The last day of the 15th Lok Sabha turned out to be its most productive day. Cutting across party lines, the members showered praises on each other as the 15th Lok Sabha’s session came to an end on Friday.
It was a rare show of bonhomie, where even ideological opponents let go off their baggage to hail each other. Left leader Basudev Acharia termed BJP patriarch L K Advani as the ‘father of the House’; Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj lauded Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi for her role to resolve disputes arising in the House.
Swaraj wished everyone well in the next elections. And her description of main leaders in the House drew smiles all around. She said Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath’s shararat (mischief) to create trouble in the House was effectively dealt by sharafat (decency) of Leader of the House Sushilkumar Shinde. Swaraj also praised Sonia’s gracefulness and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s gentleness and Advani’s nayay priyata (judiciousness) in the House.
“We are going back with so many sweet and sour memories.. When the history of this Lok Sabha will be written, it would be said that this was the session where most disruptions happened. And on the other page, it would be written it was also the same session where the most awaited Bills were passed. The Lokpal Bill, Telangana Bill, Food Security Bill, Land Acquisition Bill, Manual Scavenging Bill, Street Vendors Bill etc,” she noted.
CPM leader Basudeb Acaharia said he initiated a many short-duration discussions, but they remained inconclusive.
“During the 13th Lok Sabha, Inderjit Gupta was father of the House, then Balayogi and now L K Advani as he is the senior member. As Sushma Swaraj has been raising the concerns of the House, she can be called sister of the House,” Acharya said. Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav expressed his gratitude towards Sonia Gandhi saying: “Whenever I have passed on slips to her requesting something, she has always acted on them.” He also praised BJP veteran L K Advani. He thanked the “elder” leader even while noting that he had differences with him. “This happens in democracy,” he adds.
Despite the bonhomie, CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta reminded that all members had responsibility to running the House. “Madam, my best wishes to you as the custodian of the House, the way you have protected our rights, sometimes you failed too,” he said referring to Speaker Meira Kumar.
The Speaker also spoke at end of the farewell speeches. The first woman Speaker said she had always allowed more time for women, and wished there were more female members.
The speakee added that she even brought up changes in the Lok Sabha rules to make address the Chair gender neutral.