The Election Commission on Monday barred BSP chief Mayawati and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath from campaigning in the Lok Sabha elections for 48 and 72 hours respectively.
While the action against Mayawati came for violating the Model Code of Conduct when she asked Muslims at a rally in Saharanpur to vote in favour of the SP-BSP-RLD combine, Adityanath was barred over his “green virus” and “Ali and Bajrang Bali” comments.
“The Commission, under Article 324 of the Constitution and other powers enabling in this behalf, bars him from holding any public meetings, public processions, public rallies, road shows and interviews, public utterances in media (electronic, print, social media) in connection with ongoing elections for 72 hours from 6 a.m. on April 16 (Tuesday),” the Election Commission order on Adityanath said.
In a separate order, the poll panel censured Mayawati and “strongly condemned the impugned statements made by her”.
It said she would also be barred from holding any public meetings, processions, rallies, road shows and interviews, public utterance in media related to elections for 48 hours.
The Commission said that it was convinced that both leaders had made “highly provocative” speeches which had the tone and tenor to “aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred between different religious communities”. It added that the two leaders had also violated provisions of the model code by making appeals to secure votes on religious lines.
The poll panel said that being senior leaders, Adityanath and Mayawati should have desisted from making statements that have the undertone and propensity to polarise the elections, which is not confined to the constituency only where the statement is made, but to the other parts as well, due to fast dissemination of information in the digital age.
“The Commission observes that being the Chief Minister of a state, Yogi Adityanath has an added responsibility to not only uphold the basic tenets, including secularism, of the Constitution of India but also to display the same in his appearances/meetings/speeches as well,” it added.
The Election Commission had on April 11 issued notices to both Mayawati and Adityanath for violating the model code of conduct.
While the BSP leader had urged the Muslim community to vote only for SP-BSP-RLD alliance candidates, the Chief Minister had said that if the Congress, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party had faith in Ali, “we have faith in ‘Bajrangbali'”.
The poll panel had also asked Adityanath to explain his comment calling the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) a “virus” and saying that the Congress was infected with this “green virus”.
Rajya Sabha passes two agriculture Bills amid pandemonium
The Rajya Sabha on Sunday passed two agriculture-related Bills amid a pandemonium due to protests by opposition members.
The Upper House gave the nod to The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, as opposition MPs continued to shout slogans during their passage. Some lawmakers even staged a walkout in protest.
Earlier, replying to the debate on the Bills, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar assured the House that the Minimum Support Price regime will not be scrapped. Some of the amendments moved by the opposition lawmakers were not pressed for voting while those pressed for voting were negated.
The opposition also demanded that the Bills be sent to the Select committee of the Upper House but it was not accepted by the government.
Earlier, the House witnessed unruly scenes when TMC MP Derek O’Brien went near the Chair and tried to snatch a mike while citing from the rule book. When his objections were overruled, an aggressive Derek O’Brien tore the rule book by calling the Bills “Kala Kanoon” or black laws, leading to adjournment of the House for a brief period.
The Trinamool leader was also heard saying: “You cannot do this” to the Chair. At one point in time, the aides of the Deputy Chair, who was conducting the House proceedings, had to come forward to shield him.
Despite repeated requests, many opposition members reached the Well of the House to register their protests.
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad demanded that discussion on the Bills be continued on Monday. “To decide this, we should go by the consensus among the members, not by the numbers of the ruling party,” Azad said.
The opposition as well as BJP ally Shiromani Akali Dal termed the Bills an “anti-farmers” move by the Centre, with some staging a walkout.
Thousands of farmers in Punjab, Haryana and several other states have been protesting since the government introduced these Bills in the Lok Sabha on September 14, the opening day of the Monsoon Session of Parliament.
The Bills seek to replace the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020 promulgated on June 5.
The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 seeks to provide a new ecosystem in which farmers and traders, as per the government, will enjoy freedom of choice relating to sale and purchase of their produce and facilitates remunerative prices through competitive alternative trading channels to promote efficient, transparent and barrier-free inter- and intra-state trade and commerce.
The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, aims to provide a national framework on farming agreements that protects and empowers farmers to engage with agri-business firms, processors, wholesalers, exporters or large retailers.
Lok Sabha business list’s schedule for Amit Shah
Union Home Minister Amit Shah is to lay papers on the table in the Lok Sabha and introduce Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020 along with two other Bills for passage, revised list of Business of the lower House reveals.
It will be his first presence during the ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament after he defeated coronavirus or Covid-19 pandemic which infected him last month.
The Minister is expected to join proceedings of the House when it will assemble for the day at 3 pm. He will be present along with his two junior Ministers Nityanand Rai and G. Kishan Reddy, the legislative Business of the lower House mentions.
As per the legislative Business of the House, the Minister will lay Home Ministry papers on the Table and then introduce the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020 which seeks amendment into the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010.
Shah will also move the National Forensic Sciences University Bill, 2020 for its passage. The Minister’s name is mentioned in the legislative business list to press for the Bill which provides establishment and declare an institution to be known as the National Forensic Sciences University as an institution of national importance to facilitate and promote studies and research and to achieve excellence in the field of forensic science in conjunction with applied behavioural science studies, law, criminology and other allied areas and technology and other related fields.
The Minister’s name is also listed for the move of Rashtriya Raksha University Bill, 2020 for its consideration and passage. The Bill seeks to establish and declare an institution to be known as the Rashtriya Raksha University as an institution of national importance and to provide for its incorporation and matters connected.
Shah was expected to join the Lok Sabha on Saturday as National Forensic Sciences University Bill, 2020 and Rashtriya Raksha University Bill, 2020 was listed on his name for the day. However, the Minister did not join the House because of some reasons.
Shah was discharged from AIIMS on Thursday evening, four days after being admitted there for a complete medical check-up.
On September 13, Shah was admitted to AIIMS for a complete check-up ahead of the Monsoon Session of Parliament. This was the third time he was admitted to hospital after contracting coronavirus.
Shah had been suffering from post-Covid ailments for a month. On August 2, he had tested positive for Covid-19 and received treatment at Medanta Hospital in Gurugram. The Home Minister was discharged on August 14 after testing negative.
On August 18, Shah was admitted to AIIMS for post-Covid treatment after he complained of fatigue and bodyache. He recovered on August 29 and was discharged.
Ex-PM H.D. Deve Gowda takes oath as RS member
Former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda took oath as a Rajya Sabha member on Sunday .
The Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) supremo took oath in Kannada in the presence of Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu shortly after the House convened for the day.
Gowda, 87, was elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka with the support of the opposition Congress on June 12 in the biennial elections held in Bengaluru for four seats that fell vacant after the previous members’ terms ended on June 25.
Though 45 of the 61 new members took oath on July 22 in Parliament House, Gowda could not go to New Delhi then, as he was unwell and due to coronavirus-induced restrictions on travelling for senior citizens amid the pandemic.
Gowda has entered the Rajya Sabha for the second time, 24 years after he was elected when he was the Prime Minister from June 1996 to April 1997.
Meanwhile, former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Congress leader Ambika Soni and Samajwadi Party’s Revati Ramn Singh have sought leave from Sunday’s session.
Citing health issues, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram also sought leave.
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