|Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said the government would take India to new heights and sought cooperation from the opposition to move ahead with the idea of One Nation – One Election. He was replying to the debate in the Lok Sabha on the Motion of Thanks to President Ram Nath Kovind’s address to the Joint Sitting of both the Houses. He also appealed to the opposition to ensure the smooth functioning of Parliament. He said India should not lose any opportunity to move ahead to ensure its progress and prosperity. The Prime Minister expressed hope that both the government and the opposition together can deal with all the challenges facing the country. He gave a call for making a strong, safe and inclusive India. Touching upon various issues like corruption, farmers and employment, he asserted that there is no place for corruption in the country and his government will continue its fight against it. Referring to water crisis in the country, he said providing water to every household is the mantra of his government.
In Rajya Sabha, replying to the debate, Mr. Modi said electoral reforms are vital for the country and asked MPs to ponder over the idea of building a New India. He said the government is committed towards ensuring the Ease of Living for all its citizens and urged everyone to work towards creating a New India. He called for a collective endeavour to make India a five trillion dollar economy.
Mr Modi hit back at the opposition for mocking BJP’s New India concept including the proposal for holding simultaneous elections in the country. Taking a dig at Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad’s comment that he preferred a better Old India, the Prime Minister said the Congress party wants old India where Cabinet decisions were torn in press meets and Naval ships were used for personal trips. Mr. Modi defended the use of electronic voting machines and slammed the opposition for raising doubts over the machines.
The Lok Sabha, passed the Special Economic Zone Amendment Bill, 2019 that allows trusts and other entities to set up their units in SEZs. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad introduced the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The bill will replace an ordinance issued in March this year proposing stiff penalties for violation of norms. It also proposes to give children an option to exit from the biometric Identification programme on attaining the age of 18.
Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy introduced the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill 2019, which seeks to further amend the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004. It proposes to give reservation in educational
institutions and government jobs to people living within 10 kilometers of the International Border in Jammu.
Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan told a Member in the Lok Sabha in a written reply to a question that New Delhi has consistently raised the issue of cross border terrorism and placed high emphasis on international cooperation in combating the menace of terrorism including in bilateral, regional and international fora. He said, as a result of Government’s persistent efforts, there is enhanced concern in the international community at terrorism emanating from Pakistan, including the continuing activities of internationally designated terrorist entities and individuals. The Minister said countries have called upon Pakistan to not allow its territory to be used for terrorism in any manner. In the aftermath of the cross-border terror attack in Pulwama, UN Security Council condemned in the strongest terms, the heinous and cowardly act, he said.
Members in the Rajya Sabha, expressed grave concern over the water crisis in parts of the country. Replying to a Short Duration discussion, Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said all out efforts will be made to conserve underground water levels.
Script: V. Mohan Rao, Journalist