The Monsoon Session of Parliament concluded on Wednesday (August 11), two days in advance, because of constant disruption in both Houses with the opposition parties unrelenting in their demand for discussion on the snooping scandal, three farm laws and inflation, especially vehicular fuels.
Meanwhile, Opposition parties held a protest march against the curtailment of Monsoon Session on Thursday morning (August 12).
This Monsoon Session was the least productive Lok Sabha session since 1999 with 21 per cent work done, according to PRS Legislative Research data. With just 28 per cent work done, this was Rajya Sabha’s eighth least productive session in the last two decades.
The 2010 Winter Session of Parliament was the worst. The BJP then stalled the two Houses over corruption in 2G spectrum licence allocation.
The Winter Sessions of 2013 and 2016 were the second-worst for Lok Sabha (only 15% work done). The 2013 session was hampered over creation of Telangana state. Parliamentarians in favour and opposed to separate Telangana did not allow the two Houses to function.
In 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation drive sparked protests within the Lower House.
Ruckus this time
This time, both Houses faced disruption since the day the Monsoon Session began i.e. on July 19. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said, “I share the people’s pain that their issues could not be discussed in the House.” Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu choked as he questioned the unruly behaviour of some MPs on Tuesday (August 10).
Six Trinamool MPs were suspended for unruly behaviour.
While Pegasus snooping scandal, farmers’ protests and fuel price hike were the major reasons for opposition MPs to stall the proceedings this time, at times frivolous issues too were used to disrupt parliament’s functioning.
Presence of marshals riled Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, who said men as marshals were a threat to safety of women MPs. Trinamool MP Derek O’Brien tweeted: “Modi-Shah’s brutal government is now using “GENDER SHIELDS” to foil MP protests inside Rajya Sabha. Male marshals for women MPs. Female marshals posted in front of male MPs.”
Leader of the House Piyush Goyal said the presence of marshals was necessary because the opposition MPs tried to strangulate a woman security staffer.
Despite trouble, Government pushed record number of bills
The opposition tried their best to not let both Houses function, but the Modi government still managed to pass a large number of legislations.
On average, Lok Sabha took 34 minutes to pass a Bill, while Rajya Sabha took 46 minutes. The OBC Bill was the only one that was discussed for over an hour.
In Lok Sabha, a total of 13 Bills were introduced and 20 were passed, including The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2021; The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2021; The General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill.
Rajya Sabha passed 19 Bills with 4 Bills introduced.