Lok Sabha passed the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill amid ruckus by Opposition members, as the Winter Session of Parliament entered its 16th day on Monday, 20 December.
Leaders of Opposition parties had congregated ahead of the beginning of the session to deliberate over attending the meeting called by the central government on the suspension of 12 Rajya Sabha MPs, and consequently, declined to meet with the Centre.
Both Houses have witnessed repeated disruptions, adjournments, and hit productivity lows after 12 Rajya Sabha MPs were suspended for their "unruly" conduct during the Monsoon Session.
Meanwhile, the Opposition parties have also demanded the resignation of MoS Ajay Misra Teni, after the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the Lakhimpur Kheri incident said that the incident was 'a pre-planned conspiracy,' and was not an act of negligence.
The Centre introduced Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 in the Lok Sabha on Monday
Both the Houses were earlier adjourned till Monday amid uproar by Opposition MPs over the Lakhimpur Kheri incident
Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2021 Passed in RS
The Rajya Sabha, on Monday, 20 December, passed the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) (Amendment) Bill, 2021, to rectify errors that had crept into the NDPS (Amendment) Act.
The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on 13 December.
Rajya Sabha Adjourned Till Tuesday
Rajya Sabha was adjourned till Tuesday, 21 December. Congress and other Opposition parties had staged a walkout stating that the Chair was not listening to them.
'Will make linking Aadhar to Voter ID Mandatory: Union Law Minister
After the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was passed in the Lok Sabha, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said, "There should be proper discussions on our election reforms. We had asked the Opposition to participate and voice their opinions in the discussion, but they created chaos."
Speaking on the bill, Rijiju said:
"It's currently not mandatory to link Aadhaar to an electoral roll, but with this bill, we'll make it mandatory to sieve out fake voters. The Parliamentary Standing Committee has recommended this and asked us to expedite the process of making this into an act."
He further added, "Even after 18 years, the system says that one has to wait a whole year to exercise their voting rights if they couldn't register on 1 January (of the year of revision of electoral roll). This bill will allow 4 qualifying dates a year to register as voters."
Moreover, the bill proposes to replace the word “wife” with “spouse” to make the act (Representation of the People Act of 1951) gender-neutral. Rijiju remarked that this will also expand the limits of the election premises acquisition.