TMC questions quality of bills passed in Parliament

In photo: TMC's senior leader Derek O'Brien.

Trinamool Congress on Thursday questioned the claim of passing a record number of bills in the just concluded Parliament session, saying the quality of legislations was "complete disaster".

Party's Rajya Sabha floor leader Derek O'Brien said the Trinamool played the "role of a constructive opposition" but pointed out that none of the bills introduced in either House was sent for Parliamentary scrutiny.

"Usually the government brings the motion to sent Bills to a Standing Committee or Select Committee. Not even once, the government brought such a motion. Is this something to celebrate? What is the quality of legislation? Complete disaster," he told reporters, a day after Rajya Sabha was adjourned sine die. Lok Sabha adjourned on Tuesday.

O'Brien said the government approached the Opposition with a proposal to sent four bills to Parliamentary panels during the last days of the session but they told the ministers that there was no point as the session was ending.

DH had on August 6 reported that the government has indicated to the Opposition that is willing to send DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill and Dam Safety Bill to committees.

Referring to the time spent on legislations, O'Brien said, "it is not how many hours you spent with a tutor that matters but what matters is your mark list and the quality of the college."

Claiming that the government is trying to corner credit, he said Opposition too deserve credit for the functioning of Parliament while emphasising that Trinamool MPs were active in the House. "Our MPs made 84 speeches during discussions on bills, there were 74 Zero Hour submissions, 56 interventions and clarifications during the passage of Bills, 55 starred questions and supplementaries and five speeches during short duration discussions," he said.

"If you take an average, Trinamool MPs had 2.5 speeches per MP during discussion of bills while Congress had two per MP and BJP 1.4 per MP. On Zero Hour interventions, our average is two per MP, while that of Congress is one and BJP is 1.44 per MP," he said.

He also said the Opposition wanted a discussion on how to strengthen the media but the government was not keen.

"A notice was given by 15 parties and signatories included BJP's Subramanian Swamy. But the government was not keen. Why is the government shying away from a discussion? They told us to choose another subject. That is not the way things are done," he said.

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