to Delhi bill, crucial debates listed

Rahul Gandhi to be voice of Manipur in Parliament next week? No trust motion to Delhi bill, crucial debates listed

The monsoon session of Parliament, which has been disrupted for 12 days due to the opposition's protests over the Manipur crisis, the Haryana violence and other issues, is expected to witness some crucial debates and legislative business in the coming week. Among them, the most anticipated ones are the participation of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in the discussions, the no-confidence motion against the government and the Delhi services bill.

Rahul Gandhi, who was disqualified as an MP in March 2023 after being convicted by a Gujarat court in a defamation case for the remark he made during an election campaign in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, has been granted a reprieve by the Supreme Court on Friday. The apex court suspended his conviction and sentence, paving the way for him to return as an MP and to run in next year's general election.

The Congress party has expressed hope that Rahul Gandhi's re-entry in Parliament will bring positive changes in the strife-torn state of Manipur, where violence erupted after the BJP-led government was toppled by a coalition of opposition parties led by former chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh. The Congress has accused the Centre of interfering in the state's affairs and imposing President's rule without consulting the Governor.

The Congress, along with other opposition parties, has also moved a no-confidence motion against the Modi government, which is likely to be taken up for discussion on August 8-10. The opposition has alleged that the government has failed to handle the Covid-19 pandemic, the economic crisis, the farmers' agitation, the border tensions with China and Pakistan, and the rising fuel prices. The government, however, has expressed confidence that it has the numbers to defeat the motion and has accused the opposition of disrupting the Parliament proceedings.

Another contentious issue that is likely to generate heated debate is the Delhi services bill, which seeks to replace an ordinance that gives more powers to the Lieutenant Governor (LG) over the elected government of Delhi. The bill, introduced by Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai in Lok Sabha on Tuesday, states that the LG's opinion shall be obtained before taking any executive action based on decisions taken by the Delhi cabinet or any individual minister. The bill also bars the Delhi Assembly or its committees from making rules to take up matters concerning day-to-day administration or conducting inquiries in relation to administrative decisions.

The bill has been opposed by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which rules Delhi, and other opposition parties, who have termed it as an assault on democracy and federalism. They have argued that the bill goes against the Supreme Court's verdict in 2018, which upheld the primacy of the elected government over the LG in matters of administration. The AAP has also launched a campaign to mobilise public opinion against the bill and has urged all non-BJP parties to oppose it.

However, some regional parties like Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) have decided to support the Centre on the Delhi bill, citing constitutional provisions and legal interpretations. They have also said that they will oppose the no-confidence motion moved by the opposition parties. BJD Rajya Sabha MP Sasmit Patra said that his party believes that Parliament has the power to make laws for Delhi as per Article 239AA of the Constitution and that there is no conflict between the Supreme Court judgement and the bill⁶. TDP leader Jayadev Galla said that his party will back the government on both issues as it does not want to create instability at a time when the country is facing multiple challenges.

With these developments, it remains to be seen how the Parliament will function in the next week and whether any consensus can be reached among different parties on these contentious issues. The monsoon session, which began on July 19, is scheduled to end on August 13.

Source

(1) India’s supreme court suspends Rahul Gandhi’s two-year defamation jail .... https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/aug/04/rahul-gandhi-wins-supreme-court-appeal-against-defamation-conviction.
(2) Rahul Gandhi’s re-entry in Parliament will bring positive changes in .... https://nenow.in/north-east-news/manipur/rahul-gandhi-re-entry-parliament-positive-changes-manipur-congress.html.
(7) ‘PM’s ideology set Manipur on fire’: Rahul Gandhi day after Smriti .... https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/rahul-gandhi-smriti-irani-congress-bjp-manipur-crisis-debate-2412551-2023-07-27.
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