Parliament Winter session 2017 is scheduled to begin from December 15. The session will come to an end on January 5. It will have 14 sittings. While new faces have come and a few seasoned parliamentarians have gone, the front row of Rajya Sabha will bear a new look. BJP President Amit Shah was recently elected to the Upper House. It has been learnt that Shah will sit across the aisle but next to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to Indian Express report. Notably, Venkaiah Naidu used to sit there before he was elected as the Vice-President. Veteran politicians like BSP supremo Mayawati and CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury will not be present in Rajya Sabha. They will be replaced by BSP member Satish Mishra and T K Rangarajan respectively.
Notably, as many as 25 pending bills and 14 new ones, including a bill providing Muslim women with the right to seek maintenance in case of triple talaq, are expected to be placed in the winter session of parliament. According to a list compiled by think-tank PRS Legislative Research, some of the bills listed for consideration and passage at the session include Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016, Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013 and Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016. The surrogacy bill prohibits commercial surrogacy and allows its altruistic form. It also specifies criteria for the intending couple and a surrogate mother, the think-tank said. Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013 proposes to make giving bribe an offence and modifies the definition of ‘taking a bribe’ and requires prior sanction to investigate officials, it said. The transgender bill, on the other hand, defines a transgender person, prohibits discrimination against them and prescribes penalties for certain offences.
Last year, the Winter session of Parliament was a complete washout as it had failed to transact any business due to the standoff between the government and Opposition over demonetisation, AgustaWestland scam and some other issues. Both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha continued to witness deadlock that began with the start of the session on November 16, 2016 over the manner in which a debate should be held on demonetisation and related aspects.