A discussion on the Parliamentary journey of the past 75 years will be held on Monday on the first day of the special session of Parliament.
"Parliamentary journey of 75 years starting from Samvidhan Sabha - Achievements, Experiences, Memories and Learnings will be discussed on September 18," an official Lok Sabha bulletin said.
According to official sources, the special session, which also includes consideration and possible passage of four bills, will continue till September 22 and is likely to be held in the new Parliament building.
The Congress has questioned the necessity of calling the session saying what was the urgency as these Bills could have waited till the Winter Session, adding that it will oppose the CEC Bill in Parliament.
Last week, Congress parliamentary party chief Sonia Gandhi wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that the agenda of the special Parliament session ought to be disclosed to all parties.
She listed nine issues for discussion, including the demand for a joint parliamentary committee, caste census, the issue of Manipur, rise in communal tension in different states like Haryana, continued occupation of Indian territory by China and challenges to our sovereignty on our borders in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh.
"Urgent need for a caste census. Damages being inflicted on Centre-State relations. Impact of natural disasters caused by extreme floods in some states and drought in others," she had said.
The Centre has listed a discussion titled "Parliamentary Journey of 75 years starting from Samvidhan Sabha – Achievements, Experiences, Memories, and Learnings" in the Lok Sabha during the special session.
The government has also included the much-debated Bill concerning the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and other election commissioners in its "tentative" legislative agenda. The Bill was first introduced in the Rajya Sabha in the Monsoon session.
Among the other Bills slated for discussion in Parliament during the special session are The Advocates (Amendment) Bill, 2023, The Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill, 2023, and The Post Office Bill, 2023.
Meanwhile, a Congress source who is currently in Hyderabad for the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting, said that the party will raise multiple issues in the upcoming Parliament session.
The source said that the Congress and the opposition believe that if this bill becomes a law, it will affect the autonomy of the Election Commission and the Election Commission will be transformed into a government election commission instead of being independent.
The source also said that the Election Commission is the last independent body to conduct free and democratic elections in India.
The source pointed out that a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court has clearly said that if the Election Commission is not fair, then democracy cannot survive in the country.
"Therefore, a three-person panel was formed to appoint the Chief Election Commissioner, consisting of the Chief Justice, Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, so that a balance is maintained," he said.
And if the Bill is passed in Parliament, it will end the autonomy and independence of the Election Commission, he said.
On August 10, the Centre tabled in the Rajya Sabha the proposed law that sought to effectively displace a Supreme Court judgment that divested the executive of the absolute power to appoint the CEC and ECs by including the Chief Justice of India as a member of the selection panel.
A Constitution bench judgment on March 2 had said that the CEC and the ECs will be chosen by a panel comprising the Prime Minister, the LoP (or the leader of the single largest Opposition party in Parliament) and the CJI, till Parliament passes a law on appointments.
(With inputs from IANS)