Opposition groups called for a boycott of the assembly. The ongoing winter session of Parliament was virtually paralyzed by their continuous protests for three consecutive weeks. For this reason, the winter session has been declared over on Wednesday, one day ahead of the scheduled time.
However, the recently concluded session of the Indian Parliament will be memorable for a number of reasons. Despite opposition protests in both houses, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government passed 11 bills in the session. However, no bill was openly discussed. The government is still calling the session a ‘success’. Opponents say Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has once again killed democracy in this session.
Among the bills passed in this session were three bills related to repeal of agricultural laws. Apart from this, there has been a lot of discussion and criticism about raising the age of marriage of girls from 18 to 21 years and the bill to affix state identity card or Aadhaar card with voter card. Like the three controversial agricultural law repeal bills, the Aadhaar card integration bill has also been passed by voice vote in the Rajya Sabha.
According to the opposition, the integration of the Aadhaar card will leave all kinds of voter information in the hands of the government and the ruling party. The ruling party will use it to its advantage. The election can also be rigged. Although the government claims, this will make it easier to catch fake voters. It is essential for electoral reform.
However, the Narendra Modi government has agreed to send the bill to the standing committee for further consideration. The bill proposes to increase the age of marriage for girls from 18 to 21 years. In other words, the age of marriage for men and women in India will be the same. Various rights groups and several political parties have opposed the bill. According to them, further consideration was required without passing the bill in a hurry. Because it involves various religious customs and socio-economic issues.
The last monsoon session of the Indian Parliament was also marred by protests from the opposition. Twelve members of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha were suspended on the last day for protesting. Opposition groups called for the beleagured PM to resign. But that instruction was not revoked; Instead, Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien was suspended on Tuesday.
Even in the just-concluded winter session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not answer a single question in either the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha. He is the only Prime Minister of India who has not answered any question of the opposition in Parliament for the last seven and a half years. He did not even give any opportunity to the MPs to ask questions.