Monsoon session Day 2: Two key bills passed, Congress staged walkout to protest against mob violence

Monsoon session: The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill 2018 and the Prevention of Corruption bill, 2013 was passed in the parliament ahead of the no-confidence motion on Thursday. Bills like Right to information act is scheduled to come up for consideration.

On the second day of the ongoing Monsoon session in Parliament, two key bills were passed by both houses on Thursday. The Lok Sabha passed the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill 2018 with the majority of house supporting the bill. The bill empowers authorities to attach and confiscate the properties and assets of economic offenders. Speaking in the lower house, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said the ordinance is the need of the hour. “Cases where the total value involved in such offences is Rs 100 crore or more, will come under its purview. Till 2014 nothing was done on this front,”

The Rajya Sabha cleared amendments to the Prevention of Corruption bill, 2013. The amendments are mainly aimed at laying down more stringent measures to tackle corruption. It removed the provision that protected bribe givers from prosecution for statements they make during a corruption trial. The amendments also narrowed down definitions and penalties for a range of offenses.

Anand Sharma attacks Modi govt on misuse of agencies 

Earlier in the day, Congress leader Anand Sharma attacked the Modi government asking why it had not yet appointed Lokpal. He also hit out at Centre for misusing investigative agencies. “The truth is that your agencies are being misused. Are there two laws in the nation? One implemented from the political point of view for political rivals & the other for your own people on whom there are serious allegations?” said Sharma.

Rajnath condemns lynching

Ruckus was created in Lok Sabha as the Congress staged a walkout to protest against the rising mob violence in the country. Union Minister Rajnath Singh condemned the incidents and made a statement in the Lok Sabha during the Zero Hour saying, “I have issued advisories to the state government in 2016 and 2018. We have asked social media service providers to install check. Such incidents are unfortunate. We have asked the Chief Ministers to take firm action against the culprits.”

Noisy scenes were witnessed as the Congress members led by Mallikarjun Kharge staged a walkout expressing dissatisfaction. Raising the issue, Congress leader Venugopal regretted that while these mob lynching and physical attacks on people, including those with dissenting views, have become the order of the day, the government was maintaining a silence.

No confidence motion tomorrow

Many parties issued a whip to their MPs over the no-trust vote tomorrow in the Lok Sabha. As the opposition and the government geared up for the no-trust motion–the first in 15 years, the BJP claimed support of 313 members with many regional parties on their side. The ruling government said it would try to weaken the anti-BJP front by eroding the support for the no-trust motion and deplete the opposition numbers. On the other hand, the Congress and other parties indicated that they are keen to utilise the debate to attack the government on a range of issues including farm distress, slow economic growth and rising incidents of lynching.

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