India’s Parliament will begin its special session today. Meetings for the 13th session of India’s Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha,
India’s Parliament will begin its special session today.
Meetings for the 13th session of India’s Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, the upper and lower houses of India’s bicameral parliament, are expected to continue for five days.
While the upcoming sessions allow upper and lower houses to discuss critical bills, tensions have arisen within India’s government. Recently, Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) leader Sonia Gandhi criticized the government for keeping the opposition in the dark and unaware of the session’s agenda. While Modi responded by stating that the meetings would be “much ado about nothing,” opposition members suspect that the majority will attempt to blindside them with legislation like the Chief Election Commissioner and Other Commissioners Bill (CEC Bill) that would impose regulations for the appointment and terms for the office of the Chief Election Commissioner. CPP communications chief Jairam Ramesh recently announced that the party would staunchly oppose the CEC Bill.
The proposed bill would bring the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and Election Commissioners (EC) down to the level of Cabinet Secretaries regarding salaries, legislative power, and length of term served. Priorly equated with Supreme Court Judges, the bill will weaken the power of the CEC and ECs. On a larger scale, India’s international image may be affected by its influence over the developing world. In fact, over 100 countries have sent ECs to India for training in the past decade. We expect a lengthy deliberation over this bill, considering it will go against the Indian Constitution.