Parliament updates: Aadhaar without data protection law is sinister plan by this govt, says Abhishek Manu Singhvi in Rajya Sabha

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad rises to speak in Rajya Sabha and says that amendments to Aadhaar and other laws were necessitated after Supreme Court’s ruling on privacy. Senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi opposes the Bill and says Aadhaar is not one nation, one card. He accused the government of avoiding the data protection legislation and calls it a sinister plan.

Senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi opposes the Bill and says Aadhaar is not one nation, one card. It is neither exclusive nor a certificate of truth. It is also not a tool of exclusion, not a data collection tool, and not a tool of controlled surveillance or snooping. It cannot be used by non-governmental institutions.

Lok Sabha reassembles. The Lower House discusses the Union Budget 2019-20 which was presented by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament on Friday (5 July). Shashi Tharoor is the first speaker. He begins by congratulating the Finance Minister. “While we were hoping for an agile tiger, the Finance Minister has brought the metaphor of elephant,” Tharoor says referring to Sitharaman quoting Sangam literature on elephant in paddy field. Tharoor says, “perhaps this was the first Budget where allocations were not mentioned in the speech.” Tharoor calls it a ‘trishanku’ budget, neither here nor there.

Jayant Sinha rises to speak in Lok Sabha after Tharoor. He said five years ago “we got a derailed train. We not only fixed it, but made it a high-speed Rajdhani Express. In the coming years, we’ll make it a bullet train.” Sinha said that the government has increased the GDP by 70 percent to Rs 188 lakh crore. “Thus the per capita GDP and per capita gross national income eventually increased.”

Reacting to Congress’ allegation that BJP is behind orchestrating Karnataka political crisis, Rajnath Singh in Lok Sabha said, “We’re committed to maintaining the dignity of parliamentary democracy. The trend of submitting resignations was started by Rahul Gandhi in Congress, it wasn’t started by us. He himself asked people to submit resignations, even senior leaders are submitting their resignations.”

Zero Hour begins in Lok Sabha with Congress floor leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury bringing up the Karnataka political crisis. He says that the crisis is premeditated by the BJP. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh says that whatever is happening in Karnataka has nothing to do with the BJP. Congress members object.

A Bill to amend UAPA is being introduced by MoS Home G Kishan Reddy. NK Premachandran, Shashi Tharoor, ET Mohammed Basheer and other leaders have opposed the Bill. Opposition leaders urged the Speaker to acknowledge the repressive law which gives the government free hand to detain whoever it pleases, making the law open for misuse.

BJP’s GVL Narasimha Rao suggests Question Hours and business in Parliament be translated into regional languages. He suggests as a first step, the answers to questions can be given in a regional language of the members’ choice. “This is a suggestion worth consideration, but I don’t want to come to conclusion without application of mind,” the Chair says.

There are several Bills set to be introduced in the Lok Sabha today, while the Rajya Sabha has two for consideration and passing.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah will introduce three amendment Bills; The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019; The National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2019; and The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

Two more amendment Bills are also to be introduced. Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri will introduce The Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Bill, 2019, while MP Prahlad Singh Patel will introduce The Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

Union Minister Harsh Vardhan will introduce the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019, while Cabinet Minister Ram Vilas Paswan will introduce The Consumer Protection Bill, 2019.

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