The Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were adjourned indefinitely on Friday – the last day of the Budget Session – within minutes of opening for business.
The Lower House of Parliament functioned for less than 15 minutes on Friday morning, while the Upper House was adjourned despite appeals by chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu to all parties to maintain order and let the proceedings take place.
The second half of the Budget Session has seen persistent protests by Opposition parties and repeated adjournments since it began on March 5. On Friday too, MPs were seen shouting slogans outside the Parliament building before the session began.
For 22 days in a row, both Houses have been unproductive, with no legislative business being transacted except for the Finance Bill that was passed by the Lok Sabha on March 14, the Hindustan Times reported.
The Lok Sabha worked for 4 hours 52 minutes out of a maximum 109 hours and 48 minutes, Mint quoted a study by PRS Legislative Research as saying. The Rajya Sabha functioned for 9 hours and 26 minutes out of a maximum of 112 hours and 30 minutes.
According to the study, this was the least productive Parliament session since 2000, PTI reported. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the Lower House’s productivity in the second half of the Budget Session was 4%, while that of the Upper House was 8%. “The productivity of the complete Budget Session was 23% for the Lok Sabha and 28% for the Rajya Sabha,” he said.
Five MPs from the YSR Congress Party on Friday resigned from the Lok Sabha to protest the NDA government’s “failure” to grant Andhra Pradesh special status category. Andhra Pradesh leaders from the YSR Congress and Telugu Desam Party have been protesting over this demand throughout the session. However, with the Parliament session adjourned, it is unclear what the MPs’ next move will be.
The Andhra MPs also said they were outraged that their notices for a no-confidence motion against the government were not taken up for discussion in the House. The YSR Congress was among six Opposition parties that moved the no-confidence motion against the government.
Meanwhile, Congress on Friday issued a breach of privilege notice against Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar, after he named Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in the Lok Sabha a day earlier while blaming the Congress for the continued disruptions in the house, PTI reported.
Congress leader K C Venugopal submitted the notice to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
The notice said Kumar was “misleading the House in particular and the people of the country in general regarding the ongoing disruption in the Lok Sabha”. He said the Congress and the Opposition was keen to hold discussions on the no-confidence motions and other national issues, but the government was showing no inclination.
“The minister was deliberately misleading the house by naming the Congress leadership, thereby hiding the fact that it was the government who was actually stopping any kind of discussion,” Venugopal said.
Deadlock in Parliament
The protests over the past week include those by members from Tamil Nadu demanding that the Cauvery Management Board, which will decide how Tamil Nadu and Karnataka share the river water, be set up immediately. The Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party MPs brought up the Supreme Court judgment on the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The Upper House saw the Congress and BJP accusing each other of blocking the passage of an anti-graft amendment bill.