Parliament is set for a stormy sitting on July 22 as Opposition parties plan to corner the Centre on host of issues, including reports related to deaths caused by shortage of oxygen during the COVID-19 pandemic's second wave, farmers’ protest, price rise and ‘Pegasus Project’ reports which allege phone data of at least 300 Indians having been compromised.
The Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were disrupted on the first two days of Monsoon Session on July 19 and July 20 by the Opposition members’ protest. While the Lok Sabha couldn’t do business on both days, Rajya Sabha members discussed COVID-19 management for four hours on July 20.
The session will resume on July 22 after a day’s break on account of Eid-ul-Azha.
Read | Monsoon Session of Parliament: Counter Congress' lies with truth, PM Modi tells BJP MPs as Opposition disrupts proceedings over 'Pegasus'
Congress' Rajya Sabha member KC Venugopal will move a privilege motion in the Upper House on COVID-19 deaths caused by reported shortage of oxygen.
The Opposition alleges that the Centre lied about the deaths that happened due to the lack of oxygen. The row erupted after the Centre informed Parliament that no deaths due to lack of oxygen in the second wave of COVID-9 were reported by states. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Sambit Patra defended the government saying that the Centre’s reply was based on the figures provided by states and Union Territories as health is a state subject.
The ‘Pegasus Project’ reports are likely to come up in Parliament on July 22. The Congress has already demanded a probe by a Joint Parliamentary Committee in the row that involves alleged compromise of phone data belonging to at least 300 Indians, including senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, two union ministers and election strategist Prashant Kishor, among others.
The government rejected in Lok Sabha allegations of snooping on politicians, journalists and others, using Pegasus software, and asserted that illegal surveillance was not possible with checks and balances in the country's laws. The Centre alleged that attempts were being made to malign the Indian democracy.
Union IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, who was reportedly one of the potential targets of 'Pegasus' snooping before joining the Union Cabinet, is expected to make a statement on the matter in the Rajya Sabha at 2 pm on July 22.
Also read: 'Aap chronology samajhiye': Amit Shah questions timing of Pegasus Project
The farmers’ protest is set to gain traction once again as the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) an umbrella body of protesting farm unions, has been allowed to stage a demonstration against the three farm reform laws at Delhi's Jantar Mantar from July 22.
The protesting farmers have said their demonstrations against the three agri laws passed by the central government will continue till August 13, if the Monsoon Session of Parliament is to end on that day. However, Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has only allowed the farmers to hold demonstrations there till August 9.Follow LIVE updates of the farmers' protest here