Various political parties, on Sunday, urged the government to begin the legislative business in the new building of the Parliament with passage of women’s reservation Bill.

Meanwhile, the government has expanded the list of legislative business with four more Bills, but was silent on contentious Bill related with appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioner.

The special session of the Parliament will begin on Monday. While the first day of the session will take place in the existing building, new building will receive the Parliamentarians on Tuesday, Ganesh Chaturthi.

Women’s reservation bill

The issue about women’s reservation Bill was raised in the all party meeting called by the government. However, the government did not react to the demand by various political parties. The women’s reservation Bill intends to provide 1/3rd reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and State legislatures. Some regional parties demanded quota for backward classes and scheduled castes within the overall reservation for women, sources said. This has been a key sticking point in the passage of the bill earlier.

“All opposition parties demanded the passage of women’s reservation bill in this Parliament session,” Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha told reporters. He also said that the government had informed them it was a regular session of Parliament. “Only the government knows what its intention is. It may surprise everyone with some new agenda,” he said while listed issues such as price rise, unemployment, the situation on the border with China were raised by his party in the meeting.

BJD leader Pinaki Misra said a new era should begin from new Parliament building and the women’s reservation bill should be passed. “It won’t take an hour or so to get the bill passed in the Lok Sabha,” he said. It may be noted that Rajya Sabha has already passed the Bill for women’s reservation.

Mahua Maji, JMM MP from Jharkhand felt that the women’s reservation Bill should also provide ‘reservation within reservation.’ This means there should be reservation for SC, ST and OBC women, “otherwise women from these categories will not get representation.”

Bills to be tabled

Briefing reporters, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi said that the government business will include eight Bills. These include, the Advocates (Amendment) Bill, 2023, the Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill, the Post Office Bill, 2023, three orders for SC/ST, Senior Citizen Welfare Bill and Repealing and Amending Bills.

Though the Lok Sabha bulletin, issued last week had also listed the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, 2023, but Joshi did not mention. When reminded, he made it clear that he gave information, what he had to give.  

On Monday, post customary remarks by the Prime Minister to the media, both houses will have discussions on ‘Parliamentary journey of 75 years starting from Samvidhan Sabha-Achievement, experiences, memories and learnings,’ which will be last sitting in the old building. On Tuesday, there will be special function in the Central Hall of the old building, followed by shifting to the new building. Both houses will have regular business from Wednesday till Friday.

There is no question hour or zero hour during the session. Also, all the members have been invited for a group photograph on Tuesday adding fuel to speculation of early election.