Pained that monsoon session lost 73.30 hours: Meira Kumar

Pained that monsoon session lost 73.30 hours: Meira Kumar

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar Monday expressed concern over the frequent disruptions and adjournments in parliament, affecting precious hours of business and discussion.

"I am pained that the monsoon session of parliament that adjourned sine die last month lost 73.30 hours due to interruptions," the speaker said in her address to Lok Sabha members, state legislators and former legislators in the assembly here.

"But despite that, landmark bills like food security, prohibition of employment as manual scavengers and their rehabilitation, land acquisition and on Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority have been passed," Meira Kumar said in her speech in Hindi.

These bills, she said, would certainly help provide social and economic justice to the common man and have a long lasting impact.

The monsoon session of the Lok Sabha, which was adjourned sine die Sep 7, saw disruptions over several issues including the decision to carve out a separate Telangana from Andhra Pradesh. The allegedly illegal land deals of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra, Chinese incursions into Indian territory and fuel price hike also caused disruptions.

The speaker said that as public representatives "it should always be in our minds that we have been elected to raise public issues. We have to raise these issues in the house so that there is a change in the attitude of society".

India's first woman speaker of the Lok Sabha was on a two-day visit to the erstwhile summer capital of British India to preside over the golden jubilee celebrations of the state assembly.

Calling for an end to disruptions in parliament, she said: "As public representatives, we can make laws on various issues. But making laws is not sufficient. The people should accept and follow them and that is also important. It's often said the executive is not implementing the laws framed by the legislature in the right perspective."

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said the trend of disruption during question hour is growing day by day which is not a healthy sign.

"Most of the time due to frequent disruptions of the question hour in parliament or state legislatures, time is wasted. This rising tendency of disruptions needs to be curbed and this can be achieved with the collective efforts of legislators," he said.

Leader of Opposition and former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said "our chamber (Council Chamber) is small but a number of historical decisions have been taken. A resolution to give the vote to women was also adopted (here)."

Assembly Speaker B.B.L. Butail said Motilal Nehru moved a resolution, endorsed by Lala Lajpat Rai, in this house in 1925 to give the right to vote to Indian women.

The resolution was adopted unanimously by the assembly, then known as the Central Legislative Assembly.

As per the archives of the assembly, Vithalbhai Patel was elected the first president of the Central Legislative Assembly from 1925-30. He became the president after defeating the British candidate by two votes.

This elegant building was opened by Lord Reading in 1925. The Central Legislative Assembly used to hold its summer sessions here during the days of the British Raj.Leaders like Motilal Nehru, Madan Mohan Malviya, Lala Lajpat Rai and Satya Murthy along with Mohammad Ali Jinnah were members of the Central Legislative Assembly.

After Independence, the Council Chamber came to house the Punjab Legislative Assembly, the state secretariat, the All India Radio Station and now houses the state legislative assembly.

President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the golden jubilee celebrations by addressing the legislators May 24. 

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