The Week In Parliament

The Nation on Tuesday celebrated 26th of November as the Constitution Day to mark the adoption of the Indian Constitution by the Constituent Assembly on this day in 1949. The Constitution came into force on 26th January, 1950, marking the beginning of a new era in the history of the Indian Republic. As a part of the celebrations, a joint sitting of both the Houses was held in the Central Hall of Parliament. Addressing the joint sitting President Ram Nath Kovind said the rights and duties are two sides of the same coin and asked the citizens to be conscious of their duties. He said, the people need to perform their duties and thereby create circumstances which would ensure effective protection of their rights. He released a volume on the Role of Rajya Sabha in Indian Parliamentary Democracy, a commemorative coin and stamp marking the 250th session of the Rajya Sabha. He also inaugurated a digital exhibition. Prime Minister Narendra Modi invoked the aspirations of the Chief Architect of the Constitution Dr. B R Ambedkar. He described the Constitution as a sacred book and a guiding light. He referred to the strength and inclusivity of the Constitution saying that it highlights both rights and duties of citizens, which is its special aspect. Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, who is also Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, said, in the last 70 years, the country has not only adhered to its democratic constitution but has also made tremendous progress in breathing life into the Constitution and deepening the democratic ethos.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar informed the Lok Sabha on Wednesday that India has thwarted Pakistan’s attempts to present an alarmist situation in the region in the wake of reorganization of Jammu and Kashmir. He said Islamabad repeatedly resorted to false and malicious propaganda against India on Jammu and Kashmir issue at international fora like the United Nations, Human Rights Council and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

The Minister said, however, New Delhi has completely foiled in entirety all attempts by Islamabad. He said countries have asked Pakistan to not allow its territory to be used for terrorism in any way.

Minister of State for Home Affairs G. Kishan Reddy told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday that efforts were afoot by Pakistan based terror outfits to reactive the Balakot facility, which was hit in airstrikes by Indian Air Force in February this year. He said attempts are being made by terror outfits to reactivate its camp at Balakot and to restart the jihadi activities against India.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday said, country’s economy is not facing any recession and the government is taking concrete steps to further boost it. Replying to a short duration discussion in the Rajya Sabha on the economic situation of the country, she said, several measures have been taken to augment the economy.

Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan informed the Rajya Sabha on Thursday that a group of 27 Members of European Parliament (MEPs), who belonged to different political parties, paid a visit to India from 28th of October to 1st of November 2019, at the invitation of International Institute for Nonaligned Studies, a Delhi based think tank. They had expressed a desire to visit Kashmir to understand how terrorism is affecting India. Meetings were therefore facilitated for MEPs as has been done previously on some visits by foreign dignitaries. The Minister said, during the visit, the MEPs got a sense of how terrorism poses a threat to India especially in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. He said such exchanges are consistent with India’s Foreign Policy objectives in promoting deeper people-to- people contact and ultimately help promote the larger relationship that New Delhi pursues with other countries.

Script: V. Mohan Rao, Journalist