New Delhi, January 31
The government on Monday sidestepped the Opposition’s demand to debate the Pegasus spyware issue during the Budget session of Parliament, saying the matter was before the Supreme Court.
14 Bills listed
In all, 14 Bills are listed to be taken during the Budget session. Among them are the Warehousing (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Amendment) Bill; the Metro Rail (Construction, Operation and Maintenance) Bill; the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill; and the Competition (Amendment) Bill.
RS pays homage to Birju Maharaj
The Rajya Sabha on Monday paid homage to Kathak exponent Birju Maharaj, who died on January 17. Reading the obituary references, Chairman Venkaiah Naidu said, “Birju Maharaj took the Indian classical dance form to ethereal heights.” TNS
The Congress-led Opposition, including the Left, sought a discussion after the New York Times revelations, claiming India bought the Pegasus spyware from Israel as part of a defence deal.
“On the Opposition’s demand to hold a debate on the Pegasus snooping issue, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi has said the matter was sub judice as the case is in the SC,” an official statement said.
The demand came up at the all-party meeting called by the government where Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury raised the matter. With the government citing sub judice nature of the case, the stage is set for a stormy Budget Session. The meeting was attended by 38 leaders of 26 parties, including the BJP.
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