NEW DELHI :
A productive winter session of Parliament ended on Friday, with the Lok Sabha registering 116% productivity and the Rajya Sabha clocking 99%, parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi said.
The session, however, ended on a controversial note over the law and order situation in the North-east, and former Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s “Rape in India" comment.
In terms of productivity, 15 bills were passed in both Houses of Parliament. Joshi said 18 bills were introduced in the Lok Sabha and 14 were passed, while Rajya Sabha passed 15 bills. Both Houses were adjourned sine die on Friday afternoon.
“At the start of this historic 250th session, I had appealed to all of you to sustain the positive momentum of the last session. I am glad that collectively all of you rose to the occasion and kept up the happy tide...the session was marked by seriousness and brevity," Rajya Sabha chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu said in his valedictory speech.
Lok Sabha chairman Om Birla’s concluding remarks, however, were cut short by protesting members. Birla was speaking on the high productivity, passage of bills and a series of discussions on important topics, including two non-legislative debates on air pollution and crop losses.
While the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Bill, 2019, and the Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019, were passed, the Personal Data Protection Bill was sent to a joint parliamentary committee for scrutiny.
On Friday, however, the Lok Sabha witnessed a ruckus when senior leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Union minister Smriti Irani, accused Gandhi of making “insensitive" remarks on rape, and demanded action against him. “A Congress leader is using a heinous crime like rape, a part of political mockery. For the first time, a son of the Gandhi family is doing this," Irani said. Later, she led a delegation of BJP women MPs to the Election Commission to demand “strongest possible action" against Gandhi.
On his campaign trail for the ongoing Jharkhand elections, Gandhi on Thursday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised “Make in India", but “wherever you see now you find rape in India".
Gandhi, however, defended his statement and said he would not apologise as he was simply talking about rising instances of crimes and rape against women in India.
“The manner in which Narendra Modi Ji and Amit Shah Ji have put the entire North Eastern Region on fire -- to divert attention from this issue Narendra Modi Ji is trying to make an issue out of my statement," Gandhi told reporters.
The Rajya Sabha, too, saw acrimonious exchange between the Opposition and treasury benches over the law and order situation in the North-East, particularly Assam, following the passage of the citizenship amendment bill.
*PTI contributed to this story.