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Parliament not to take up AP Council Abolition Bill

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The Union Government is bringing nearly 45 bills to pass them in the present Budget Session of the Parliament. It is confirmed that the AP Council Abolition Bill is not found in this list. So, there will be no scope for abolishing the Council in the near future if the Jaganmohan Reddy government in AP duly followed the parliamentary procedures.

This gave rise to suspicions on whether AP Circar wants to Bypass the Parliament on the abolition issue. From the beginning, YCP MP Vijayasai Reddy and BJP strategist GVL Narasimha Rao were saying that the Centre and the Parliament have no role to play in the state capital shifting issue. Now, the Council abolition is also being clubbed with the 3 Capitals issue. Jagan is abolishing the Council because it is creating hurdles for the Capital shifting.

Recently, Vijayasai objected to even for taking up a discussion on Council abolition and 3 Capitals in the Parliament. Enough indications are given by the YCP government to get Council abolished by just informing the Centre. Already, the AP Assembly resolution on this was sent to the Union Cabinet which is right now super busy with budget approvals, etc.

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Video: Parliament Budget Session

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Triple Talaq bill passed by Parliament

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The Bill outlawing Triple Talaq was on Tuesday passed in the Rajya Sabha.

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019, was tabled in the upper house for debate and passage by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who said that though the practice had been banned in many Islamic countries, India had not done so despite being a secular nation.

The Bill, which criminalises the practice of instant divorce among the Muslim community, has already been passed by the Lok Sabha.

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Monsoon session productive for government as opposition raises pitch over NRC, Rafale deal

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The monsoon session of Parliament was productive for the government with 20 bills passed by Lok Sabha and 14 by the Rajya Sabha even as it witnessed clashes between the Opposition and the treasury benches on a range of issues including NRC and Rafale fighter jet deal.

The government could not get the triple talaq Bill passed in the Rajya Sabha even though the cabinet on Thursday approved some amendments to the Bill passed by the Lok Sabha. But it gave a significant push to its legislative agenda by getting several pending bills passed and introducing a few others.

The monsoon session began on July 18 and had 17 sittings.

The ruling National Democratic Alliance scored an emphatic victory over a combined opposition in the election to the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman even though it is short of a majority in the Upper House. The victory is expected to provide a psychological boost to the BJP-led alliance in an election year as opposition parties try to come together to oust it in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The session, which was a stark contrast with the nearly washed-out second part of Budget session, saw the first no-confidence motion against the Narendra Modi government.

The no-confidence motion was not taken up during the Budget session amid protests by members from Andhra Pradesh for a special package for the state.

The Lok Sabha worked 110 per cent of its scheduled time and passed 20 bills.

According to PRS Legislative, which tracks work of Parliament, it was the most productive monsoon session for Lok Sabha since 2000.

The PRS Legislative said that 20 bills were introduced during the session and 11 were passed.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi led the party’s attack on the government on the Rafale deal as he sought answers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The party repeatedly raised the issue in both Houses seeking a joint parliamentary committee inquiry.

The issue of National Register of Citizens in Assam, which has left out over 40 lakh people, figured in both Houses with Opposition accusing the government of its tardy implementation.

Trinamool Congress was at the forefront of the NRC protest and virtually prevented BJP president Amit Shah from speaking in the Upper House on issues concerning farmers.

Several significant legislations were passed during the session including that on granting constitutional status to National Commission of Backward Classes and on restoring the immediate arrest provision in the SC/ST Act.

Yet another Bill paved the way to enable the overseas electors to appoint proxies to cast their votes in the elections to Lok Sabha and state assemblies.

PRS Legislative said that Rajya Sabha worked for 66 per cent of it scheduled time, but data provided by the Upper House said its productivity was 74 per cent.

While Lok Sabha spent 50 per cent of its time on legislative business, the Rajya Sabha spent 48 per cent.

“It is the highest amount of time spent on legislative business by both Houses in the 16th Lok Sabha, second highest since 2004,” said PRS Legislative.

The Rajya Sabha discussed issues related to the misuse of social media to spread violence, and the “non-implementat”on” of the Andhra Pradesh Re-organization Act, 2014.

According to data provided by Lok Sabha, 21 bills were introduced and 20 were passed in the session that commenced on July 18 and had 17 sittings.

The Lok Sabha lost 8 hours and 26 minutes due to disruptions, but the members sat for 20 hours and 43 minutes beyond the scheduled time.

The Rajya Sabha lost 27 hours and 42 minutes and sat beyond scheduled time on four days gaining about three hours.

Members of both houses keenly raised issues concerning their constituencies in the election year.

Presiding officers of both Houses expressed their satisfaction at the significant improvement in the productivity compared to the previous session.

“I have several times laid stress on smooth conduct of the House which is essential to maintain the credibility of Parliament,” Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said in her valedictory remarks at the conclusion of session.

Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu said the sessi”n “brought new tidings marking a break from the last two sessions.”

Parliament is expected to now meet for the winter session, which may be the last full session of Parliament before general election due next year.

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Lord Sri Krishna appears in Parliament premises!

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Chittoor TDP MP Naramalli Sivaprasad once again amazed the national media, and state media, that has stationed itself outside the parliament. The MP who is famous for his unique attires was seen in the avatar of Lord Sri Krishna this time.

With a crown on his head and a flute in his hand, Sivaprasad expressed his protests in a unique manner.

The TDP MPs protested in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue in the Parliament premises. With the parliamentary budget sessions resuming from today, the TDP MPs continued their protests for ‘AP Special Category Status’ in both the houses of the parliament and outside the parliament.

They were seen holding placards and shouting slogans for AP Special Category Status. Speaking to the media, the TDP MPs said that, ‘It is time for the Centre to take an immediate decision. The Centre declare a timeline for fulfilling the commitments promised in the AP Reorganization Act 2014, and other benefits under Special Category Status. If they fail to meet our demands, the protests will be escalated to the next level.’

Despite the fact, the people of Telugu states are against the Centre, the BJP-led NDA government has continued to ignore the protests outside the parliament and in the state.

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MP Galla Jayadev’s terrific speech in Parliament: Full Text

MP Galla Jayadev’s terrific speech in Parliament

It’s been so long since some one gave a terrific speech in parliament on the issues of AP people. Yesterday, TDP MP Galla Jayadev put the arguments and concerns of Telugu people so eloquently yet cogently and that speech is attracting great appreciation from all the quarters. He spared no party, be it Congress, YSRCP or BJP. He left no bifurcation issue untouched in his speech. He spoke with full “data” instead of giving rhetoric. His full speech as below:

Sir, I do understand about trust an essential requirement for any partnership to continue. I also think that I can safely say that India has not seen her last days of coalition governments. What message do you want to send to your allies and potential allies mr. prime minister. Your allies are feeling neglected, betrayed and humiliated as are the five core people of Andhra Pradesh. We demand an explanation. In the budget there’s no mention of Amaravati, Polavaram, Railway zone, deficit budget, special package, not to mention the other commitments made in the AP Reorganization Act and the assurances made on the floor of the Raja Sabha by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ji, without which this bill would not have been passed and therefore should be considered sacrosanct.

Some of your party leaders are trying to convince you that some how your party can grow in Andhra Pradesh by breaking the promises and weakening the Telugu Desham party. Seasoned admirers of the Congress president convinced her as well in 2014 of an ill-advised strategy and paid a very dear price from being the strongest state unit in the country for the Congress, it went to zero out of 25 MPs and zero out of 175 MLAs where it’s likely to stay for a very long time. The Congress thought that, by betraying the people of Andhra Pradesh it would ensure a win in Telangana and the TRS would merge with it. The Congress also had expected, because of a secret deal between them and the YSRCP, they would win in AP and would also support them if not merge. The people of AP are no fools and the Congress was wiped out in both the states and YSRCP devious plans were understood by the people. Please don’t be of the opinion that the BJP will fare any better if it treads the wrong path.

The YSRCP is now again trying to fool the people of AP. They are praising the budget cozying up to the central government, shifting the blame from the central government and the BJP to the AP government and to the TDP. The people of AP are no fools. They know that the YSRCP needs to support whoever is in power in the centre in order to keep their leader out of jail. Today it may be you, tomorrow it may not. And what is the message you will send to the country by supporting the party whose founder and president is the poster boy of corruption in India. If you think that the YSRCP would make a better alliance partner in AP it would be a serious lapse of judgement and morality. There’s a saying sir you can fool some of the people all of the time, you can fool all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. And Let me assure you Mr. prime minister, the TDP and the people of Andhra Pradesh are certainly no fools. We demand an explanation.

Our CM has visited Delhi 29 times. He’s met the Prime Minister, finance minister, home minister multiple times and every concerned minister to get the promises and assurances fulfilled. He has submitted report after report. The latest report being here sir, you can see how detailed this report is. This is not the first report. So many reports have been given to every department. It’s a shame. It’s shameful for the government to still say they’re waiting for information or that they’re still examining the situation. Sir, there are 19 items just in the AP reorganisation act alone that are yet to be fulfilled. I’m not going to cover all of them. I’m only going to focus on five main items from that because of the paucity of time. But there are 19 items just in the reorganization act alone. These include, I won’t go into detail, but let me read them out. Special category state, bridging the resource gap, Polavaram project, formation of a railway zone, financial assistance to Amaravathi, establishment of Green field crude refinery and petro chemical complex, Institutes of national importance, formation of Dugarajapatnam port at Nellore, increase of seats in AP state assembly, anomalies in tax matters, steel plant in Cuddapah district , establishment of Vizag Chennai industrial corridor, Vishakhapatnam and Vijayawada Metro rapid rail and road connectivity to Amaravati, development assistant to backward districts, payment of power dues by Discom, appointment of schedule nine institutions, appointment of schedule ten institutions and the formation of the Greyhound training center. Just in the AP reorganisation act alone sir, not to mention other assurances made to us sir. Where’s the budget for fulfilling your promises and assurances? Where is it in the budget? how do you plan to do it?

Coming to the special package, I wish to remind the honorable finance minister, what he had said on 7 September 2016 while announcing the special financial package to the state of AP sir. He said the government of India will support AP to the hilt. Sir that was in September 2016. Nothing has been done since then . The government cannot take our patience for granted. Not allocating and not even mentioning about the special financial package to AP in this budget is injustice and is deceiving the people of Andhra Pradesh. Secondly, when the finance minister came to Amaravathi to lay the foundation stone for administrative city , the CM of AP requested for exemption of capital gains tax till the first sale of the developed land in the Capital Region. Sir, this falls in my parliamentary constituency. The F-M assured that he would consider this request sympathetically but the exemption has been given only for two years. So I request that it should be given for that until the first sale is made which we’ve made this request over and over again. But we want a confirmation sir . Thirdly, the house is aware that AP has been given the financial package due to immense loss that it has suffered after bifurcation. The house is also very well aware that the financial packages with different nomenclatures were announced to various states and regions earlier and we also know the fate of those announcements sir. So looking at the past experience the people of AP are very apprehensive that this financial package may also meet the same fate hence there have been numerous demands from various quarters and also from our CM for giving legislative backing to the entire financial package announced on September 6, 2016 and also to implement the package in a fixed time frame in view of the above. I demand the Finance Minister through this house to immediately released a financial package announced and also give legislative backing to the special financial package to legitimize the announcements made by the Finance Minister. I’m sure he would reply to this when he replies to the debate sir.

Coming to assurances given during bifurcation, the government of India promised to give equal amount that the special category status would get as a special package. So I don’t want to go into the special category status issue right now. Secondly, the PM (the then Prime minister) also had assured on the floor of Rajya Sabha , special development package would be given to seven backward districts of Rayalseema and north coastal Andhra and it will be on the lines of the Koraput, Kalahandi special plan in Odisha and the Bundelkhand special package in Madhya Pradesh and UP. But so far, the government of India has given just 1050 crores or 50 crores per district every year for three years, while the package given to KBK and Bundelkhand is 6000 crores, only 1050 crores is given to AP and even this 50 crores is stopping after this year sir. We want that package sir, not a pittance to our backward districts sir.

Coming to Polavaram, the government of AP has submitted a revised proposal of 54,000 crores as for the 2014-15 estimates. Out of this nearly 30 thousand crores are meant for compensation to be paid for land acquisition and R&R. So i only request the FM and PM to approve the revised estimates of Polavaram at the earliest sir. Sir, coming to the railway zone and also the Vizag and Vijayawada Metro, the Honorable Finance Ministry has announced allocation of 17,000 crore for the Bangalore Metro and approved 51,000 crores for the Mumbai suburban railway network but there’s no mention about the Metro in Vishakhapatnam or in Vijayawada. It is obvious that the FM’s announcement for Bangalore is because there’s assembly elections in karnataka and not in AP. How is it justified sir? does it not mean that you’re deviating from your own path of talking only a “Vikas” and there would not be any politics on developmental issues. Yesterday, the Honourable railway minister made a statement in the other house, in the Rajya Sabha, on the railway zone. He said and I quote – “changing the zone and the contours of any zone involves consultations with a lot of other states. After we finished the consultation with all the states, we’ll find out a viable method by which there is no dispute. This should have been done by now sir. Why are we hearing this up four years later? Why we still hearing this sir? You know this is not something that I expect from a senior leader like Mr.Piyush Goyal sir. This should have been done. This statement by the Honorable railway minister is understood by the people of AP as delaying tactics as a railway zone is part of the AP reorganization Act which this government is supposed to implement.

Sir, coming to our new capital of Amaravathi, section 94( 3) of the AP reorganization Act says the central government shall provide special financial support for the creation of essential facilities in the new capital of the successor state of Andhra Pradesh including Raj Bhavan, High Court, Government Secretariat, Legislative Assembly, Legislative Council and such other essential infrastructure. It is the “central government shall provide” Sir, not “may provide” but “shall provide”. Provisional estimates indicate requirement of 1.2 lakh crores for the construction of the new capital of Amaravathi but just for the essential infrastructure including the Raj Bhavan, Secretariat, High Court, Legislative Assembly, and Council, the land development is estimated to cost around 42,935 crores over the next five years. But in the last three years, you provided 500 crores in 2014-15, 550 crores in 2015-16, 450 crores in 2016-17. Nothing more has been given. 1000 crores of this has been given for specific projects in Vijayawada and Guntur underground drainage, not even for the capital city. So I request the finance minister to release at least 10,000 crores annually so that in the next four to five years, the 42,935 crores can be given to construct our Raj bhavan, Secretariat, High Court, assembly and the infrastructure around that. The Finance Minister made a statement in Raja Sabha and said that he has directed the expenditure secretary to sit with officials from AP and finalize about the deficit budget. Officials from AP have reached today and would be discussing with the expenditures secretary and others. So I will speak about this only after the out come of those meetings. But that is definitely an area of concern to us sir.

Sir, coming to the allocation to various institutions mandated to be set up in AP as per the AP reorganisation act, they are pittance sir in this budget. With such paltry allocations every year, it would take 10 to 30 years for these institutions to become a reality. Just to give an example of this, the announced setting up of AIIMS in Amaravathi in our new capital, which also happens to be my parliamentary constituency sir, the estimated cost is 1618 crores. But so far not even a single penny has been allocated this year. Some money given to AIIMS in various states , but there’s no specific mention about AIIMS in AP sir. May be again because elections are not coming up in AP. So, in the same way I have figures for every institution and allocations to other such as the Vizag steel plant, the Dredging Corporation of India, the Hindustan shipyard, the Vizag Port Trust where allocations are miniscule. The overall allocations made to AP comes to 1814 crores and it is no exaggeration when I say that the telugu movie BAHUBALI’ collections are more than the funds allocated to our states.

If the people of AP gave zero seats to the Congress for passing the AP reorganization Act, imagine what they would think about the BJP for not even fulfilling the minimum requirements contained in this act. We demand an explanation, failing which we have no option than to consider you are acting in bad faith . Let me repeat, we will have no option than to consider you acting in bad faith and will certainly have to reconsider why are we in this relationship. I’m sure you will understand, as will your other allies and potential allies within this very critical election year. This is your last chance to fulfill your promises and assurances and to maintain the Alliance Dharma which we have maintained till now very patiently. It gives us no joy to be in this position and to deliver this message to a friend in an ally but you have given us no other option and no other choice. It’s now or never . We still have belief and trust in the finance minister and prime minister but we demand a comprehensive explanation and let me remind you again, the people of AP are no fools.

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Jagan to stage dharna before parliament on Aug 10

YSR Congress will stage a dharna on August 10 at Jantar Mantar in Delhi to protest against the delay in according the Special category state status to Andhra Pradesh and to highlight the TDP Government’s indifference on the issue.

Party president and Opposition leader YS Jagan Mohan Reddy will lead the dharna  and a  march of party MPs, MLCs, MLAs, and other leaders, to the Parliament.

“Though our Party President YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has time and again brought the issue to the notice of the concerned authorities in Delhi there was no response and the State Government has been silent on the issue for reasons not known. Hence we have decided to hold a dharna in Delhi on August 10,” party leaders Pilli Subashchandra Bose and Jyothula Nehru announced  on Thursday.

The special status issue was raised by BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu, who wanted it to be extended to ten years and not five years, while the then Prime Minister Dr Man Mohan Singh has assured of special status. Our state can develop industrially and on other fronts only if the special status is accorded.

As the TDP government is not taking any initiative, we will pursue the matter by holding a dharna,” they said adding that perhaps Andhra Pradesh is the only State in the country which has no capital in its territory.

Earlier in the day, Jagan held a meeting with the party leaders and discussed the political developments in which the special status and the strategy for the ensuing assembly session were discussed, they said.

 

 

 

 

 

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TDP stages Dharna “Drama” in Parliament

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The problem of TDP in Parliament is that it is neither here nor there. Since the party is a partner in the Mody led NDA government it is not expected to shout like the Opposition in the parliament and rush into the well, at the same it can’t afford to remain silent when part-time politicians like Pavan Kalyan also started attacking it. This predicament of the party is making it butt of a joke even among the party MPs.

As if it is a reply to Pavan, who asked what were the TDP MPs doing parliament to get special status accorded to Andhra Pradesh, TDP MPs today staged a dharna demanding special category status to Andhra Pradesh.

The MPs led by Rajya Sabha MP CM Ramaesh demanded the implementation of all assurances given at the time of passage of Telangana Bill such as incentives to industries, grants to bridge the deficit created by loss of revenue of after bifurcation and granting the special category status .

Holding placards, the TDP MPs chanted slogans such as “grant of special category status” and “implement all promises made to successor state of Andhra Pradesh”.

The MPs finally ended up criticizing Congress for disrupting the house and  preventing TDP members from raising the special status issue in Parliament.

But, JC Diwakar Reddy cracked serous joke on the dharna.

The Ananatpur MP, who might have participated in a dharna probably for the first time in his political career, was not happy with party’s  perfunctory approach to these issues.

“This dharnas is staged perfunctorily,” he let the cat out of the bag.

” This dharna program has been taken up as a knee jerk reaction to Pavan Kalyan’s attacks. This won’t take you any where,” he revealed what is in his mind.

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TRS contributes to LS adjournment

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On the second of the Monsoon Session, today, parliament proceedings were disrupted by the opposition parties who demanded the resignation of Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivrajsingh Chouhan, Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhar Raje and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj for the connection with Lalit Modi and Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh.

TRS MPs also contributed to the din, albeit on different demand, which led to the adjournment of the House. TRS MPs displaying placards demanded setting up of separate High Court for the state of Telangana.

Congress members, including party president Sonia Gandhi, entered the Houses wearing black bands on their arms protesting the inaction from the government. They also rushed into the well of the House.

A warning from the Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan that she would invoke automatic suspension provision  against those who disrupt parliamentary proceedings by shouting slogans and showing placards, instead of pacifying, provoked the Opposition more. Angry MPs from Congress led by Jyotiraditya Scindia, rushed to the well. TRS, SP and RJD MPs followed suit.

Congress members carried placards with slogans  “Modiji, break silence and suspend Sushma” and “Bade Modi Meharban tho chote Modi pehalwan” etc. Neither Prime Minister Narendra Modi nor Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi were present at the times pandemonium. But, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj has watched the scenes in the house motionless sitting in the front row along with colleagues Rajnath Singh and Ravi Shankar Prasad. Amid the protest from the Opposition the proceedings in the Lok Sabha were adjourned for the day.

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TS should finance institution-building in AP

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Union Minister of State for Science and Technology YS Chowdary
said the Telangana State government should bear the cost of setting up of institutions in AP, which were taken over by it just because they were located in Hyderabad such as the institutes listed in Schedule IX and X of AP Reorganisation Act.

He said the TDP would press for appropriate amendments to the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, to resolve such issues which are contentious between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana States.

“Due to deficiency in the Reorganisation Act, lot of problems are arising in the implementation of the Act. We have decided to put pressure on the Centre to amend few sections of the Act so that there would be no conflict between the two States,” Chowdary said in New Delhi hours before the commencement of Monsoon session of Parliament.

The TDP has been under attack from Congress, YSRC and Left parties for its failure to get interests of Andhra Pradesh protected from Telangana which is using the geographical status of Hyderabad to lay ownership claim on the institutes like center for good governance, Dr MCR HRD Institute even though they are listed in Schedule 10 and 9.

Even though it is not clear as to how TDP exerts pressure on BJP led NDA government in which it is also partner, it is clear that the party is planning to make some noise to avoid from being shown in poor light.
“We, the TDP MPs, are  gearing up to raise the issues such as implementation of Section 8 in common capital Hyderabad, special category status, amendments to Reorganization Act and water sharing between AP and TS, in the monsoon session of Parliament beginning from Tuesday,” said another TDP MP Thota Narasimham.

Meanwhile, APCC chief N Raghuvira Reddy wrote an open letter to the MPs of TDP, BJP and YSRC, asking them to work in unison  to persuade Centre to give special category status to AP as promised in the Reorganisation Act.

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