Both Houses adjourned sine die after acrimonious winter session

Presiding officers of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha express concern over disruption

Both Houses of Parliament adjourned sine die on Wednesday after an acrimonious winter session that saw 11 Bills being passed and 13 Rajya Sabha MPs being suspended, with presiding officers of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha expressing concern over disruption and the now bitter differences between the treasury and the Opposition benches that led to loss of business time.

“I urge you all to collectively reflect and introspect if this session would have been different and better. I don’t want to speak elaborately on the course of this session as it would lead me to take a very critical view,” said Vice-President and Chairman of the Rajya Sabha M. Vekaiah Naidu in his valedictory remarks in the House at the end of the session.

The Rajya Sabha utilised only 47.9% of its allotted time during the 18 sittings. Of the scheduled sitting time of 95 hours 6 minutes, it transacted only for 45 hours of business. Mr. Naidu stressed that the House performed “much below its potential”, a situation that owed much to the suspension of 12 Rajya Sabha MPs at the beginning of the session for its entirety that pretty much drew the battle lines in Parliament deeper than before.

In the Lok Sabha, where the productivity was much higher, the report of the Special Investigative Team of the Uttar Pradesh police on the Lakhimpur Kheri incident became a sticking point as the Opposition members, including Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, demanded the sacking of Minister of State for Home, Ajay Mishra Teni. The SIT report said the incident which left eight people dead, including four farmers, a journalist and three BJP workers was a criminal conspiracy implicating Mr. Misra’s son, Ashish Mishra.

Speaker Om Birla said “agreements and disagreements on issues may be reflected in debates and not through disruption” and that the smooth conduct of the House was the responsibility of all stakeholders and must run with the collective will and consensus of all. The Lok Sabha saw 83 hours and 20 minutes of business being conducted with 18 hours and 48 minutes of disruption.

The Bills passed during the session included the Agricultural Laws Repeal Bill, 2021 which saw the government take back the three contentious farm laws that had resulted in a year-long protest by farmers groups. The Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2021 and the Delhi Police Establishment (Amendment) Bill, 2021 that has made possible the extension of the tenure of the Directors of the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate up to five years.

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