I.N.D.I.A to take on NDA in Parliament starting July 20

I.N.D.I.A to take on NDA with renewed vigour at Parliament’s Monsoon Session starting July 20

The government has expressed its intent to bring 21 new bills, along with ten other pending ones in this session.

The old Parliament building in New Delhi. Credit: Reuters File Photo

The Opposition, with a renewed vigour and a new name, will seek to corner the ruling NDA on a variety of issues, including violence in Manipur and the Delhi ordinance, as Parliament’s Monsoon Session is set to begin on Thursday.

The meeting comes against the backdrop of an Opposition conclave that christened the 26-party grouping ‘I.N.D.I.A’ and the NDA returning the favour by holding a meeting of 38 parties to project its strength, as both sides get ready for the Lok Sabha elections in 2024.

The session will also see a few MPs, including Praful Patel, changing sides to the NDA after a split in the NCP, while the Sharad Pawar-led faction is still expected to have a majority in Parliament.

Also Read | Opposition alliance I.N.D.I.A finalises 'Jeetega Bharat' as its tagline

The government has expressed its intent to bring 21 new bills, along with ten other pending ones in this session, which ends on August 11, while the Opposition is demanding a thorough discussion on a variety of issues with the Manipur violence - the government’s alleged ineffectiveness in handling it, as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi's “silence” on the same, topping the list.

One of the major bills that is expected to be tabled in the Parliament is the Bill to replace an ordinance that has taken away the Delhi government’s control over its bureaucrats. While the government will be able to pass the bill easily in the Lok Sabha, it may have to sweat it out in Rajya Sabha, where the BJP and its allies do not have the numbers.

All will depend on the YSR Congress and the BJD, both of which are not aligned with either the NDA or I.N.D.I.A, with the Opposition camp expected to try and bring them on its side.

If the YSR Congress and the BJD join the Opposition camp to vote against the Bill, the government is certain to face defeat. However, the Opposition is not very hopeful about both parties voting against the NDA, due to their previous voting in similar circumstances.

Another important bill expected to be tabled is the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023, which aims to process digital personal data in a “manner that recognises both the rights of individuals to protect their personal data and the need to process personal data for lawful purposes”. The Bill “employs plain and simple language to facilitate ease of understanding” while establishing a comprehensive legal framework governing digital personal data protection in India.

The government also plans to bring The Drugs, Medical Devices and Cosmetics Bill, 2023, to regulate the import, manufacture, distribution and sale of drugs, medical devices and cosmetics. It will also deal with clinical trials of new drugs and the clinical investigation of medical devices. The National Research Foundation Bill, 2023, which was cleared by the Cabinet recently is another prominent Bill in the list.

Keeping the Chhattisgarh election in mind, the government is also bringing a bill to include Mahra, the Mahara community in the Scheduled Castes list of the state. A Bill seeking to revise the Scheduled Tribes List of Jammu and Kashmir may also be brought during the session.

Bills like The Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill, 2022, The Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill, 2023, The Multi-State Cooperative Bill, 2022, The Meditation Bill, 2021 and The Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill, 2023, which were scrutinised by various Parliamentary panels, are also listed by the government for this session.

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