M A I N   N E W S

Winter session ends with zero business,
Rs 172 crore loss
2G SCAM: BJP vows to continue protests over JPC probe
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 13
After over a month of pandemonium, the Winter session of Parliament came to an end today. With the Opposition stalling business all through in support of their demand for a joint parliamentary committee probe into the 2G spectrum scam, the two Houses failed to do any business during their 23 sittings. Only a few hurriedly tabled Bills, reports and obituary references could be transacted.

The logjam caused a loss of Rs 7.8 crore per day to the national exchequer, which translates into Rs 1.3 crore per hour as each sitting is of six hours per day. That means nearly Rs 172 crore (Rs.1.72 billion) of the Indian taxpayer's money going down the drain.

The session, in fact, went down as an example in Parliament’s history. “Never before in the history of Parliament has a complete session been washed out without transacting any business. This is violative of all the rules of the business and ethics; it is rather criminal,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said.

The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha only managed to function for a couple of hours on November 9 — the first day. Rest, a united Opposition forced adjournments within minutes of assembling for the day. It was amid this chaos that the government managed to get financial Bills involving supplementary demands for about Rs 46,000 crore passed.

Even today, the war of words between the Congress and the BJP continued, the former lashing out at the other for holding “country’s democratic proceedings to ransom”. The BJP retaliated by saying that “at times no work too yielded results”.

Senior BJP leader LK Advani justified Opposition’s stand: “Sometimes, business not proceeding also yields results.” The government, on the other hand, singled BJP out for paralysing Parliament. Bansal said: “My charge against BJP is that they could not have got courage to move a no-confidence motion. They had the ulterior motive of paralysing the government… Democracy was subverted by people who are supposed to be the guardians of democracy.”

Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said: “The government is responsible for the logjam. It is due to government’s adamancy that this situation prevailed in Parliament.”

Meanwhile, Bansal indicated that the government would hold discussions with the Opposition to resolve the deadlock. For, in case of no breakthrough in the interim period, there was a fear that the logjam could make its way into the Budget session next year. Bansal said the Opposition would be responsible if they carried forward the deadlock to the Budget session. The NDA, meanwhile, plans to hold rallies across the country against corruption. Meanwhile, a visibly upset Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari today urged the members to introspect on the functioning of “distinctive” House this Winter session. “All sections of the House would perhaps introspect on the record of this session to seek the distinction between dissent, remonstration, agitation and disruption,” Ansari said before adjourning the House sine die.





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