Congress MP Jairam Ramesh has written to Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu urging him to convene a special two-week session in May-June to discuss important issues. The letter comes a day after the Budget session of Parliament ended on Friday in a washout.
In his letter, Ramesh wrote that a special session may help retrieve some of the lost prestige of Parliament. "Why don’t you try and persuade the Government to convene a special two-week session sometime in late May or early June to both pass important legislation and also have debate and discussion on burning political, economic and social issues? I am aware that the Monsoon session will be called sometime in mid-JuIy but a special session sends a different signal altogether. There is no doubt that the complete washout has inﬂicted great damage to Parliament as an institution and I think a special session may help retrieve some of its lost prestige," he wrote adding that he was making the suggestion in his personal capacity.
Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi led central government, he said that the Centre in the last four years has failed to communicate and engage in meaningtul and serious dialogue with political parties. "It is the responsibility of the Government of the day to communicate and engage in meaningtul and serious dialogue with all political parties to ensure the smooth functioning of Parliament. That was very much in absence in recent weeks. In fact, it has been absent all through the past four years," he alleged.
Both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress have been blaming each other for the impasse with the Prime Minister accusing the opposition party of taking parliamentary proceedings "to a new low".
The NDA MPs would be holding a fast on April 12 to protest the opposition's behaviour in Parliament, while Congress chief Rahul Gandhi told party workers to hold a fast on April 9 to "expose" the BJP's "lies" on the issue.
While the first-half of the session -- January 31 to February 9 -- recorded 134 per cent productivity in the Lok Sabha and 96 per cent in the Rajya Sabha, in the second-half, from March 5 to April 6, the lower house recorded just four per cent productivity and the upper house eight per cent.
In his valedictory remarks, Venkaiah Naidu rued that he had little to say in terms of what the Rajya Sabha did but a lot about what it did not. "While it is customary for the Chairman on this day to give a brief account of what has been done and delivered by the House, today I am compelled to reflect on what could not be done during such an important session," he had said.