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Stormy monsoon session ends early
September 10, 2007 21:08 IST
The monsoon session of Parliament was on Monday adjourned sine die four days ahead of schedule in the shadow of the government-Opposition stand-off on the Indo-US nuclear deal that disrupted proceedings from day one and raised the spectre of a mid-term poll.
Neither the Lok Sabha nor the Rajya Sabha could take up a discussion on the deal that has raised a major political controversy as the BJP-led Opposition and the Third Front remained adamant on a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to go into it.
The constitution of a UPA-Left committee to go into the deal added fuel to the fire with the Opposition dubbing the exercise as a "family matter".
In the Lok Sabha, a visibly perturbed Speaker Somnath Chatterjee said it was "extremely disturbing that the highest public forum in this country has almost come to a standstill, which has raised questions about the utility of our system of Parliamentary democracy and about its future".
Noting that 42 hours of business were lost due to interruptions and forced adjournments, he appealed to the prime minister, the Leader of the House, the Leader of the
Opposition and others concerned for their cooperation. In the Rajya Sabha, chairman Hamid Ansari said the House had witnessed frequent disruptions.
This was Ansari's first session as chairman while it was the last for secretary general Yogendra Narain who will retire on September 14. Joint sittings of both Houses were held in honour of visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe [Images] and to celebrate the 60th anniversary of country's Independence. The government announced in Parliament follow-up action on Sachar Committee's recommendations for uplift of Muslims.
It also introduced a bill for welfare of workers in the unorganised sector. There was uproar for over two days over Indian Ambassador to the US Ronen Sen's "headless chicken" remark with non-Congress MPs demanding his recall and the Speaker referring the issue to the Privileges Committee.
The session saw the Lok Sabha reprimanding RJD MP Rajesh Kumar Manjhi after a Parliamentary Committee held him guilty of taking a woman friend on an official tour personating her as his wife. He was also suspended for 30 sittings of the House.
The repeated adjournments resulted in the Lok Sabha failing to take up for discussion the issue of prices of essential commodities. Four of the 10 bills cleared by the House were passed without debate.