Both Houses of Parliament were adjourned sine die on Friday, ending the Winter Session that began on December 15 and had 13 sittings over 22 days.
Although the most talked-about Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, aimed at criminalising instant triple talaq, got stranded in the Rajya Sabha, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar claimed that it was “a very successful session”.
Kumar said the country expected the Rajya Sabha to also clear the (triple talaq) Bill, but the Congress resorted to “double-talk”. He said the main opposition party backed the Bill in Lok Sabha, but in Rajya Sabha the party offered “daily excuses to block it”.
“The government is committed to implement the Supreme Court order on triple talaq,” he said. Indicating that the government is set to push for a nod to the Bill in Rajya Sabha in the Budget Session, he said, “I strongly condemn the Congress attitude and I hope it would rethink on the issue.” Kumar said 22 Bills were passed in the session, 13 by Lok Sabha and nine by the Upper House.
The Lok Sabha worked for 61 hours, recording a productivity of 91.58 per cent. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan pointed out in her valedictory address that the House lost 14.51 hours on account of disruptions. The members made it up partly by working for 8.10 hours overtime.
The Rajya Sabha, which saw disruptions over the issue of alleged insult to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by PM Narendra Modi during the Gujarat election campaign and the triple talaq Bill, worked for 41 hours — 20 hours less than the Lok Sabha. Its productivity was 56.29 per cent.
During his valedictory address, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu called upon members to seriously introspect their conduct, which had cost the House almost 34 hours due to frequent disruptions. He said the session had its highs and lows, but “it is unfortunate that despite discharging its responsibilities to a great extent, the august House ends up losing some degree of the esteem of the people on account of disruptions and substantial loss of functional time”.
He said, “Intense and passionate submissions and debates are the order of democracy but disruptions are certainly not. I urge members to seriously introspect in this regard.” Naidu said that this was his first full session after taking over as the House Chairman, and he felt it could have been better.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present in both Houses when they were adjourned sine die. Congress leader Sonia Gandhi was present in the Lok Sabha.