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Day 3: After battle of placards Lok Sabha adjourned again

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New Delhi: The Lok Sabha was on Thursday virtually turned into an arena for placard battles between the Congress and the BJP, forcing Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to first adjourn the house till noon and later for the day. lok_sabha_india_hd_images_computer_background

The first two days of parliament’s monsoon session, which began on July 21, were also washed out due to several adjournments over the demand of the Congress and other opposition parties for the resignation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and two BJP chief ministers.

The tussle between the treasury and opposition benches over the opposition demand escalated on Thursday as well, as a Bharatiya Janata Party member moved a privilege motion against Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, over his comments in a Facebook post.

As soon as the house met after the adjournment till noon, parliamentarians from the Congress and other parties were up on their feet, demanding action from the government over their demand for the resignation of the BJP leaders.

Several Congress members moved near the Speaker’s podium, carrying placards targeted at Sushma Swaraj and raising questions over the “silence” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The BJP members too rose from their seats and moved into the aisle, carrying placards that targeted the Congress on corruption.

Congress members occupied the space close the Speaker’s podium and raised slogans. At one point, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy was seen seemingly telling Congress member Deepender Hooda to give some space to BJP members near the podium.

BJP members stayed put for a while in the aisle but went back to their seats after an indication from Home Minister Rajnath Singh. However, they continued to show placards.

In the ruckus, BJP’s Prahlad Joshi spoke on his privilege motion against Vadra though his voice was largely inaudible.

Papers were laid in the House amid din as the Speaker asked members not to show placards.

She said some members wanted to speak, but the din continued amid slogan-shouting by Congress members.

“If you do not want to run the House, I will adjourn it,” she said and adjourned the house for the day.

Later, Joshi said he had moved the privilege motion against Vadra.

“In his (Vadra’s) Facebook post, he has belittled the image of parliament. That’s why I have moved the privilege motion against him,” said Joshi, BJP parliamentarian from Dharwad in Karnataka.

Earlier, the House was adjourned till noon after the Congress-led opposition raised a ruckus over the Vyapam recruitment scam and the controversy over BJP leaders’ association with former Indian Premier League chief Lalit Modi.

Within 10 minutes of the commencement of the Lower House’s proceedings, several members from the opposition parties took out placards and raised slogans.

Amid the din, the Speaker adjourned the House till noon. BJP member Arjun Ram Meghwal also spoke on his notice for a privilege motion.

The Congress and opposition parties are demanding the resignations of Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje over their alleged help to Lalit Modi, who is facing an Enforcement Directorate investigation.

They are demanding the resignation of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over the Vyapam scam.

(IANS)

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Congress To Use Tribal Card to Regain Power in the Country

Congress to use tribal card to improve countrywide position

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Congress Chhattisgarh
Congress will be using the tribal card to regain dominance and their plan of action will begin from Chhattisgarh. Wikimedia Commons

BY SANDEEP PAURANIK

In order to regain dominance in the country, the Congress is mulling using the tribal card. This plan of action is to be first implemented in Chhattisgarh.

Riding on the success of the Assembly and urban body elections, the Congress feels that it can increase it base through tribals as they constitute 8 per cent of the total population.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the first three Assembly elections in the state, after its formation in 2000, recorded huge victories and came to power. But after the Assembly elections held last year, the scenario changed. After registering a victory in the Assembly elections and then in the urban body polls, the Congress showed that it still dominates the tribal areas.

Rahul Gandhi Congress
Former President of Congress Rahul Gandhi gave an important message while innaugrating the National Tribal Dance Festival in Raipur. Wikimedia Commons

The Congress gave the responsibility of the tribal areas to the tribal leader of Madhya Pradesh Umang Singhar which eventually helped the party. Now, the party is planning to spread out nationwide through Chhattisgarh.

Former party president Rahul Gandhi, while inaugurating the National Tribal Dance Festival in Raipur, gave a message to the tribals who are here to participate in the festival that the Chhattisgarh government is working for all the sections and this is the reason why there has been a downward trend in naxal attacks and the state economy has also improved.

The Congress is planning to publicise the improvements in Chhattisgarh throughout the country because the tribal population in the state is 32 per cent.

BJP media panellist Sandeep Sharma, however, claims that the party’s base has not shrunk. He said till Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh were not divided, the Congress was strong in the area but in the elections held after three years of the bifurcation, the BJP won the Assembly elections and was in power for 15 years. Though we faced defeat in the 2018 elections, the only reason was that people wanted a change but they were not angry with the BJP, he claimed.

The BJP won in the Lok Sabha elections and the margin in the urban body elections was also not much. So, it would be inappropriate to say that the BJP’s base has shrunk, he said adding that in one year the Congress’ base has declined by 9 per cent whereas in Assembly elections it got 12 per cent more votes and in urban body elections the margin was 3 per cent.

Congress
The Congress is planning to publicise the improvements in Chhattisgarh throughout the country. Wikimedia Commons

Analysing the political landscape of the state, political analyst Rudra Awasthi said, “When it was Madhya Pradesh then the Congress had stronghold in Chhattisgarh. Several big leaders were also from the state but after the formation of Chhattisgarh since Ajit Jogi was accused of being a fake tribal the Congress lost its stronghold over the tribals. Though it continued to dominate in some of the areas which helped it in regaining the power.

“As of now, the Congress has started including the tribals with the backward class. First Bhupesh Baghel was the state chief of the party and he was replaced by Mohan Markam as he became the Chief Minister. During the Assembly elections, the Congress talked about the identity of the tribals which helped the party. After winning the elections, the decisions of the Congress government were in favour of the tribals which helped the party in the urban body elections,” said Awasthi.

Also Read- Unity in Diversity is the Strength of the Country: Rahul Gandhi

The Congress is mulling over spreading its message to the tribals across the country through the three-day festival going on here. For this several senior leaders of the party will attend the festival and share the government’s schemes while giving the message that the Congress government in the state has brought a positive and a significant change in the lives of the tribals. (IANS)

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Women Representation in Lok Sabha as Low as 12 Percent

None of the political parties could implement the promise and the number of women MPs was not even able to reach one-fourth members in the House.

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democracy
Since the beginning in 1952, there had been no female Speaker in the House until the 15th Lok Sabha. Pixabay

Slogans of various political parties about empowering Indian women in politics seem to have remained just lip service, if one goes by the statistics.

The case in point is that in the outgoing 16th Lok Sabha, there were only 66 women members out of the total House strength of 543, which makes it just 12 per cent.

This is the situation 67 years after the first general elections.

Had the long-pending legislative proposal to provide 33 per cent reservation for women in the Lok Sabha been passed, it could have ensured at least 179 female members in the Lower House of Parliament.

In the first Lok Sabha formed in 1952, there were 24 women. The number did not change in the second Lok Sabha formed in 1957.

The number increased when the third Lok Sabha (1962-67) was formed with 37 women, according to data available on the Lok Sabha website.

There was a decrease in the numbers in the fourth, fifth and sixth Lok Sabha where 33, 28 and 21 women were elected respectively.

The number again increased to 32 women in the seventh Lok Sabha (1980-84) and in the eighth (1984-89) with 45 women members being elected.

When the Lok Saha was elected in 1989 for the ninth time, the number of women dropped to 28.

Since then, there has been a minor but constant increase in the number of females.

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The number again increased to 32 women in the seventh Lok Sabha (1980-84) and in the eighth (1984-89) with 45 women members being elected. 
Pixabay

The 10th Lok Sabha (1991-96) had 42 female members and the 11th was one less.

The 12th had 44 female MPs, while the 13th and 14th saw equal numbers at 52 females of the total 543 members.

The 15th Lok Sabha (2009-14) saw a major increase: it touched 64 females — about 12 per cent of the total House strength.

The 16th – the outgoing – Lok Sabha had 66 female MPs, two more than the previous term.

Since the beginning in 1952, there had been no female Speaker in the House until the 15th Lok Sabha.

Congress’ Meira Kumar was elected unopposed as the first woman Speaker of Lok Sabha in 2009 and served till 2014. Then, Sumitra Mahajan of BJP became the second female to preside over the 16th Lok Sabha.

Congress on Friday promised to create one crore jobs across the southern state
The Congress made the pledge in its manifestos in 2019, 2014 and 2009. – wikimedia commons

The political parties have been promising 33 per cent reservation to females in legislatures a number of times.

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The Congress made the pledge in its manifestos in 2019, 2014 and 2009. The BJP too made the promise in 2014 and now. The Communist Party of India-Marxist also promised the reservation in its manifestos in 1999, 2009 and 2019.

But none of the political parties could implement the promise and the number of women MPs was not even able to reach one-fourth members in the House. (IANS)

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Google Doodle Focuses on Lok Sabha Polls in India

You can press NOTA, None of the Above, if you don't like any candidate; it's the last button on the EVM

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Google, Main One, russia
A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company's offices in Toronto. VOA

Google  on Thursday marked the beginning of the general elections in India with a doodle that featured an inked finger, which when clicked led users to a page explaining the voting procedure.

This doodle’s reach was only for India where the world’s largest democratic exercise kicked off earlier in the day.

The interactive doodle page contained information to help the first-time voters in the country.

People with their names in the voter list (also known as Electoral Roll) could only cast their vote, it said. Voters could also find information on polling booths, contesting candidates, election dates and timings, identity cards and Electronic Voting Machines (EVM).

Voting for the 543 Lok Sabha seats would be held in seven phases: April 11, April 18, April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19. Counting would take place on May 23.

Ninety-one Lok Sabha constituencies spread across 18 states and two Union Territories were voting in the first-phase on Thursday.

Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Uttarakhand, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Telangana will vote in a single phase.

Voting will also be held in parts of Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Manipur, Odisha, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

google
FILE – The Chinese flag is seen near the Google sign at the Google china headquarters in Beijing, China. VOA

The doodle explained the voting process at a polling booth and also gave several details:

*First polling official will check your name on the voter list and check your ID proof

*Second polling official will ink your finger, give you a slip and take your signature on a register (Form 17A)

*You will have to deposit the slip at the third polling official and show your inked finger and then proceed to the polling booth.

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*Record your vote by pressing the ballot button opposite the symbol of the candidate of your choice on the EVM; You will hear a beep sound

*Check the slip that appears in the transparent window of the VVPAT machine. The slip with the Candidate serial No., Name and Symbol shall be visible for 7 seconds before it drops in the sealed VVPAT box

*You can press NOTA, None of the Above, if you don’t like any candidate; it’s the last button on the EVM. (IANS)