Lok Sabha adjourns due to lack of quorum
New Delhi, June 28 (PTI): Within a fortnight of convening of the 17th Lok Sabha, the business of the House on Friday collapsed due to lack of quorum minutes before it was scheduled to end.
The issue of quorum was raised by AAP member Bhagwant Mann during a discussion on a private member resolution regarding water scarcity and Ken-Betwa river-linking project.
Mann raised the issue of quorum around 5:45 pm when Jagdambika Pal (BJP) was speaking on the resolution.
Raising the quorum issue, Mann said he was also objecting to absence of opposition members in the House and lesser numbers on the treasury benches.
The presence of at least 10 per cent of the total strength of House or about 55 members constitutes the quorum.
Rajendra Agrawal, who was in the Chair, halted the proceedings of the House and ordered ringing of the quorum bell.
Following this, some MPs came to the House but not in enough numbers to complete the quorum compelling the Chair to adjourn the House around 5 minutes ahead of the scheduled time of 6 pm.
The discussion on the resolution moved by Pushpendra Singh Chandel will continue next week.
Earlier participating in the discussion, Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma (BJP) said farmers of Bundelkhand are forced to leave farming and migrate to cities for work due to shortage of water.
Due to lack of irrigation facility, farmers are unable to do farming despite having their own land.
The government should also initiate steps for replenishing dams to overcome the problems of water scarcity and practise of ‘Anna Pratha’ in the region, he said.
‘Anna Pratha’ refers to the practice of farmers freeing their cows to graze in open fields in times of scarcity of water and fodder, he said.
Adhir Rajan Chowdhury (Cong) said the government should come out with a comprehensive plan to deal with water shortage which has aggravated in the last few decades.
He also suggested that the government think of an alternative to deal with the rising number of stray cattle destroying crops.
With regard to inter-linking of river, he said, intention is noble but difficult to implement as there are acrimony between states over the issue.
The government should find ways to deal with the differences among states over the issue and also examine ecological imbalance that it may create, he said.
LS gives nod for extension of President’s Rule in J&K
The Lok Sabha on Friday gave its nod for the extension of President’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir by six months from July 3 even as Union Home Minister Amit Shah asserted that the Centre was ready to hold Assembly polls in the state as and when the Election Commission (EC) decides.
Shah said that Assembly elections in the state, which is under President’ Rule since December last year following six months of Governor’s Rule since June 2018, were not held simultaneously along with the recent Lok Sabha polls because it was not possible to ensure security of all the candidates who were expected to participate in the democratic exercise.
“Whenever the Election Commission decides to hold elections in Jammu and Kashmir, polls will be held and the Centre will not intervene. Earlier, EC was controlled by the Congress, but we don’t do the same,” Shah said while addressing the Lok Sabha.
Replying to a debate on a statutory resolution moved by him to extend President’s Rule in J&K, Shah targeted the opposition Congress for questioning the government for not holding Assembly elections in the state in the past one year, saying the grand old party had removed elected government 93 times in the past.
He also attacked the Congress over Article 370, saying the provision which granted special status to J&K was still there only because of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of Independent India.
“Of all the princely states that were divided, Article 370 applies only to Jammu and Kashmir, which was being handled by Nehru while the rest were under Sardar (Vallabhbhai) Patel’s care,” Shah said, adding that Article 370 was a “temporary provision”.
Shah on Friday moved a statutory resolution in the Lok Sabha to extend President’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir for six more months with effect from July 3.
While tabling the resolution, Shah said that the Election Commission had agreed to postpone the Assembly elections and that these will be held after the upcoming Amarnath Yatra, saying “it is not possible to hold elections in Jammu and Kashmir now.”
After he moved the resolution, the Congress criticised the Narendra Modi-led government for not holding the elections in J&K.
Blaming Nehru for the situation in J&K, Shah said his government did not need lessons on democracy from the Congress, adding that all the elections that took place in J&K when the Congress was in power were a “joke” in the name of democracy.
“They are saying we are trampling democracy in the state. Before this, Article 356 (President’s Rule) has been imposed in the country 132 times, out of which 93 times Congress had done it,” Shah said, adding that they (BJP) “never used Article 356 for political gains”.
Digging into the past, Shah said: “In 1953, when Syama Prasad Mukherjee went to Kashmir protesting against the two Prime Ministers in a country rule, he was thrown in jail. His death was also not probed. Why? Was he not a senior opposition leader, a leader from Bengal, a former Union Minister,” Shah asked.
Blaming Nehru for the existence of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), Shah said, “Who called for ceasefire back then? It was Nehru who did it and gave that portion (PoK) to Pakistan. You say we don’t take people into confidence, but Nehru did it without taking the then Home Minister into confidence. Don’t teach us history.”
He also said that there was a time when there was no sign of India in Kashmir. “The State Bank of India signboard was seen with a cloth covering the word ‘India’.”
Accusing Pakistan of sponsoring terrorism in J&K, Shah said there was ‘zero tolerance’ towards terror in the state.
He also said that the Modi government had met all the needs of the security forces battling terrorism in J&K.
He also justified the withdrawal of official security to those who pursued anti-India politics.
“Why was the Jamaat-e-Islami never banned (in Kashmir)? Why the JKLF (Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front) was never banned?