The government on Wednesday listed a special discussion on Parliament’s journey of 75 years starting from the Samvidhan Sabha on the first day of the five-day session of Parliament beginning September 18.
During the session, the government has also listed the bill on the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and other election commissioners to be taken up for consideration and passage. The bill was introduced in Rajya Sabha during the last Monsoon session.
“Discussion on ‘Parliamentary Journey of 75 years starting from Samvidhan Sabha – Achievements, Experiences, Memories and Learnings'” will be held on September 18 besides other formal business like laying of papers.”
The session is likely to see the proceedings of Parliament moving from the old building to the new Parliament building.
The other listed business for Lok Sabha includes ‘The Advocates (Amendment) Bill, 2023’ and ‘The Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill, 2023’, already passed by Rajya Sabha on 3 August 2023.
Besides, ‘The Post Office Bill, 2023’ has also been listed in the Lok Sabha business, according to an official bulletin. The bill was earlier introduced in Rajya Sabha on 10 August 2023.
The list of business is tentative and more items can be added.
The government has also convened a meeting of the floor leaders of all political parties on September 17, a day before the start of the five-day session, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said.
The invitation for the meeting has been sent to all leaders concerned through e-mail, Joshi posted on social media platform X.
On August 31, Joshi had announced a “special session” of Parliament for five days from September 18 but did not spell out any specific agenda for it.
“Amid Amrit Kaal, looking forward to having fruitful discussions and debate in Parliament,” Joshi had posted on X.
Sharing the agenda for the special Parliament session on X, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said it “is much ado about nothing” and all this could have waited till the Winter session in November, but added that the government could be having “legislative grenades” up its sleeves.
“Finally, after pressure from Smt. Sonia Gandhi’s letter to the Prime Minister, the Modi Govt has condescended to announce the agenda for the special 5-day session of Parliament beginning September 18th,” he said.
“The agenda as published at the moment, is much ado about nothing – all this could have waited till Winter session in November.
“I am sure the legislative grenades are being kept up their sleeves to be unleashed at the last moment as usual. Parde ke peeche kuch aur hai! (there is more behind the curtains),” he said on the agenda.
“Regardless, the INDIA parties will steadfastly oppose the insidious CEC Bill,” Ramesh also said.
Former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi when no agenda was listed for the session.
Ramesh also earlier in the day listed several previous special Parliament sessions and said each time the agenda was listed in advance.
The government had in the last session tabled in Rajya Sabha the contentious Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill that seeks to replace the Chief Justice of India with a cabinet minister in the panel for selection of the chief election commissioner and election commissioners.
The move will allow the government to have more control over the appointments of members of the poll panel.
The Bill was moved by the Law Minister amid an uproar by the opposition parties, including the Congress, Trinamool, AAP and the Left, that accused the government of “diluting and overturning” a Supreme Court Constitution bench order.
The Supreme Court in March ruled that a three-member panel, headed by the prime minister and comprising the leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India, will select the CEC and ECs till a law is framed by Parliament on the appointment of these commissioners.
The prime minister-led panel for the selection of the chief election commissioner and election commissioners will have the power to consider even those not short-listed by the cabinet secretary-led Search Committee, according to a bill introduced in Parliament.
According to Section 6 of the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, a Search Committee headed by the cabinet secretary and comprising two other members not below the rank of secretary, having knowledge and experience in matters relating to elections, shall prepare a panel of five persons for consideration of the Selection Committee for appointment as the CEC and ECs.
According to Section 8 (2) of the proposed law, the Selection Committee may also consider any other person than those included in the panel by the Search Committee.
Section 7 (1) of the bill states that the CEC and ECs will be appointed by the president on the recommendation of a Selection Committee consisting of the prime minister, who will be the chairperson, the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha and a Union Cabinet Minister to be nominated by the prime minister as members.
Where the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha has not been recognised as such, the leader of the single largest party in opposition will be deemed to be the Leader of Opposition, the bill clarifies.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)