Elections for Vice President to be held on August 5

In a press conference, the Election Commission announced that August 5, 2017, will hold elections for Vice President. The results will be announced on the same day. July 18 has been set as the deadline for the contestants to file nominations, while July 21 is the last date for the withdrawal of candidatures.

Nasim Zaidi, Chief Election Commissioner addressed the press and delivered this announcement. He said, “An election to fill the vacancy to be caused by the expiration of the term of office of the outgoing Vice-President needs to be completed before the expiration of the term of the present incumbent.”

The tenure of current Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari is going to end on August 10. The electoral college comprising members of both the houses of Parliament, along with the nominated members of the Rajya Sabha, elect the Vice-President through the system of proportional representation. As of now, the electoral college has 790 members in total with 245 Rajya Sabha MPs and 545 Lok Sabha MPs. The voters are required to cast their votes with special pens. Using any other pen renders the vote invalid.

The major eligibility criteria for the post of Vice-President requires a candidate to be a citizen of India, atleast 35-years or above and should be qualified to become a member of the Rajya Sabha.

 

Sources: The Indian Express, The Hindu

Opposition observes “black day” in parliament over demonetisation

Opposition parties on Thursday have staged protest against the government’s demonetisation policy by observing “black day” near the Mahatma Gandhi statue in the Parliament premises. This has resulted in disruption and later, adjournment of both the houses for the day.

The opposition used the occasion to charge the Prime Minister of not acknowledging the larger scale problems sparked by the decision. The protest was led by congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and comprised mainly of Samajvadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Trinamool Congress with over a hundred opposition leaders, notably Ghulam Nabi Azad, Jyotiraditya Scindia.

“Farmers are dying and the Prime Minister seems to be having fun. He should come to parliament to debate on demonetisation, we will not let him run away,” Rahul said.

TMC staged a silent protest wearing a black ribbon at their heads and arms.

Since the beginning of the winter session, opposition has held up both the houses of the parliament demanding the PM to speak up on the matter.

Meanwhile The President has condemned the protest stating that the disruption of Parliament in unacceptable. “Parliament is a place to debate. No MP has the right to disrupt the house. For God’s Sake, please do your job… You are meant to transact Parliament business; not to disrupt it,” he added.

Union Minister Venkaih Naidu in his usual tone has retaliated against the opposition calling the “black day” as “kala dhan samarthan divas” (A day to support black money).

SOURCES: Outlook,  Rajya Sabha TV

IMAGE SOURCE: ANI

EC to purchase new EVMs for 2019 Lok Sabha elections

The Election Commission of India has been granted  Rs 1009 crore to purchase new Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). This step has been taken to update the old machines before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The purchase will take place through Bharat Electronic Ltd (BEL), Bengaluru and Electronics Corporation of India Ltd (ECIL), Hyderabad.

According to the  Saturday’s approval,the election body has been assigned to buy 4,10,000 Ballot Units (BUs) and 3,14,000 Control Units (CUs) during 2017-18 and 4,35,306 Ballot Units and 71,716 control units during 2018-19. It will be a conjectural unit cost of Rs 7,700,and Rs 9,300 respectively. The approximate cost  will be will be Rs 1,009.6 crore.

On Wednesday, The Union Cabinet has also  given the poll body the authority to choose and to decide the amount to be ordered on BEL and ECIL as well. The decision should be based on their production capacity,and past performance in supply of machines. This will help Commission to manage everything. The Law Ministry stated to The Indian Express, “This would facilitate phasing out of obsolete electronic voting machines procured during 2000-2005. It will enable the Commission to replenish the stock with a view to meet the requirement of conducting General Elections to Lok Sabha and some of the state assemblies due in 2019”.

On July 20, the Union Cabinet had approved a similar proposal out by Election Commission to buy nearly 14 lakh new EVMs, the first tranche at a cost of Rs 9,200 crore during 2016-17 as well.

SOURCES: The Indian Express, TOI

IMAGE SOURCES: Representation Picture

Irked by Rajnath’s allegations, Congress walks out from Lok Sabha

Congress members on Tuesday walked out from the Lok Sabha after Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s strongly worded statement holding the former UPA regime responsible for the political instability in Arunachal Pradesh. 

Congress leader M Mallikarjun Kharge had raised the issue under Business Rule 56 during the Zero Hour, expressing his concern that the BJP-led government was destabilising governments in states, particularly in Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. While BJP MPs called for the Kharge’s statement to be expunged, Rajnath, who had earlier told the Lok Sabha that political crisis in Arunachal Pradesh was not the BJP’s doing, reacted sharply to Kharge’s allegation, calling the Congress out.

“The crisis in Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh was unfortunate and disturbing healthy democracy is not the aim of this government. The crisis in those states arose due to the internal fight within the Congress Party. The BJP has nothing to do with this,” said Rajnath Singh. Blaming the Congress’s lack of unity as the driving factor, he went on to call the latter a “sinking ship”. 

The Home Minister’s statement created an uproar in the House, which culminated in the Congress walking out in protest, on what is merely the second day of the Monsoon Session of the Lok Sabha.

Sources: Firstpost, NDTV, ANI, Business Standard

Former Lok Sabha Speaker Balram Jakhar passes away

Patna: The former Lok Sabha Speaker and the veteran congress leader, Balram Jakhar, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 92. Condoling his death, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Balram was the most popular figure for the parliamentary democracy of India”.

Jhakar served as the Speaker of Lok Sabha for nine years. He was also the Agricultural Minister in the Cabinet of former Prime Minister Narasimha Rao. Bihar chief minister in his statement stated that, Balram was an efficient administrator and a social worker of the Indian political era who has given Indian politics an entirely new insight.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi also expressed her grief over the demise of Jakhar. While delivering her message to Jakhar’s family, Gandhi said, “The Congress Party as indeed the entire nation will forever remember the contributions made by him during the course of his long public life, particularly to the cause of farming community.”

In the year 1973, Jakhar was elected as the Deputy Minister Cooperation, Irrigation and Power in Punjab. Later he also served the state as the leader of the opposition in the Assembly. He was mostly known for his extensive dedication for the promotion of the Parliament Library.

Jakhar also controlled the Business Advisory Committee, Rules Committee; General Purposes Committee; and Standing Committee of the Conference of Presiding Officers of Legislative Frames in India.

Offering his condolences, PM Modi tweeted saying “Balram Jakhar ji was a popular leader who enriched our Parliamentary democracy in his long political journey. Saddened by his demise. RIP”.

Sources: IBNOne India

Gandhigiri in Parliament: BJP MPs offer roses to protesting members

New Delhi: The Congress members who were protesting inside the Parliament over the alleged atrocities against Dalit youths in Punjab were taken by surprise when few of the BJP MPs offered roses to them.

When Sumitra Mahajan, Speaker of the Lok Sabha, dismissed notices for adjournment of the Question Hour , the Congress members started protesting in the Well area. The congress MPs raised slogans against the Prime Minister and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)  and BJP led coalition government in Punjab over the alleged chopping off of limbs of two young Dalit persons in Abohar.

While the Congress members were shouting slogans like ‘ PM Sharam Karo’ at the top of their voices, six BJP MPs entered the well and offered roses to the protesting Congress members.

A few roses were seen lying around the tables of the secretariat officials after some senior BJP leaders pulled their party colleagues out of the Well.

However, as soon as the house met for the day, Ms Mahajan said that she had disallowed notices for adjournment motions on different issues. As the Speaker went ahead with the Question Hour, Congress members started clapping and raising slogans in an attempt to disturb the members who were asking questions.

Deeply angered by this, the Speaker said, “In reality, you don’t want to raise Dalit issue.You just want to shout.This is not fair.”

The Question Hour continued amid all the uproar.

 

Source: NDTV

In a sarcastic move, the BJP lawmakers offered roses to the protesting Congress MPs (Image Courtesy: Deccan Chronicle)
In a sarcastic move, the BJP lawmakers offered roses to the protesting Congress MPs (Image Courtesy: Deccan Chronicle)

Govt. to employ strict measures to eradicate child labour

Labour Minister Bandaru Dattareya Image source: Business Line
Labour Minister Bandaru Dattareya
Image source: Business Line

Banadru Dattareya

New Delhi: Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattareya announced in the Lok Sabha on Monday that the government will put in measures to henceforth punish the parents of the children who are seen working. Citing data from the National Census, he said that there has been a decline in child labour from 1.26 crore in 2001 to 43.53 lakh in 2011.

Fielding questions on the issue, he told Economic Times that the government has planned to put into place a functional legal provision which will ensure punishment and penalty to parents if their children between age group of 5-14 years are found engaged in child labour. He further added that regular inspections will be carried out by both the Centre and the States to curb the social issue.

“The total number of inspections in the central and state sphere under Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986 during the last three years — 2012, 2013 and 2014 were 1,89,018, 2,19,085 and 1,75,709, respectively,” he said.

Currently, the Child labour Act 1986 (Prohibition and Regulation) safeguards the interests of children against indulging in child labour activities.

To read more, go on: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/govt-plans-stringent-measures-to-curb-child-labour/articleshow/48328827.cms