The concluding part of the Budget session of Parliament came to an end on Wednesday, virtually without transacting any business because of an unrelenting Opposition that demanded the resignation of “tainted ministers” Ashwini Kumar and P K Bansal.
The mainline Opposition, the BJP, also demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The three-week second phase of the session began on April 22 and was adjourned on Wednesday -- two days ahead of its scheduled end on May 10.
Half of Parliament’s time was wasted due to disruptions caused by the Opposition on various issues. During this part of the session, the Lok Sabha met for 94 hours and 42 minutes, but lost 92 hours and 40 minutes. The Of the 32 sittings, the Question Hour could not be taken up on 21 days.
Meira Pulls up MP
A BSP member on Wednesday left the Lok Sabha as the national song ‘Vande Mataram’ was being played, just before the Budget Session of Parliament was adjourned, prompting an angry rebuke from Speaker Meira Kumar.
Shafiqur Rahman Barq, BSP member from Uttar Pradesh, was seen walking out of the House, as ‘Vande Mataram’ was being played with all members standing in attention.
Meanwhile, the retiring members in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday underscored the importance of a properly functioning House for a vibrant democracy.
Amid continuing disruptions in the House, Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari never failed to extend heartfelt gratitude to the eight retiring members, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, for their major contributions to the Rajya Sabha. Manmohan Singh and Kumar Deepak Das will retire on June 14, while Gnanadesikan, Kanimozhi, Tiruchi Siva, A Elavarasan, V Maitreyan and D Raja will call it a day on July 24. Opposition Leader Arun Jaitley said that Prime Minister’s retirement is only technical and he would be back to the House to lead the way for others. Meanwhile, Maiteyan thanked AIADMK chief Jayalalitha for her generosity, affection and trust which he described as the prime forces that catapulted him into a Member of the House.
‘Nirbhay Partial Hit’
India’s indigenous Nirbhay subsonic cruise missile test, the first-ever since work on it began seven years ago, was a partial success, Defence Minister A K Antony told Parliament on Wednesday.
In a written reply to questions from members on the test, carried out off the Odisha coast, Antony said: “The missile met all objectives set for it, except covering the full range by flying in all way points.”