The 16th Lok Sabha’s first parliamentary session will commence in less than 24 hours now. The excitement and the hope leading to it are immense among the people of India. It’ll not only be the first 16th Lok Sabha session but also will be the first Lok Sabha session for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Many ‘Bills’ became ‘Acts’ and many ‘Bills’ were stalled in the last two 5-year term Lok Sabha sessions under UPA regime. With a lot of buzz surrounding the first LS session of the newly elected government, we bring to you a list of few majorly significant which may have their say in the upcoming sessions:
1. Article 370
Article 370 of the Indian Constitution grants special autonomous status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. While it is official that it was a temporary testament, the Abdullahs in Kashmir refuse to budge. The debate on ‘Article 370’ is imminent. While the saffron party (BJP) is mulling over the options of scrapping it, the current Jammu & Kashmir, past week made several controversial statements against it. Will the Article 370 be scrapped or not, will be the talking point in the 16th Lok Sabha sessions.
2. The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013
It is well known that the current elections were fought on the issues of corruption, inflation and development. The newly elected party (BJP) was quite vocal about its passage and making major amendments in the ‘Bill’. While the much-debated bill was finally passed in Rajya Sabha last year, the then Opposition party was pondering over certain much needed amendments. In the upcoming sessions there will be a lot of pressure on them to walk the talk.
3. National Food Security Act, 2013
The National Food Security Act is an act which aims to provide subsidized food grains to nearly two-thirds of India’s population. The Food Security Bill became the National Food Security Act last year amid immense controversies. The alleged hastiness by the UPA government in passing the bill was another questionable thing. Arun Jaitley, leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha, pointed out many flaws in the Act. Will the now Finance Minister, fill up those potholes? Will the new opposition relent?
4. Uniform Civil Code
The passing of Uniform Civil Code as the single common set of laws governing every citizen irrespective of caste or religion. The Uniform Civil Code gained relevance in the mid 80s during the Shah Bano case in 1985. Many political parties have been rejecting the idea of implementing the Uniform Civil Code but BJP. It is largely based on the usage of personal laws framed during British Raj, in matters across religious lines. The BJP has promised the UCC implementation in its manifesto; the debates are to be heated once the matter is tabled.
5. Section 377
The Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code criminalises sexual activities of the same sex (homosexuality), arguably termed ‘against the order of nature’. The High Court in 2009 termed the section unconstitutional, but it was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2013. The Supreme Court of India had then said that amending or repealing Section 377 lies with the Parliament and not the judiciary. While the Congress President (Sonia Gandhi) and Vice-President (Rahul Gandhi) were public about their support to scrapping of Section 377; the ministers of BJP were happy with the Supreme Court’s decision. With the issue drawing too much of public anger towards it, there sure seems to be a healthy debate in the upcoming parliamentary sessions.