Parliament adjourned two days early amid din

Parliament adjourned two days early amid din

The stormy Budget Session ended on Wednesday, two days ahead of schedule, after both Houses of Parliament were adjourned sine die in view of frequent disruptions by the BJP-led opposition over scams related to coal block allocations and appointment in Railways.

This development has created uncertainty over the government’s reform agenda, particularly in insurance and pension sectors, as well as the key legislations like the National Food Security Bill and Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill.

With parliamentary polls just about a year away, Congress was keen to push through the populist bills to redeem its image battered by series of scams.

The government could only get the financial bills passed on April 30.   However, the adjournment is a welcome relief for the “scam-tainted” government. It is saved from further embarrassment as discussion on the Supreme Court’s observation in the coal block allocation against the CBI, the Ministry of Law and Justice and the Prime Minister’s Office along with the Comptroller and Auditor General’s report on the VVIP chopper scam, which were likely to be taken up, could have done more damage to the Manmohan Singh-led government. 

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar did not make the customary closing remarks before adjourning the House sine die shortly after 12:00 noon. She, however, later to2
ld journalists that the House had to be adjourned as it was not running. “The House should run, the House should always run. There should not be any disturbance for any reason. It is betrayal of the trust of the people who have elected their representatives,” she said. Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari too expressed displeasure over the washout of second half of the Budget Session and wondered if the MPs had assessed the “impact of disruptive behaviour on public opinion”.

“The record of the work done, and not done, is in the public domain and in no need of commentary...The experience of this session, and particularly the second half, should induce cogitation on a number of matters arising out of situations in which the House finds itself in its daily functioning,” Ansari said before adjourning the House.

Meanwhile, the government has blamed the opposition for “unnecessary” stalling important legislations like Food Security Bill and Land Acquisition Bill, which are aimed at making a paradigm shift in the welfare approach. Finance Minister P Chidambaram said that the government had tried its best to pass the bills, but the opposition did not allow.

“We tried on Monday, we tried on Tuesday. What’s the point of shouting and counter shouting?” said Chidambaram.

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