NEW DELHI: There was a stark difference in the way Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha functioned. As the Winter Session concluded on Wednesday, the Lower House, despite disruptions, clocked 100 per cent productivity, while the Upper House where Opposition has the numbers, could achieve only 46 per cent productivity. As the numbers game in the RS stalled the NDA’s key reform bill GST, it forced the government to acknowledge the debate over redefining the role of the Upper House.
Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari urged MPs to introspect and desist from “demeaning the stature” of the House.
At the end of 20 sittings session, nine Bills were passed by Parliament, the key being the Juvenile Justice Bill which saw rare unity among political opponents, perhaps due to public pressure.
In Lok Sabha, 14 Bills were passed, while Rajya Sabha passed nine, the government said. Rajya Sabha lost 47 hours due to regular disruptions caused by Congress-led Opposition protests.
As the session ended, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu accused the Congress of being a threat to democracy and running a “vendetta against people” for electing the Modi government.
“This session has been a victim of a strategy conceived before its commencement,” Naidu said referring to Congress statements that the session would be a washout.
“The Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha have been pulling in different directions, which is a matter of serious concern. This only justifies the campaign of some people that has already begun in some degree for redefining the role of the Rajya Sabha... The country is disappointed at the manner in which Parliament functioned,” Naidu said. His views assume significance, as Modi was no way near getting a majority in the Upper House after losing key elections in Bihar, thus putting a question mark of future legislations.
Naidu quoted comments of the Chairs in both the Houses to hit out at Congress for disruptions. “The Chair in the Lok Sabha called the obstructions as the ‘tyranny of the minority’ and in the Rajya Sabha the Presiding Officer said ‘a few members taking the House to ransom is not acceptable’.” The fag end of the session was marred by allegations against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, as the Congress demanded his resignation. Naidu defended Jaitley saying accusing the FM of corruption was like “spitting at Sun”. “There are no takers (for such allegations),” he said. more: P13