Conversion row freezes work in Rajya Sabha

AM Jigeesh New Delhi | Updated on November 25, 2017

Cooling off Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal with Congress Rajya Sabha MP Anand Sharma, outside Parliament House in New Delhi, on Friday. The Winter Session comes to an end next Tuesday V SUDERSHAN

In Winter Session, NDA govt conducts more business in Lok Sabha, where it is in majority

With the Winter Session of Parliament set to end on December 23, the Rajya Sabha is far behind the Lok Sabha in productivity.

The session saw the NDA government, which is in a minority in the Upper House, struggling to get things done, as a united Opposition emerged much stronger than in the Lower House.

According to research organisation PRS India, the productivity of the Lok Sabha in the four weeks of the Winter Session is at 102 per cent, against the Rajya Sabha’s 62 per cent.

Also, the functioning of the Question Hour is 82 per cent in the Lok Sabha and 29 per cent in the Rajya Sabha. While 88 questions were answered orally in the former, only 43 were done so in the latter.

Bills passed

In all, 10 Bills have been passed by both Houses so far — the Lok Sabha passed 16 and the Rajya Sabha, 10. While 14 Bills have been introduced in the Lok Sabha so far, only one has been introduced in the Rajya Sabha.

Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari had deplored the conduct of MPs during the session and even suspended Congress member Hanumantha Rao for a day.

Ansari named many MPs “for gross disorderly conduct in violation of rules and etiquette of Rajya Sabha”.

In the second week of December, he named about 55 members for creating a ruckus.

On Friday, too, no business was transacted as the Opposition insisted that a discussion on the communal situation cannot be taken up without an assurance that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would give an answer. The Centre, however, ruled this out and maintained that only Home Minister Rajnath Singh will give a reply.

“The Prime Minister will have to tell the Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains that they are safe under his government,” said Opposition leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.

The Centre maintained that the Opposition is not ready for a debate.

The government is even willing to discuss the possibilities of a legislation to stop religious conversions, it said.

Hours of disruption

The Winter Session of 2013, under the Manmohan Singh government, had seen several hours of disruption of both Houses on issues such as Telangana.

According to PRS India, in the Winter Session 2013, the Lok Sabha worked for 21 per cent of the scheduled hours and the Rajya Sabha, 27 per cent.

A total of 15 Bills were introduced and 12 Bills, including five relating to the General and Railway Budgets, were passed in Parliament.

Published on December 19, 2014

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