180 MPs participated in Lokpal Bill discussions

Around 180 MPs have participated in discussions on the controversial Lokpal Bill in Monsoon Session of Parliament which concluded today, according to a think-tank.

Updated: Sep 08, 2011, 19:45 PM IST

New Delhi: Around 180 MPs have participated
in discussions on the controversial Lokpal Bill in Monsoon
Session of Parliament which concluded today, according to a
think-tank.

According to PRS Legislative Research, the discussion on
Lokpal Bill which stretched for nearly nine hours topped the
list of issues which got the maximum time for deliberations in
Lok Sabha.
The Lokpal discussion spanned 8hours 52 minutes hours in
Lok Sabha and saw participation of 123 MPs across party lines.
While 22 MPs spoke on the floor of the House, the remaining
101 laid their written speech on the table, it said.

In Rajya Sabha, it said, the discussion lasted for over
seven hours and saw participation from 25 MPs.

The number of MPs do not include ministers who spoke
during the debate held on August 27.

The discussion on Prime Minister`s statement on Lokpal
and events that took place on August 16 when Anna Hazare was
arrested saw the participation of 29 MPs in Lok Sabha and
lasted 5 hours 46 minutes.

"The Monsoon Session saw several uncommon events ? a
gesture by the Lok Sabha to Anna Hazare, a discussion on the
issues raised by Anna Hazare on the Lok Pal Bill and the
impeachment motion against Justice Soumitra Sen in Rajya
Sabha.

"However, in performance terms, the house fell
significantly short of its initial plan. Proceedings were
marred by disruptions first on the issue of corruption and
the detention of Anna Hazare, and later on the appointment of
the Gujarat Lokayukta," the PRS analysis said.
Another prominent debating issue was widespread
corruption in the country which saw 50 MPs in Lok Sabha
participating in a discussion which stretched to over six
hours while inflation saw 37 MPs taking 6 hours and 18 minutes
of the Lower House.

This session, Lok Sabha had been scheduled to work for
156 hours and Rajya Sabha for 130 hours. However, the actual
productive time was 104 hours in Lok Sabha and 81 hours in
Rajya Sabha, the PRS analysis claimed.

According to the PRS, only a few bills were taken up for
discussion and both Houses fell short of targets on
legislation.

The initial plan had listed 34 bills for introduction and
37 bills for consideration and passing. However, it said, only
13 bills were introduced and 10 bills were passed.

Standing Committee reports on nine bills were also tabled
this session. However, it said, none of these bills could be
taken up for discussion.

The analysis also noted that the Question Hour was often
disrupted and "60 per cent of the scheduled time was lost to
disruptions".

"The Question Hour had initially been planned for 26
hours in both Houses. However, deliberations were often
disrupted, initially due to protests over the issue of
corruption and the detention of Anna Hazare, and later on the
appointment of the Gujarat Lokayukta," it said.

Of the 520 starred questions planned in Lok Sabha, only
50 could be answered orally, it said adding a similar pattern
was seen in Rajya Sabha where out of the 520 planned
questions, only 64 were given oral replies.

Overall, it said the Lok Sabha worked for 67 per cent of
the scheduled time and Rajya Sabha for 62 per cent.

PTI