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Frequent disruptions show alarming trend: Meira Kumar

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - 21:55

New Delhi: Parliament`s Monsoon Session
concluded today amid concerns over loss of five days of work
on account of disruptions and warnings that the "alarming"
trend could lead to unforeseen consequences.

Speaker Meira Kumar used her valedictory remarks at the
end of the month-long session to disapprove the `mock
Parliament` held by some parties noting that "let informed
debates take place inside the chamber at all time instead of
slogans and mock discussions."

Striking a similar note, Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari
lamented, "the practice (of frequent disruptions) tramples on
the rights of individual Members, detracts from the dignity of
Parliament, and has invited public criticism."

Parliament is meant for debates and discussions, Kumar
said, adding "the trend of disrupting the proceedings days on
end is alarming and if not checked, will ultimately lead to
unforeseen consequences."

Political parties and individuals, she said, "should
seriously ponder over the irreparable damage being done to
Parliamentary democracy by such disruptions."

While the Lok Sabha lost 45 hours due to interruptions and
forced adjournments, the Rajya Sabha could not transact any
business on five days and there were several disruptions and
adjournments as a result of which eight question hours were
lost, the presiding officers said.

In monetary terms, the disruptions led to loss of crores
of rupees of public money, according to observers of the
Parliamentary scene who insist that per minute sitting of the
Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha cost a lot.

Incidentally, a highlight of the month-long session was
the passage to the much talked about bill raising the salaries
of MPs from Rs 16,000 to Rs 50,000 per month as also
substantially hiking the allowances.

Calling on political parties to preserve the sanctity of
Parliament, Kumar said, "we are sitting here today because of
the sacrifices of countless patriotic Indians. The institution
of Parliament is the magnificent legacy of the glorious
struggle for independence."

Rajya Sabha Chairman Ansari expressed concern over loss of
Questions Hour, the time during which members ask questions
from the ministers.

"We need to think collectively about the matter (of
disruptions) and explore possible options for saving the
Question Hour from such disruptions", he said.

"While the other time lost is compensated by sitting
beyond the normal hours, it is only the Question Hour which is
irretrievably lost in disruptions," Ansari said, adding he
would continue consultations to work out a solution.

"One option is to start the proceedings with the `Zero
Hour` at 11 AM and take up the Question Hour later in the
day", he added.

The Monsoon Session, which began on July 26, had 26
sittings spread over 136 hours and 10 minutes.


First Published: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - 21:55
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