December 7, 2019 | 2:26 PM IST
winter session

First day of Winter Session kicks off on stormy note, tributes to departed leaders

The Winter Session of Rajya Sabha, on Monday, started with paying tributes to leaders of various political parties including former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, veteran lawyer Ram Jethmalani, former members Jagannath Mishra, Sukhdev Singh Libra, and Gurudas Dasgupta. However, this time, instead of the conventional procedure of the Chairman reading out the obituaries, members of the house paid their respect to the leaders.

The Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu then adjourned the proceedings till 2 pm as a mark of respect to the departed leaders.

On resuming the session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi echoed the words of former Prime Minister Late Atal Bihari Vajpayee saying said that the Upper House is a second house and must not be treated as a secondary one. He added that there should be a high quality of debates in which all MPs should contribute, adding, “We are open to discussions on all issues.”
The Opposition staged stiff protests over the situation in Kashmir and Congress, National Conference and DMK activists protested in the well of the House against the instability in the Valley after the abrogation of Article 370 after which the session was adjourned till 3 pm.

On resuming the session, former PM Dr. Manmohan Singh took up the issue of depleting economy due to the BJP government’s ‘malafide unless proven otherwise doctrine of governance’. Later, Minister of State for Finance, Anurag Thakur, then moved the Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill, 2019 for consideration. The Bill (2019) amends the 1982 Act to substitute the names of certain terms, and allow subscribers to join via teleconferencing when the chit is drawn.
Incidentally, the marshals, who earlier wore white bandhgalas with safa, were seen sporting new Military-like uniform - navy blue, with shoulder insignias, gold buttons, gold aiguillette, and peaked cap. The caps resembled those worn by Brigadier level Army officers.  The new uniform invoked grave criticism from former officers including former Army Chief General VP Malik.
He tweeted from his official handle, “Copying and wearing of military uniforms by non-military personnel is illegal and a security hazard. I hope @VPSecretariat, @RajyaSabha & @rajnathsingh ji will take early action.
The RS Chairman, Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday directed the secretariat to revisit the uniforms.

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