New Delhi, Feb 22 (IANS) After the daily slogan shouting, noisy protests and frequent disruptions seen in the winter session, peace seemed to have returned to the Indian parliament Tuesday – the first working day of the budget session.
And to make sure that peace prevails and the budget session runs smoothly, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh set the tone early in the morning by announcing that the government would set up a parliament panel to probe irregularities in the allotment of second generation telecom waves that have caused the nation huge financial losses.
Manmohan Singh made the announcement as soon as MPs assembled for the budget session that began Monday with the annual address of President Pratibha Patil.
The prime minister made the statement in the Lok Sabha even before the question hour to make sure the opposition that stalled the winter session in December remains assured and noisy scenes were not repeated.
In contrast to the pandemonium witnessed daily during the winter session, on Tuesday peace as never seen before prevailed as the day saw normal functioning of both the houses.
Question Hours were taken up in both houses, followed by Zero Hour and a debate on Motion of Thanks to the President’s address which is scheduled to conclude Wednesday.
Both the houses were adjourned after the conclusion of the day’s business — in sharp contrast to the winter vibes in the last session.
In the winter session, parliament could not transact any significant business and the two houses couldn’t even function for an entire day during the nearly one-month-long session due to opposition protests and adjournments, which translated into a loss of a staggering over Rs.171 crore to the nation.
Opposition parties, led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), had stalled parliamentary proceedings over the 2G spectrum allocation demanding the setting up of a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) to probe the scandal.
Barring the first day of the winter session that began Nov 9, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha did not function normally for even one full day to transact legislative business. This earned the winter session a dubious record of being the least productive ever – with only seven of the scheduled 138 hours of business conducted.
Each day of the winter session in the two houses would start with slogan-shouting opposition MPs gathering near the presiding officers’ podium and chanting anti-government slogans to press for a JPC to investigate the scam that forced now arrested DMK leader A. Raja to quit as communications minister.
The presiding officers would each day adjourn the houses till the next morning as the government firmly rejected the opposition demand.