New Delhi: The monsoon session of Parliament, which concluded on Friday, is tipped to be one of the most productive sessions of the Lok Sabha in the last 18 years, according to data by PRS Legislative Research.
The session, which saw the Lower House passing 21 bills, also witnessed an unsuccessful no-confidence motion and the election of a new deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Harivansh.
Both Houses of Parliament were adjourned sine die on Friday evening.
The productivity of the session is significant because the previous few parliamentary sessions witnessed repeated disruptions and washout. According to data by PRS Legislative Research, the Lok Sabha worked for 110% of the total allotted time, while Rajya Sabha worked for 66%. In comparison, the previous budget session was one of the worst in terms of productivity.
Despite the government’s push, the Rajya Sabha did not take up discussion on the amended triple talaq bill on Friday because of lack of consensus among political parties. The bill has become a political flashpoint with the government blaming opposition parties for delaying the legislation.
Parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar said on Friday that the Rahul Gandhi-led Congress was “directly responsible" for the stalling the bill. Kumar said that the monsoon session was a “landmark" session because of its productivity.
This session also saw the dominance of the Congress ending on the post of deputy chairperson of the Rajya Sabha. Janata Dal (United) leader Harivansh, who was the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate, won the election against the joint opposition candidate, B.K. Hariprasad of the Congress.
Friday also marked the first day for Harivansh, a first time member of Parliament, as the deputy chairman. He was faced with some disruption in the House with opposition parties demanding a discussion on the Rafale deal. He, however, referred to the rule that states that permission has to be sought from the chairman of the Rajya Sabha for this.
Earlier in the day, former Congress president Sonia Gandhi led the opposition’s protest against the Rafale deal, demanding that there should be a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the issue. The issue later resonated in both Houses of Parliament, particularly the Rajya Sabha.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark on Hariprasad was also expunged from the Rajya Sabha records. “The Prime Minister’s remarks have been expunged from the records of the Rajya Sabha," a senior official in the Rajya Sabha secretariat said on condition of anonymity.
The session saw the passage of key bills including the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018, the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013, the Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill 2017 and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2018.
PTI contributed to the story.