New Delhi: The Monsoon Session of Parliament, which was a virtual washout, came to an end on Thursday, capping the stormy developments it witnessed during the entire four weeks since it began on July 21.
The Lalit Modi controversy and Vyapam scam of Madhya Pradesh dominated the session, resulting in paralysis of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and provoking Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to suspend 25 of the 44 Congress members for five days.
The Speaker's action made several opposition parties join hands with Congress and they collectively boycotted the Lower House of Parliament for five days to show solidarity with the suspended MPs.
Rajya Sabha was a complete washout while Lok Sabha managed to work during Question Hour amid din for a number of days and saw some legislative business in the absence of boycotting opposition parties.
The proceedings in both the Houses were drowned during the entire session in slogan-shouting by Congress members who were pressing for resignation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje over Lalit Modi controversy and ouster of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over Vyapam scam.
Lok Sabha finally took up a discussion on the Lalit Modi row on the penultimate day yesterday, which saw attacks from both treasury and opposition benches against each other before Congress walked out.
Even today, when the House was adjourned sine die, Congress and a number of other Opposition parties staged a walkout raising a variety of issues, including the demand for the Prime Minister's reply to the charges against Swaraj and Raje and Chouhan.
While adjourning the House sine die, the Speaker referred to her decision to suspend 25 Congress members, saying she was forced to take the "tough action" as "a last resort and a last option".The Rajya Sabha, which was the worst hit, worked for just
about nine hours and lost a massive 82 hours to disruptions.
Lok Sabha sat for 47 hours and 27 minutes working in the din but lost 34 hours and four minutes due to the protests. However, it also sat late for five hours and 27 minutes to compensate the time lost to some extent.
This was the first session of the new Lok Sabha which witnessed so many disruptions as the earlier sessions during the Narendra Modi dispensation had witnessed a record work.
In Rajya Sabha, Chairman Hamid Ansari dispensed with the convention of reading out the work done by the House during the session.
Mahajan lamented that so much time was lost to disruptions and hoped that future sessions would see some work happening. "I am confident that in the coming sessions, we will continue to work better and more," she said.
She noted that in earlier sessions during the current Lok Sabha, the House had set a benchmark of high standards and productivity ratio was well over 100 per cent.
Noting that she had to resort to suspension of some members on August 3 for five days, she said she had to take this "tough action as a last resort and a last option" due to persistent disruptions of proceedings.
She hoped that the Chair would not be forced to resort to such step in future.
The disruptions ensured failure of the government's plans to push the revolutionary Goods and Services Tax (GST) through Parliament.
The much-talked about Land Acquisition Bill too was referred to the next session despite much climbdown by the government on key provisions as the joint committee report could not be presented due to tussle between BJP and its detractors.The Speaker dwelt at length on the disruptions by the
"Members, I want to share my thought with you. Ever since the session started, some members have been coming to the Well and disrupting the proceedings. I was requesting them not to show placards and come to the well of the Houses, though they right to register their protest but ot this way," she said.
Noting that she had convened an all-party meeting, she said she had impressed upon the leaders that under the Parliamentary system, every issue can be discussed and a solution can be found out.
"But since the members continued to persistently disrupt the proceedings, I had to resort to suspension of some members," she added.
While 10 bills were introduced and 6 were passed in the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha saw passage/return of 2 bills and withdrawal of three bills.
The two Houses saw statements being made on terrorist attack in Gurdaspur and the train accidents in Harda district of Madhya Pradesh.