Saubhadra Chatterji

Saubhadra Chatterji is Deputy Political Editor at the Hindustan Times. He writes on both politics and policies.

Articles by Saubhadra Chatterji

Sprawling Parliament library is now open for public

The Parliament Library which until recently was accessible only to lawmakers, government functionaries, accredited media persons and research scholars, has opened its collection of 1.7 million publications to the common people.

Visitors will be granted physical access only after verification of their documents for identification, officials said.
Visitors will be granted physical access only after verification of their documents for identification, officials said.
Published on Aug 20, 2022 12:32 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Congress president poll: No indication from Rahul of his interest in top post

Elections to the post of party president would be held between August 21 and September 20.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party leader Rahul Gandhi. (PTI)
Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party leader Rahul Gandhi. (PTI)
Published on Aug 19, 2022 12:34 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Ghulam Nabi Azad’s move caught Congress brass off guard

The senior leader's refusal to accept new responsibilities in the Jammu and Kashmir Congress has shocked several central leaders of the party.

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad. (ANI)
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad. (ANI)
Updated on Aug 18, 2022 09:05 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Bihar: How Tejashwi Yadav gave JD(U)-BJP split a headstart

For the past two days, Tejashwi Yadav dialled a few Opposition leaders, while the top leadership of the JD(U) is believed to have established contact with the Congress, the fourth largest party in Bihar and an ally of the RJD.

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar in Patna on Tuesday. (Santosh Kumar/HT photo)
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar in Patna on Tuesday. (Santosh Kumar/HT photo)
Updated on Aug 10, 2022 04:35 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Acrimonious Parliament monsoon session concludes early

The Lok Sabha functioned for just 44 hours and 29 minutes, making this the least productive session in the 17th Lok Sabha since the 2021 monsoon session, which clocked 21 hours and 20 minutes amid protests over the Pegasus snooping controversy, according to an official.

While there were frequent protests by the Opposition in both Houses, a major part of the Opposition’s action also spilled into streets outside the parliament complex, with demonstrations against the price rise and alleged misuse of the Enforcement Directorate. (ANI)
While there were frequent protests by the Opposition in both Houses, a major part of the Opposition’s action also spilled into streets outside the parliament complex, with demonstrations against the price rise and alleged misuse of the Enforcement Directorate. (ANI)
Updated on Aug 09, 2022 04:40 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Historic Bills, stirs mark Venkaiah Naidu’s tenure as Rajya Sabha chairperson

Naidu, a staunch believer in “debate, discuss and decide and not disrupt”, arguably faced the toughest time as chairperson in the history of the Rajya Sabha.

“I can operate only if you cooperate,” M Venkaiah Naidu had said in 2017 in his opening remarks as chairperson of the Rajya Sabha after being elected vice-president of India. (ANI)
“I can operate only if you cooperate,” M Venkaiah Naidu had said in 2017 in his opening remarks as chairperson of the Rajya Sabha after being elected vice-president of India. (ANI)
Updated on Aug 07, 2022 01:11 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Jagdeep Dhankhar defeats Margaret Alva, elected Vice President of India

The 71-year-old leader, who has been described by the Bharatiya Janata Party as a “kisaan putra”, is likely to take oath on August 11.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Vice President-elect Jagdeep Dhankhar on Saturday. (ANI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Vice President-elect Jagdeep Dhankhar on Saturday. (ANI)
Updated on Aug 07, 2022 04:52 AM IST

Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu: A guardian in troubled times

On August 5, 2019, Naidu played a crucial role when the House approved the abrogation of Article 370 and passed the bill bifurcating Jammu & Kashmir into two union territories

Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu conducts the proceedings of the Upper House during the Monsoon Session of Parliament, in New Delhi on Friday. (ANI PHOTO.)
Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu conducts the proceedings of the Upper House during the Monsoon Session of Parliament, in New Delhi on Friday. (ANI PHOTO.)
Published on Aug 06, 2022 07:38 PM IST

Parliament session may be curtailed

With only three working days remaining in the monsoon session of Parliament, the government has discussed a plan with Opposition leaders to curtail the session, which has witnessed a persistent stalemate of proceedings, people familiar with the development said on Friday.

Government functionaries have told the Opposition leaders that the proposal is to adjourn the ongoing Parliament session on August 8 or 10. (ANI)
Government functionaries have told the Opposition leaders that the proposal is to adjourn the ongoing Parliament session on August 8 or 10. (ANI)
Published on Aug 06, 2022 12:51 AM IST
BySaubhadra Chatterji and Smriti Kak Ramachandran, New Delhi

Govt considers plan to adjourn Parliament’s monsoon session early

BJP leaders said the government tried hard to restore normalcy in Parliament and urged opposition members to allow proceedings but the opposition parties were determined to disrupt the House

The government had prepared a list of 24 bills for passage for the monsoon session of Parliament, 14 pending from previous sessions (HT File Photo)
The government had prepared a list of 24 bills for passage for the monsoon session of Parliament, 14 pending from previous sessions (HT File Photo)
Published on Aug 05, 2022 09:05 PM IST
BySaubhadra Chatterji and Smriti Kak Ramachandran

Intense negotiations, 6 drafts behind rare show of Opposition unity

Two senior Trinamool leaders told other Opposition leaders that the document—a reaction to the Supreme Court’s ruling—needed to be seen by a legal expert.

Oppn unity has proved elusive in the past. The last two attempts to forge one, in the Presidential election and the upcoming vice presidential polls, failed (ANI)
Oppn unity has proved elusive in the past. The last two attempts to forge one, in the Presidential election and the upcoming vice presidential polls, failed (ANI)
Updated on Aug 04, 2022 05:38 AM IST

Parliamentary panel questions delays in approvals to solar park projects

A parliamentary committee has expressed disappointment at the slow progress of the development of solar parks in the country and pointed out that 11 out of the 50 proposed parks are yet to get approval from the ministry even as they are supposed to be commissioned by this year.

The report also highlighted that the new and renewable energy ministry in its action-taken reply has said that it has granted approval for 50 solar parks of aggregate capacity of 33.80 GW as on December 31, 2021.
The report also highlighted that the new and renewable energy ministry in its action-taken reply has said that it has granted approval for 50 solar parks of aggregate capacity of 33.80 GW as on December 31, 2021.
Updated on Aug 03, 2022 05:37 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Opposition to focus on charges against Gujarat minister, Jharkhand issue in Parliament

On Monday, opposition parties including the Congress and Trinamool Congress will take up the Gujarat issue in the Rajya Sabha. “We have decided that our woman MPs will raise the issue. Trinamool’s Dola Sen and Mausam Noor will serve notice under Rule 267 of the House for discussion on the rape allegation against a Gujarat minister. The Congress too, is likely to field its women MPs to raise the issue,” said an Opposition leader.

Two new developments—the allegation of rape against a Gujarat minister and three Congress MLAs from Jharkhand caught with <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>49 lakh in Kolkata—are set to trigger a fresh round of opposition-led protests in Parliament from Monday. (ANI)
Two new developments—the allegation of rape against a Gujarat minister and three Congress MLAs from Jharkhand caught with 49 lakh in Kolkata—are set to trigger a fresh round of opposition-led protests in Parliament from Monday. (ANI)
Published on Aug 01, 2022 12:11 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Govt-Opposition thaw possible in Parliament after disruptions

The second week of the ongoing monsoon session of parliament may have ended on an unproductive note amidst continued protests and frequent disruptions, but there is a glimmer of hope for peace to return next week.

Suspended MPs sit during a protest against price hike and their suspension, at Parliament House in New Delhi on Friday. (AFP)
Suspended MPs sit during a protest against price hike and their suspension, at Parliament House in New Delhi on Friday. (AFP)
Updated on Jul 30, 2022 02:32 AM IST
BySmriti Kak Ramachandran, Saubhadra Chatterji, New Delhi

Centre, Opposition lock horns after Smriti, Sonia face-off in House

A bitter verbal face-off between Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Union minister Smriti Irani on the floor of the Lok Sabha on Thursday ratcheted up political tensions with the government and the Opposition presenting contrasting versions of the confrontation.

Union minister Smriti Irani and Congress leader Sonia Gandhi. (ANI)
Union minister Smriti Irani and Congress leader Sonia Gandhi. (ANI)
Updated on Jul 29, 2022 12:30 AM IST
BySmriti Kak Ramachandran and Saubhadra Chatterji, New Delhi

When MPs get suspended from Parliament

Both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha have a history of mass suspensions aimed at retaining order in the House and control chaos

Suspension orders are sometimes revoked if lawmakers express regret for their conduct (PTI)
Suspension orders are sometimes revoked if lawmakers express regret for their conduct (PTI)
Updated on Jul 28, 2022 10:32 PM IST

VP pick Margaret Alva appeals to TMC as Opposition scrambles to forge unity

Alva’s comments came a day after the TMC said it will abstain from the August 6 VP election because it was not consulted before Alva, a former governor, was picked as the Opposition nominee.

Opposition's Vice-Presidential candidate Margaret Alva files her nomination papers at Parliament, in the presence of Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Mallikarjun Kharge and other Opposition leaders, in New Delhi. (ANI)
Opposition's Vice-Presidential candidate Margaret Alva files her nomination papers at Parliament, in the presence of Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Mallikarjun Kharge and other Opposition leaders, in New Delhi. (ANI)
Updated on Jul 23, 2022 05:00 AM IST
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Mamata assured Sonia TMC support for joint VP candidate, Oppn leaders claim

On July 21, Abhishek Banerjee, TMC’s all-India general secretary and also the nephew of TMC supremo and CM Banerjee announced that TMC will abstain in the Vice-Presidential election

The elections to the next Vice-President will be held on 6 August 2022. (File image)
The elections to the next Vice-President will be held on 6 August 2022. (File image)
Updated on Jul 22, 2022 06:36 PM IST

How the Droupadi Murmu vs Yashwant Sinha presidential campaign played out

After frantic efforts by Opposition parties to find a suitable nominee, Sinha’s candidature highlighted Opposition unity. However, for him, the race is over even before it started, as the BJP is set to have an easy win with Murmu. 

NDA presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu and the Opposition nominee Yashwant Sinha.  (File Photos)
NDA presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu and the Opposition nominee Yashwant Sinha.  (File Photos)
Published on Jul 18, 2022 11:28 AM IST

Oppn names Margaret Alva as Vice President candidate

Alva has been a parliamentarian for five terms, served as governor of Rajasthan, Goa, Gujarat and Uttarakhand, and been a Union minister.

**EDS: FILE PHOTO** New Delhi: In this July 8, 2014 file photo, Congress leader Margaret Alva. Alva was nominated as the candidate by the combined opposition parties for the vice-presidential elections, on Sunday, July 17, 2022. (PTI Photo)(PTI07_17_2022_000131A) (PTI)
**EDS: FILE PHOTO** New Delhi: In this July 8, 2014 file photo, Congress leader Margaret Alva. Alva was nominated as the candidate by the combined opposition parties for the vice-presidential elections, on Sunday, July 17, 2022. (PTI Photo)(PTI07_17_2022_000131A) (PTI)
Published on Jul 18, 2022 12:14 AM IST

Anti-defection law amendment panel to include legal experts: LS Speaker

The anti-defection law or the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution has frequently come under scrutiny, following defection of lawmakers that led to toppling of elected governments. The law provides for disqualification of legislators for anti-party activities.

New Delhi: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla arrives for a meeting with presiding officers of Legislative Bodies of India, in New Delhi, Friday, July 15, 2022. (PTI Photo/Kamal Singh)(PTI07_15_2022_000060B) (PTI)
New Delhi: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla arrives for a meeting with presiding officers of Legislative Bodies of India, in New Delhi, Friday, July 15, 2022. (PTI Photo/Kamal Singh)(PTI07_15_2022_000060B) (PTI)
Published on Jul 16, 2022 12:26 AM IST

The Congress faces 11 elections — and a moment of reckoning

With 11 state elections scheduled in the next 18 months, the party can either prepare the ground for national revival or disappear from the political map

The upcoming elections pose a unique challenge for the Congress: Can the grand old party remain in power in even a single state? (File Photo)
The upcoming elections pose a unique challenge for the Congress: Can the grand old party remain in power in even a single state? (File Photo)
Published on Jul 13, 2022 12:23 PM IST

LAC standoff, Agnipath on Opposition agenda for Parliament's monsoon session

The monsoon session of Parliament will begin on July 18 and continue till August 12. 

The India-China border standoff, the Agnipath scheme for short-term recruitment to the armed forces, and soaring unemployment are some of the issues the Congress-led Opposition is likely to raise in the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament. (HT File)
The India-China border standoff, the Agnipath scheme for short-term recruitment to the armed forces, and soaring unemployment are some of the issues the Congress-led Opposition is likely to raise in the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament. (HT File)
Updated on Jul 12, 2022 06:13 AM IST
BySaubhadra Chatterji, Smriti Kak Ramachandran, New Delhi

Rahul’s call for diversity in party positions takes shape on ground

The former Congress president’s call to promote equitable share of party positions among various weaker sections comes at a time when the party is gearing up a number of important panels.

**EDS: HANDOUT PHOTO MADE AVAILABLE FROM AICC ON SATURDAY, JULY 2, 2022** Wayanad: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses the MGNREGA Workers' Meet at Koliyadi, in Wayanad. (PTI Photo)(PTI07_02_2022_000252B) (PTI)
**EDS: HANDOUT PHOTO MADE AVAILABLE FROM AICC ON SATURDAY, JULY 2, 2022** Wayanad: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses the MGNREGA Workers' Meet at Koliyadi, in Wayanad. (PTI Photo)(PTI07_02_2022_000252B) (PTI)
Updated on Jul 11, 2022 05:48 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Congress writes to LS speaker over BJP MPs spreading ‘fake news’

The notice has requested him to refer the matter to the ethics committee of the Lok Sabha. The committee deals with any person or member making a complaint relating to unethical conduct of a member of Lok Sabha.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury  (HT/File)
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury  (HT/File)
Published on Jul 08, 2022 06:04 AM IST

Shiv Sena crisis set to further dent Sinha’s vote tally in President election

The Shiv Sena has 19 MPs in the Lok Sabha, and three in the Rajya Sabha, making it the fourth-largest Opposition outfit after the Congress, the Trinamool Congress, and the DMK.

Opposition's Presidential candidate Yashwant Sinha addresses a joint press conference in Lucknow on Thursday. (ANI)
Opposition's Presidential candidate Yashwant Sinha addresses a joint press conference in Lucknow on Thursday. (ANI)
Updated on Jul 08, 2022 03:54 AM IST
BySaubhadra Chatterji and Smriti Kak Ramachandran, New Delhi

Opposition treads lightly for Vice Presidential election nominee

The Congress has made it clear that it wouldn’t field any candidate from the party; the Trinamool Congress, the second-largest Opposition party, has signalled it is ‘not rushing this time’.

The incumbent Venkaiah Naidu’s term ends on August 10 (FILE)
The incumbent Venkaiah Naidu’s term ends on August 10 (FILE)
Updated on Jul 06, 2022 08:23 AM IST

House panel meets stakeholders to suggest reforms in labour law

The report of the committee is expected to be tabled during the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament.

The issue that is being debated is the process of finding out how many children below the age of 14 are employed in any factory or mine or employed in any hazardous employment. (HT File)
The issue that is being debated is the process of finding out how many children below the age of 14 are employed in any factory or mine or employed in any hazardous employment. (HT File)
Updated on Jul 05, 2022 05:05 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Interview: ‘Have lost states to superior money’, says Cong MP Abhishek Singhvi

“A lot of the states are stolen, majority is manufactured by an immoral BJP. Yes, we have lost these states because of superior money power of the BJP. I can now see where the 95% of the funds of the electoral bonds are being used,” said Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

interview Congress MP Abhishek Singhvi (ANI Photo/Sansad TV)
Congress MP Abhishek Singhvi (ANI Photo/Sansad TV)
Updated on Jul 04, 2022 12:46 PM IST
By, New Delhi

BJP has enough votes to ensure win of VP nominee

The BJP has lost three seats in the last round of biennial polls and its strength has declined to 92 MPs in the Upper House on July 1. In the Lower House, where it enjoys a sweeping majority, the BJP has bagged both seats in the bypoll of Uttar Pradesh, taking its Lok Sabha tally to 303.

In the election for the vice-president, only Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs, including the nominated lawmakers, can vote (AFP)
In the election for the vice-president, only Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs, including the nominated lawmakers, can vote (AFP)
Updated on Jul 03, 2022 07:12 AM IST
By, New Delhi
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