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LS passes 22 legislations in 17 sittings lasting 44 hrs, RS met for 50 hrs

August 12, 2023 01:03 IST

The ethnic violence in Manipur dominated the Monsoon session which ended on Friday with Parliament witnessing repeated disruptions and protests by the Opposition in both Houses and a fiery debate in the Lok Sabha where a no-confidence motion against the Bharatiya Janata Party government was defeated.

IMAGE: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla leaves while the Opposition MPs stage a protest as the House adjourns sine die, marking the end of the Monsoon Session of Parliament, in New Delhi, August 11, 2023. Photograph: ANI Photo

Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha did not see a debate on the Manipur violence, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah spoke on it during their addresses on the no-confidence motion.


Lok Sabha also passed a unanimous resolution appealing for peace in the northeastern state.

The Houses were adjourned sine die on Friday, bringing down the curtain on a tumultuous session that also saw the suspension of four members -- two each of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha -- with leader of Congress in the Lower House Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury being among them.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said the productivity of Lok Sabha was approximately 45 per cent and that of Rajya Sabha about 63 per cent during the session that started on July 20 and had a total of 17 sittings.

The motion of no-confidence in the Council of Ministers moved by Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi was discussed for around 20 hours and saw participation of 60 members, including ministers.

Prime Minister Modi replied to the debate on the motion before it was negated by a voice vote.

"During this session, we held 17 sittings which lasted for 44 hours and 13 minutes," Speaker Om Birla said in Lok Sabha, adding that 20 government bills were introduced and 22 draft legislations were passed by the Lower House.

In the Rajya Sabha, Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar said a total of 50 hours and 21 minutes during the 17 sittings of the House were lost due to avoidable disruptions, adversely impinging on the overall productivity of this session.

At the conclusion of the session, he asked members "to make an assessment of the ground we have covered in our journey towards meaningful governance and legislative action".

"Once again, we yielded to the allure of narrow interests and allowed disorder to be the 'new normal' in the proceedings of the House. It appears that my appeals have not resonated well with our members. The frequent unwholesome spectacle of disruptions only indicates that my message has not found the attentive audience it deserves," Dhankhar said.

He said the House was able to pass a few bills during the session that witnessed some lively and animated debates and the Question Hour could be taken up on a few occasions. "But I feel the productivity of the Question Hour could have been much better."

He noted that the Rajya Sabha witnessed a positive development of giving fair representation to women members to be part of the panel of vice-chairpersons and using their managerial skills for the smooth conduct of the proceedings of the House.

"I think, they have vindicated their role and made us proud. In a similar vein, the Secretariat, in a laudable move, undertook a progressive initiative to empower its women employees by affording them the opportunity to attend to the significant table duties within the hallowed Chamber," the chairman said.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Joshi said that during the session, 20 bills were introduced in Lok Sabha and five bills in Rajya Sabha. As many as 22 bills were passed by Lok Sabha and 25 bills by Rajya Sabha, he said.

One bill each was withdrawn from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and the total number of bills passed by both Houses of Parliament during the session was 23, he said.

A large part of the entire session was marred by the opposition's protests over the Manipur violence issue.

The Opposition in both Houses demanded a discussion on the Manipur issue under a rule that entails voting, but the government said it was ready for a discussion under a different rule.

The opposition also demanded the statement of the prime minister on the Manipur violence, but some BJP members countered it saying there should also be a discussion on atrocities and crimes against women in some states ruled by opposition parties and cited the examples of Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Telangana, all of which are going to polls in the next few months.

Lok Sabha saw the suspension of Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and AAP's Sushil Kumar Rinku. Rajya Sabha suspended two AAP members - Sanjay Singh and Raghav Chadha.

After Chowdhury was suspended for “gross, deliberate and repeated misconduct”, it further angered the opposition members, who boycotted the valedictory address by Lok Sabha Speaker

Om Birla and later boycotted the customary tea hosted by him.

Some important bills that were passed during the session were the Multi-State Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Bill, Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, National Nursing and Midwifery Commission Bill, National Dental Council Bill, Jan Vishwas (Amendment) Bill, Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, and the Armed Forces Organization (Command, Control, and Discipline) Bill.

On the last day of the session, the Upper House was adjourned twice in the pre-lunch session amid an uproar by opposition members who demanded a discussion and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's statement in the House on the situation in Manipur.

Manipur has been engulfed in ethnic violence since May 3. More than 150 people have been killed in clashes between the majority Meiteis and the tribal Kuki community.

Before being adjourned sine die, Rajya Sabha returned to Lok Sabha two proposed legislations on the Central and Integrated GST laws by a voice vote without any discussion. The proposed laws seek to levy 28 per cent tax on the full face value of bets in online gaming, casinos and horse race clubs.

Rajya Sabha Chairman Dhankhar regretted that despite his best efforts and the government's willingness, the Manipur violence issue could not be discussed in the House.

"In Lok Sabha, the honourable home minister for more than an hour reflected only on Manipur. The honourable prime minister in his discourse focussed on Manipur, indicated to the nation a soothing and healing touch... 'Ab socho humne kya khoya, kya paya' (Now ponder what have we lost and what have we got?" Dhankhar told the House, where most of the opposition members were absent in the post-lunch session of the last day.

The chairman further said, "This House on account of unruly conduct, indecorous behaviour could not avail the historic opportunity of guiding the Lok Sabha on Manipur and that was on account of our actions. This was very painful. Once again we yielded to the allure of narrow interest, and allowed disorder to be the new normal in the proceedings of the House."

Taking a dig at members of opposition parties who trooped to the well of the House during the session, he said, "Disorder cannot be allowed to be the order of the House. This has been weaponised as a political strategy and that is anti-democratic, anti-constitutional."

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