New Delhi: Sharing the concern of presiding officers over reduced number of sittings, government on Wednesday defended passage of a number of Bills without discussion and blamed the opposition for disruption of Parliament.
“Parliament is meant to have legislative business. If political parties disturb, how can we have Bills passed. Government is also not happy over reduced number of sittings,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vyalar Ravi told a press conference here a day after Parliament was adjourned sine die.
Concerned over the frequent disruption of the two Houses, he said if Parliament functions in an orderly manner, the government can explain the reasons of Bills and the opposition can criticise and make suggestions. He disagreed that the government had decided to prorogue the session under pressure from Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee.
The minister said it was not fair to drag the Speaker’s name into the issue and added that he was “surprised” to see media reports in this regard.
“It was never the intention of the government to prolong the session,” Minster of State for Parliamentary P K Bansal, who was also present, said.
Ravi said a notice was issued on Tuesday itself for convening a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) on Wednesday to prorogue the House. Before adjourning the House, the agenda for the CCPA was issued, he said.
The monsoon session, which started on 21 July, met in three parts and concluded only on Tuesday. The two Houses had around 46 sittings during the calendar year and lost over 13 hours in din since they met on 10 December.
Bansal said the government was in favour of having atleast 100 sittings in a year. “But what is the use if the opposition does not allow the House to function,” he asked.
He appreciated that despite the brief session, considerable legislative business was carried out and a number of Bills were passed.
To a question whether all political parties should sit together on the number of Parliamentary sittings, Ravi said some minimum number of sittings should be fixed.
“It is not a good thing for everyone of us. The government is very much concerned about it. The number of sittings coming down will not be appreciated by the people,” he said.
While adjourning the Rajya Sabha sine die, Chairman Hamid Ansari had on Tuesday lamented the passage of important legislative business in the ‘din´ and said it did no credit to Parliament.
Altogether 19 Bills were passed by the two Houses during the last part of the Monsoon Session, and 18 Bills were introduced.