LIVE Updates: Monsoon Session of Parliament | A general view of Parliament
The Parliament proceedings are likely to be disrupted in both Houses on August 2 as the Monsoon Session reconvenes for the third week today amid protests by Opposition leaders over Pegasus Project report and farm reform laws, among other issues.
Opposition parties are likely to register their protest on the Pegasus issue by holding a parallel session outside, a report in Times of India said.
A proposal to this effect was mooted during a meeting of 14 opposition parties last week, the report said.
“The Speaker is not allowing opposition protests and dissent inside Parliament to be shown and government stubbornly refers to Pegasus as a non-issue. There’s a view that opposition parties should jointly hold a parallel Parliament session outside,” Revolutionary Socialist Party MP NK Premachandran said.
Sources said leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Malikarjun Kharge had conveyed to Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi and leader of the House in Rajya Sabha Piyush Goyal that the government outreach should be addressed jointly to the 14 opposition leaders demanding a discussion on Pegasus row.
On August 2, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is scheduled to move The Tribunals Reforms Bill, 2021 which seeks to abolish tribunals or authorities under various laws by amending various statutes to streamline the justice delivery system. In Rajya Sabha, The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2021 is scheduled to be introduced while The Inland Vessels Bill, 2021 will be moved for being considered and passing.
Sources said that, with little urgent legislative business pending, the government may wind up the Monsoon Session earlier than its designated date of August 13. The Congress has alleged that the government was trying to find an excuse to curtail the session after 'obstructing' its functioning by not agreeing to a discussion on the Pegasus Project row.
Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have failed to transact any significant business, except passage of some bills due to the continued protests. The Parliament could function for just 18 hours out of possible 107 hours since the beginning leading to the loss of taxpayers’ money amounting to more than Rs 133 crore as the opposition disrupted the business of both the Houses, reports said last week citing an official notification.
Since Parliament convened on July 19, the Opposition has been demanding a discussion and an independent inquiry led by a Supreme Court judge - serving or retired - into reports that an Israeli spyware was used to hack phones of opposition leaders, judges, activists, journalists and ministers.
The government has dismissed these demands, saying a statement read out in Parliament by IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnav was sufficient. The BJP has termed the Pegasus snooping allegations a "non-issue".
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacked the Congress, accusing it of not allowing the monsoon session of Parliament to function, and asked BJP MPs to expose the party before the public and the media.