More business, less disruptions for House

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has some reasons to feel it means business as the first substantive session of Parliament, after it came to power, concluded with passage of key bills and little disruptions.

This is in sharp contrast with the first substantive session of the United Progressive Alliance  (UPA) government in 2004, when all it managed to get passed in Parliament were the General and Railway Budgets. A comparison between the current session and 2004 is drawn because in these years the NDA and the UPA swapped power.

Besides the budgets, Parliament put its stamp of approval on bills that would give more teeth to market regulator Sebi, change the system of appointment of judges and amendments to the Andhra Pradesh reorganisation law.

Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha sat for more than the scheduled time during the session. While the Lok Sabha worked for 167 hours spread over 27 sittings, the Rajya Sabha transacted business for 140 hours. Though the Rajya Sabha witnessed more disruptions than the Lok Sabha, it made up for the lost time by working late on several days. The ruling BJP and the opposition Congress sought to claim credit for the “successful” conduct of the post-election budget session.

“We played the role of a responsible opposition in comparison with the present ruling party,” Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said reeling out statistics to buttress in claims of BJP disrupting Parliamentary proceedings from 2011 onwards.

Azad said the Modi government had nothing to present as its own and was merely repackaging UPA initiatives and claiming credit. Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “vision” and “guidance” for the successful conduct of the Parliament session. “I have no hesitation to share the credit also with the opposition,” he said.

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