In a continuation of the fiercely fought Lok Sabha polls, the first Session of the new Lok Sabha has got off to sparks flying between the Treasury and Opposition Benches in both Houses of Parliament. The Urdu dailies turned the spotlight on the fiery debates in Parliament, framing them as a contest of views and ideas between a coalition government and a resurgent Opposition bloc, seeing it as the hallmark of a vibrant and raucous democracy.


Highlighting Rahul Gandhi’s maiden speech as Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the new Lok Sabha while participating in the Motion of Thanks on the President’s address, the Mumbai-based Urdu Times, in its leader on July 2, writes that Rahul’s speech heralded the arrival of the Opposition in Parliament after 10 years. “Democracy was seen at work in the House, where the Opposition stood up to the government, questioning it on a range of public issues to seek its accountability, which was reflected in Rahul’s compelling one-hour-40-minute-long speech,” the editorial states, adding that it forced Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with half-a-dozen senior Cabinet ministers to interject multiple times. This was rare that PM Modi had to intervene to counter his rival’s remarks, which betrayed the BJP’s current standing, it says.

“Rahul tried to define the country’s secularism encompassing all religions, citing non-violence, truth and fearlessness as its essence. He accused the BJP of spreading hate and fear, alleging that it has been misrepresenting Hindus. It prompted a blowback from the BJP, but Rahul stood his ground, asserting that the BJP and the RSS are not the entire Hindu community,” the daily says, claiming that Rahul’s debut as the voice of the entire Opposition “rattled” the government. “Rahul took a swipe at PM Modi for being ‘non-biological’, referring to his remarks. He told Speaker Om Birla that he need not bow before the PM as the Speaker is the final arbiter in the House,” it notes.

Rahul flagged all the burning issues that he had raised during his Bharat Jodo Yatras, the edit says, adding that the decks have been cleared for the Opposition INDIA alliance to play its role now and ask such questions of the government to make it more accountable.


Referring to the imprisonment of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the Delhi liquor policy case, the Bengaluru-based Salar, in its June 29 editorial, says that while ex-Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren has walked out of a Ranchi jail after five months of incarceration in an alleged land scam case following grant of bail by the Jharkhand High Court, Kejriwal is starting at mounting troubles. . Months after the ED took the AAP chief in custody in the excise policy case, the CBI has now stepped in to arrest him in the same case. “The AAP has dismissed the case as baseless, calling it a political conspiracy,” the editorial says.

Festive offer

The editorial points out that the trial court had recently granted bail to Kejriwal while saying that the ED had failed to furnish direct evidence linking him to the crime, but the ED moved the Delhi High Court to get the bail stayed. “The Delhi liquor policy case continues to remain a mystery, even though it has taken the AAP top brass in its net. Former deputy CM Manish Sisodia has been in jail for a long time. AAP leader Sanjay Singh was also booked in the case and jailed, and is now out on bail,” the edit states. There is speculation that more AAP leaders could face the agencies’ action in the coming days, even as the legal battle for Kejriwal’s release continues, it says.

The daily notes that Kejriwal has not resigned as the CM despite being in jail as it may not be legally required, but there is expectation that he should step down on moral grounds. “However, the point remains that the liquor policy case has been politicized and not proven so far. The AAP and the BJP have traded charges over the row. The AAP has accused the BJP-led Center of plotting to keep Kejriwal behind the bars,” the daily says. “When a corruption case is turned into a political game, it deals a blow to public trust in key institutions like administration and judiciary.”


Commenting on the three new criminal laws — Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita and Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam — replacing the Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure and Indian Evidence Act, respectively, from July 1, the Hyderabad-based Siasat says the government has not accepted the representations and demands made by the Opposition parties to defer the implementation of these new laws since they were “bulldozed” through Parliament in December last year without any discussion.

These laws were passed by a voice vote in both Houses during the final months of the previous Lok Sabha, when 146 Opposition MPs were under suspension. “The Opposition has demanded that there must be a fresh debate on the new criminal codes in Parliament and that the government should take note of its suggestions before enforcing them,” the edit says, adding that some Opposition leaders — such as West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin — have also written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, seeking a deferment of their roll-out. “The Center has not replied to them, making it clear that even on issues of crucial public importance the BJP dispensation is not ready to engage with the Opposition.”

The daily writes that it may be imperative to amend laws and its terms in accordance with the changing times, but questions are being raised in this case over the hasty manner in which these criminal laws were rammed through. “Concerns have been expressed by various quarters that the simultaneous operation of two sets of laws for two different timeframes — pre and post-July 1, 2024 — would trigger widespread worry and confusion among those engaged in the criminal justice system,” it states. This may undermine the administration of justice. “The courts have been reeling under a massive backlog of cases. And justice delayed is justice denied.”

While the government should focus on simplifying laws, facilitating in delivery of justice and easing the burden of courts, the uncertainty over the new criminal laws would only make the matters worse, the editorial says. There have been apprehensions over the adverse implications of these laws for free speech and civil liberties, which must be debated thoroughly so that no one is subjected to any injustice, it says.