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Longest Parliament session in recent times ends

December 23, 2008 20:01 IST

The longest session of Parliament in recent times concluded on Tuesday in the shadow of the A R Antulay [Images] controversy with the opposition unrelenting in its demand for the sacking of the minority affairs minister.

The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha adjourned sine die after a ten-day sitting in the third and final phase of the Monsoon session of Parliament which had begun way back on July 21 for the trust vote.

The Left parties boycotted the Lok Sabha proceedings at the fag end of Tuesday's sitting accusing the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party of being hand-in-glove which has resulted in, what they alleged, as a "restrictive democracy" with no discussions on key issues affecting the common man.

This session was dominated by A R Antulay whose controversial remarks on the circumstances that led to the killing of Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare [Images] during the Mumbai [Images] attacks raised a political storm with opposition vociferously demanding his removal.

Meeting days after the Mumbai attacks that shook the nation, the session also passed the anti-terror laws including that for setting up of a National Investigation Agency and for bringing stringent provisions to tackle terror which witnessed the opposition and the government showing rare solidarity.

The session also saw government bringing the insurance reforms bills which were strongly resisted by the Left parties from the introduction stage itself over raising of the Foreign Direct Investment cap from 26 per cent to 49 per cent.

In order to combat the impact of global financial meltdown on the Indian economy, Parliament approved two batches of supplementary demands for grants raising public expenditure by a whooping Rs 1.47 lakh crore from Rs 7.5 lakh crore envisaged in the Budget for 2008-09.

The session saw government giving clear signals that Parliament would be meeting in February ahead of the Lok Sabha polls to pass the vote on account.

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