Indian Parliament
Indian Parliament(Creative Commons)

The race against time begins on 5 August when the 16-day monsoon session in Parliament will witness a heavy legislative agenda from the ruling UPA government as well as demands by the Opposition.

From Food Security Bill to economic situation, the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is set to have intense debates on various issues. The party has already met twice before the Parliament session begins on Monday and has called for an NDA meeting on Sunday evening.

While the Congress needs a few key bills to get cleared among the listed 44 this monsoon session, its has gained consensus from the Opposition on just one bill i.e. the RTI amendment.

Here are some burning issues that would lead to heated debates in Parliament this session, which will conclude on 30 August.

Food Security bill

Sonia Gandhi's ambitious project guarantees to provide subsidised food grains to 67 percent of both rural and urban population in India through Targeted Public Distribution System. But as soon as the Ordinance was promulgated by President Pranab Mukherjee, the Congress announced that it will take six months to implement the scheme. The Opposition, even the Congess ally Samajwadi Party, slammed the government for introducing the scheme without a Parliamentary debate.

Now, the BJP has agreed to roll out such a scheme but not without amendments, which will be tabled before Parliament.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath told PTI that there is a 'wide consensus' on this bill. "Obviously, political parties have some point to make but there is a very large consensus," he said.

Since Congress spoke against its ally, Samajwadi Party, on the issue of suspension and transfer, SP leader Naresh Agarwal said the party will oppose the food bill in this session.

Telangana and Other demands

This issue divided the Congress not just internally; the party received criticism from its ally and J&K Chief Minister Oma Abdullah. "I think such moves are encouraging agitations, sets a dangerous precedent. Bundelkhand, Gorkhaland could be next. Such piecemeal reorganization of states should not happen," he told ANI news. 

Darjeeling and Assam are witnessing violent protests from Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) and Bodo outfits, respectively. Their demands for separates states of Gorkhaland and Bodoland have become more aggressive as the decision on the 29th state of Telangana still wreaths with political instability in Andhra Pradesh.

"Congress has mishandled the Telangana issue. I condemn the way Congress is playing its political games," BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad told ANI news on Sunday.

An anxious Congress had already announced that it won't take up the issue in this Parliament session. "No. I do not think it will come so soon. May be, by next session," Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters at a press conference on Thursday.

But the BJP still insists that "The government should bring the Bill for creation of separate state of Telangana in the coming session of Parliament. We will support the Bill to fulfil the aspirations of the people of Telangana," Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj said on Twitter.

IAS Durga Shakti Nagpal's Suspension

On 28 July, Durga Shakti Nagpal, the sub-divisional Magistrate of Gautum Budh Nagar, received her suspension orders for allegedly demolishing a wall that housed a mosque in Kadalpur village, Greater Noida. It was alleged that her massive drive against the activities of the illegal sand mafia led to her suspension. The issue became a bigger controversy when a mobile clip of senior SP leader Narendra Bhati bragging that he got Nagpal suspended within '40 minutes' was released.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's government was severely criticised by Opposition and even ally Congress for taking such a decision. Congress chief Sonia Gandhi addressed a letter to the PM on the issue. The Opposition has asked the Akhilesh government to revoke the suspension.

As mentioned earlier, SP leader Naresh Agarwal raked up Robert Vadra's property deals saying, "Gandhi should write two more letters, one about the Haryana IAS officer Ashok Khemka who was suspended by the Chief Minister and another to the Rajasthan CM for suspending two IAS officers. In both the cases, the name of Robert Vadra, cropped up. These cases were related to land deals. So, she should write two more letters to PM so that justice is done in all these cases," he told PTI.

Security: Repeated Chinese Incursions

India experienced repeated incursions by Chinese troops in the past one year. The first major Chinese incursion this year was launched on 15 April that led to a 21-day face-off. Three months later, the troops again intruded into the Indian territory in Ladakh region thrice within a week on 16, 17 and 18 July. The soldiers spent several hours in the areas before returning to China. Chinese choppers had even entered Indian air space on 11 July.

On 18 July, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approved the long-drawn proposal by the Army to raise a 50,000-strong Mountain Strike Corps along the China border.

The issue is strongly tabled across by the BJP.

Opposition leader Sushma Swaraj has also demanded a discussion on the Indian economy and the deprecating condition of the Indian rupee. The other key bills by the Congress that need to get passed are the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Ordinance and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Amendment) Second Ordinance.

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