New Delhi, Jul 25: Members from opposition parties and the ruling BJP on Thursday clashed on the merits of ‘the Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019’ when it was being introduced in the Lok Sabha.
The Bill was opposed at the introductory stage by Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Biju Janata Dal member Bhartruhari Mahtab and DMK floor leader T R Baalu. While opposition members said the water being state subject, the respective state governments should be consulted; the ruling BJP member Nishikant Dubey supported the draft law saying the Bill will help his state of Jharkhand.
Opposing the introduction of the Bill, BJD member Mahtab said while he had no objection to the intent of the Bill, but the main question remains "whether the state governments" have been consulted.
"I had opposed the Bill in 2017 also," he said adding the same draft law has come yet again before the House. DMK member T R Baalu shared the same sentiment raised by Congress and BJD members and said it was improper to bring the Bill without consulting states.
"Bills are being overnight, we do not know anything," he said alleging that things are being "bulldozed". He also questioned the chair and asked Speaker Om Birla - "whether you are allowing all these".
"This is the Parliament of India.....how come they are bulldozing?," he said.
The Opposition members also opposed introduction of The Companies Amendment Bill piloted by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and The Repealing and Amending Bill, 2019 introduced by the Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. Congress member Shashi Tharoor alleged: "...This government has very bad habit of rushing Bills".
Speaker Birla assured that from the next session, the concern raised by members will be addressed and they will be provided advance notice before bringing the Bills. On her ministry's The Companies Amendment Bill, Finance Minister Sitharaman said it will not be proper to say that the draft was brought without any background.
BJP member defended government's decision to bring the The Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill saying Jharkhand state will be affected immensely by this. "We have three dams in our state, but the entire water from these is being used by West Bengal government. This despite a pact between Jyoti Basu and Korpuri Thakur (CMs of Bengal and Bihar) signed in 1978," he said.
"Bihar government is also not giving us water, so if this Bill does not come and get approval of the House, our state will continue to suffer....from where we will get water," he said. Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Shekhawat said it is not correct to say the states have not been consulted. He said in the last Lok Sabha, the Bill was referred to the Standing Committee. (UNI)