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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

As Venkaiah lauds Rajya Sabha productivity, last day ends with disruptions

Proceedings began on a serene note during Zero Hour, with homage being paid to those killed in the December 13, 2001 Parliament attack.

Written by Abantika Ghosh , Manoj C G | New Delhi | Published: December 14, 2019 12:54:31 am
Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu

Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday lauded the 99 per cent productivity recorded by the Upper House during the Winter Session, but the last day of the session was marred by frequent disruptions over Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s “Rape in India” remarks and the situation in the North-East over the new citizenship law.

Proceedings began on a serene note during Zero Hour, with homage being paid to those killed in the December 13, 2001 Parliament attack.

However, the situation soon went out of hand as several BJP MPs, mostly women, raised slogans following a point of order by nominated MP Sonal Mansingh about a Congress “high functionary” saying that ‘Made in India’ has been replaced by “Rape in India”.

The sloganeering continued even as CPI member Binoy Vishwam valiantly attempted to speak about his 267 notice on the North-East amidst the din.

Earlier, Congress’s Anand Sharma demanded that the Prime Minister immediately call an all-party meeting with chief ministers of all states to assess the situation as sensitive border states such as Assam, Tripura and Manipur were on the boil.

When the House reconvened after a brief adjournment, the TMC led the charge with its member Derek O’Brien’s aggressive protests against a government media advisory against broadcasting anything that promotes “anti-national attitudes”, party MPs trooping into the well and Dola Sen tearing up a copy of the day’s list of business, much to the annoyance of Naidu.

The chairman refused to let Question Hour be interrupted, with nobody from the Opposition, including Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, being allowed to speak. The disruptions went on even as many members pleaded with Naidu to “protect the interest of the members”.

When Azad stood up to speak, his mic was switched on for a few minutes, during which time he demanded a statement from the government on the situation in the North-East — only for the mic to be turned off again.

After prolonged disruptions, Naidu permitted DMK’s Tiruchi Siva to speak, but he was barely audible in the din. Naidu adjourned the session soon afterwards.

In the afternoon, in his customary end-of-session address, Naidu noted that the previous session had recorded a productivity of 104 per cent, while the productivity of the Winter Session was 99 per cent. “For me, this is a certain proof of this ship being steadied and all of you deserve credit for it. As against the total scheduled available time of 108 hours 33 minutes during this session with 20 sittings, the House functioned for 107 hours 11 minutes resulting in a productivity of 99 per cent,” he said.

A total of 11 hours, 47 minutes, accounting for about 11 per cent of the available time of the House, had been lost due to interruptions. However, members sat for an extra 10 hours, 52 minutes, resulting in productivity of 99 per cent.

LS productivity at 116%, RS at 99%

New Delhi: Lok Sabha recorded a productivity of over 116 per cent during the Winter Session, which concluded on Friday. The Rajya Sabha record for the session was 99 per cent.

According to Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, a total of 18 Bills were introduced in Lok Sabha, of which the House passed 14, while Rajya Sabha passed 15. The total tally of the Bills cleared by the two Houses was 15. These Bills would become Acts after Presidential assent.

The Winter Session, which commenced on November 18, witnessed 20 sittings over 26 days.


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