The Congress on Tuesday said the Monsoon session of Parliament was ”highly disappointing” and the government did not have the appetite to run proceedings till the scheduled date of August 12 even though opposition parties were willing to sit till the very end to debate and pass bills.
The Monsoon session ended on Monday, four days ahead of schedule, after continued disruptions during the last three weeks over issues like price rise, suspension of 27 MPs, the controversial ”Rashtrapatni” remark and the Enforcement Directorate’s action.
The Congress said the government did not have a legislative agenda and though it listed 32 bills at the start of the session, it managed to pass only seven in Lok Sabha and five in Rajya Sabha.
“It was also extraordinary that one-and-a-half-day of proceedings were disrupted by treasury benches which kept insisting on an apology from Congress president Sonia Gandhi for remarks made by Leader of the Party in Lok Sabha who had already apologised for his statement both verbally as well as in writing,” AICC general secretary, communication, and party’s chief whip in Rajya Sabha Jairam Ramesh said.
He said the coming together of opposition parties to demand a review of the Supreme Court’s order on PMLA is a “huge step towards strengthening democracy”, and noted that “cadre mobilisation of the Congress on people’s issues and ED high handedness” was a “great benefit of the Monsoon session for the party and the August 5 anti-ED protest even put Home Minister Amit Shah on the ‘back foot’.” Terming the Monsoon session as ”extremely disappointing”, he said, ”There was no enthusiasm or appetite on part of the government to get bills passed. Normally the opposition says the House should be adjourned but this time the government had no appetite to run the house”.
He said the opposition was ready to sit on August 10 and 12 to discuss and pass bills but the government was in a rush to curtail the session. “The reason cited was that BJP MPs don’t want to return after Raksha Bandhan on August 11,” said Jairam adding the houses could have sat on August 10.
He said the government had listed 32 bills at the start of the session but managed to pass only seven in the Lok Sabha and five in the Rajya Sabha. “The government had no business in its agenda. The floor management was not good. Earlier the prime minister used to ignore Parliament and now even the ministers are doing so,” Ramesh charged.
He also referred to the absence of Education minister Dharmendra Pradhan when the Central University Bill was being piloted in Rajya Sabha on Monday. “IT and communication minister Ashwini Vaishnav piloted the bill and replied to it,” said Jairam adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was seen in Rajya Sabha for the first time on Monday when he spoke during the farewell of House Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu. Congress deputy leader in Lok Sabha Gaurav Gogoi said the government knew about the holidays beforehand so why did it not plan accordingly. Ramesh said probably this Monsoon session was the last session in the current Parliament building because ”we have been told that the Winter session will be held in the new building”.