The Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 that seeks to link electoral rolls to Aadhaar number has been passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday, amidst continued protests from Opposition members. It is listed for consideration and passing in the list of Legislative Business for the Rajya Sabha. The Bill allows electoral registration officers to ask for Aadhaar numbers of applicants wanting to register as voters to establish the identity of the applicant. Law Minister Kiren Rijiju, however, clarified that linking of Aadhar to Electoral Photo Identity Card is voluntary.It also seeks to allow the officers to ask for the number from “persons already included in the electoral roll for the purposes of authentication of entries in electoral roll, and to identify registration of name of the same person in the electoral roll of more than one constituency or more than once in the same constituency”.On Tuesday, both the Houses started with continued protests from Opposition members. Lok Sabha, before being adjourned for the day, referred the Prohibition of Child Marriage Amendment Bill, which was introduced in the Lower House by Union Minister Smriti Irani. Here are the latest updates:Rajya Sabha | 3.10 p.m V. Sivadasan (CPI-M) moves an amendment to send the Bill to Select Committee, Deputy Chairman says it is negative. TMC MP Derek O Brien accuses the Chair of “doing the same thing you did on farmers bill”. Opposition members stage a walkout. Rajya Sabha | 3.05 p.m Opposition members, many of them assembled in the Well of the House, move motion to send the bill to Select Committee. Deputy Chairman asks the MPs to “go back to your seat, there is no tradition to seek division of votes while protesting in the well.”Leader of the Opposition, Mallikarjun Kharge says, “you announce, division, members will go back to their seats.” “Let the country see, you do not want division,” the Chair responds. Another amendment moved by Opposition is negated. Rajya Sabha | 3 p.m
Opposition to Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 baseless: Law Minister Rijiju
“Your opposition has no basis,” the Law Minister tells members opposing the Bill to link Voter ID card with Aadhar database. “Election Commission and Union Government met on several occasions,” Mr. Rijiju says, adding, “multiple entry was EC’s concern and there was no mechanism to address this issue.” “Election process can only be cleansed if the voters list is clean,” he says.”Only those who use bogus voters list, will oppose this Bill,” the Law Minister accuses, adding, “this Bill will remove duplicate entry.” “New and genuine voters will never forgive you,” Mr. Rijiju tells Opposition members, who continue sloganeering in protest of suspension of 12 MPs.On Opposition raising the Putthuswamy judgement, he clarifies, “the Supreme Court said there should be an existence of law, so we have brought this law. “SC said Aadhar should be used for identity and electoral database will be with EC, will not be in public domain,” he adds. “Parliamentary Standing Committee recommended to link Aadhar with electoral roll,” the Law Minister says. “Country has understood how necessary this electoral reform Bill is. it is a revolutionary bill,” he says.Rajya Sabha | 2.55 p.mLaw Minister Kiren Rijiju speaks in the Upper House now. He starts with thanking members who hape supported the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021. “Any Indian above 18 years can get their name included in voters list. There was a lacunae if you don’t register by January 1, then many were excluded. The youth will get four occasions in a year to register themselves with the EC,” the Law Minister says. Rajys Sabha | 2.50 p.m.JD(U) MP Ram Nath Thakur says “this bill should be passed”. BJD MP Sujeet Kumar too supports the Bill, but also raises “some concerns”. “Section 23 of the Bill will allow linking of Voter card with Aadhar data base. There is a likelihood of misuse of this clause, we support the intent of the Government, but we’re concerned that this might lead to disenfranchisement of voters,” the BJD MP says, as Opposition members continue to raise slogans. “If it is misused, it might lead to targeted political advertisement, can also compromise individual’s privacy. No clarity if it will pass the judicial scrutiny,” Mr. Kumar adds. “If the data is made available to one political party, should also be made available to other political parties,” the BJD MP adds.V. Sivadasan of CPI-M says, “to protect the right of the democracy, you should give voting rights to everybody, call the 12 (suspended) members.”Rajya Sabha | 2.40 p.m.Speaking on the Bill to link Voter ID cards with Aadhar, AIADMK MP A. Navaneethakrishnan says, “the bill prevents bogus voting, double entry of voters , I welcome this Bill, it is in the right direction.” SP MP Ram Gopal Yadav argues, “poor people who will not have Aadhar will be excluded, I oppose this bill. They are passing the bill on a day when 12 members have been suspended.”Congress MP Ami Yagnik also opposes the bill, saying, “it is a violation of the right of privacy granted by Constitution of India, will disenfranchise many voters, will be disadvantageous.”Lok Sabha | 2.32 p.m.
Irani asks Chair to refer Prohibition of Child Marriage Amendment Bill to Standing Committee
Smriti Irani, giving data, says that 20 lakh marriages of under age women have been prevented. Ms Irani said the voices that emerged make it clear that there should be equality for marriage. She asks the Chair to refer the bill to the Standing Committee. Arjun Ram Meghwal says that the Bills to amend the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949, the Cost and Works Accountants Act, 1959 and the Company Secretaries Act, 1980, should also be referred to Standing Committee. Lok Sabha adjourned for the day. Rajya Sabha | 2.30 p.m.Speaking on the Election (Amendment) Bill, Sushil Modi of BJP says, “Opposition members who were part of the standing committee that recommended linking voter i card with Aadhar had supported this.””In Bengal, TMC won because of bogus voters list, if voter card is linked to Aadhar, then lakhs of bogus names will be deleted , they fear this. They are opposing this to save their vote bank,” the BJP MP alleged. Lok Sabha | 2.25 p.m.
‘Consult stake holders before bringing the Bill’
Supriya Sule of NCP and K Kanimozhi (DMK) opposes the manner the bill has been introduced. Both of them argue for stake holder consultations and feedback from civil society.”The Bill needs to be scrutinized, I condemn the way this Government brings all the Bills,” Supriya Sule adds. Responding, Smriti Irani says, “we are 75 years late in a democracy to give equal rights to enter into matrimony.” “To say that rural women can’t exercise their right is an insult to them,” the Union Minister adds.Lok Sabha | 2.15 p.m.
Prohibition of the Child Marriage Amendment Bill moved for introduction
Union minister Smriti Irani moves the Prohibition of the Child Marriage Amendment Bill for introduction. She says it’s a step towards gender equality and empowerment.Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury opposes and asks the bill to be sent to a standing committee, says stake holders have not been consulted.Saugata Roy of Trinamool Congress and AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi oppose the Bill. Asaduddin Owaisi of AIMIM says an 18-year-old can vote and elect a Prime Minister, have sexual relations under POCSO Act but can’t marry. What message are we sendingE.T. Mohammed Basheer of Indian Union Muslim League, says it is an attack on personal law. Lok Sabha | 2.10 p.m.Opposition members continue to raise slogans. Some of the members have also assembled at the Well of the House, raising slogans and holding placards.
Opposition members raise slogans and hold placards at the Well of the Lower House. Videograb: Lok Sabha TV
Rajya Sabha | 2 p.m.
Rajya Sabha resumes
Rajya Sabha too resumes amidst protests by Opposition members. “This is not the agenda,” the Chair says, but the Opposition members continue to raise the issue of suspension of 12 MPs. Amidst Opposition protests, Election laws amendment bill 2021 moved in Rajya Sabha.Lok Sabha | 2 p.m.
Lok Sabha resumes
Opposition MPs continue to demand the removal of MoS Home Ajay Mishra ‘Teni’. “We’re not against any individual, we’re with the farmers,” Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury starts. Lok Sabha | 11:50 am
Lok Sabha adjourned till 2.00 p.m.
The Lower House has been adjourned till 2.00 p.m. amid protests by the Opposition.Lok Sabha | 11:40 amQuestions concerning DDU-GKY scheme are being entertained in the Lower House.Rajya Sabha | 11:13 am
Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2.00 p.m.
The Upper House has been adjourned till 2.00 p.m. amid protests by the Opposition.Rajya Sabha | 11:12 amChairman informs the House that the Business Advisory Committee in its meeting yesterday has allotted three hours for government business which incldes the consideration and passing of Election Laws (Amendment) bill as passed by Lok Sabha. Following this announcement, Mallikarjun Kharge voiced his opposition, asking “Why we should accept it?”Chairman responded, “Don’t accept it. House accepts it”. Mr. Naidu was quick to adjourn the House.Rajya Sabha | 11:09 amMotions for election to the Tea Board and for election to committee on welfare of other backward classes are adopted.Lok Sabha | 11:05 amThe Lower House is entertaining questions concerning cultivation of spices.11:02 am
Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha resume
Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha resume their proceedings for the seventeenth day of the winter session.Papers are being laid on the table in Rajya Sabha. Question Hour begins in Lok Sabha.10:14 am
Legislative Business for December 21, 2021 is as follows:
Lok Sabha:1. The Chartered Accountants, the Cost and Works Accountants and the Company Secretaries (Amendment) Bill, 2021 for consideration and passing.Rajya Sabha:1. The Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 for consideration and passing.2. The Appropriation (No.5) Bill, 2021 for consideration and return. Date | Time
₹13,109 cr recovered from economic fugitives: Finance Minister
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday informed the Lok Sabha that banks have recovered ₹13,109.17 crore by selling the assets of fugitives like Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.The Minister’s comments came during her reply to a discussion on the second batch of Supplementary Demands for Grants which was passed by the Lok Sabha by a voice vote.The discussion on the Supplementary Demands for Grants, authorising the government to spend an additional ₹3.73 lakh crore during the current fiscal, concluded last week.
Government not allowing discussion on important issues in Parliament: Rahul
Accusing the government of not allowing a discussion on important issues, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday said the Union Government is responsible to run Parliament and not the Opposition.“They are attacking democracy. There is a non-stop attack on democracy and that is why we are fighting here,” Mr. Gandhi told reporters, adding that the Narendra Modi government was not allowing any debate on price rise, Ladakh, minimum support price (MSP) and Lakhimpur Kheri violence among other issues.Mr. Gandhi had given a notice for an adjournment motion to discuss the issue of the “statehood and inclusion of Ladakh in Schedule VI of Consitution”.However, the issue couldn’t be taken up as the Lok Sabha witnessed multiple adjournments over the Opposition’s demand to sack Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra Teni because of his alleged involvement in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.
Day 16 recap
Lok Sabha passed the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 amidst unrelenting protests from the Opposition members. Both the Houses witnessed Opposition protests throughout the day on Monday. In the Lok Sabha, Opposition members called for discussions on various issues, including the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, in which Ashish Mishra, son of Minister of State for Home Affairs, Ajay Mishra ‘Teni’, is the prime accused.’The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2021′ was moved in the Rajya Sabha by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman amidst continued protests by Opposition MPs. And even as the Chair asked the members to speak on the subject, many Opposition MPs continued raising the matter of suspension of 12 of their colleagues as well as their demand of removal of Mr. Mishra.During the Question Hour in Lok Sabha, questions concerning Mid-Day Meal schemes, conservation of monuments, conservation of forests, social security benefits for gig and platform workers, and opportunities for overseas jobs for the youth of the country were entertained.