India / Rajya Sabha passes 15 bills in 2 days amid Opposition's boycott

Deccan Herald : Sep 24, 2020, 11:49 AM
New Delhi: Rajya Sabha recorded a productivity of 100.47% as it adjourned sine die on Wednesday, the second shortest Monsoon Session of the House and third shortest of all sessions, eight days ahead of schedule.

The Session witnessed suspension of eight MPs for "unruly behaviour" during the passage of two contentious agriculture Bills and subsequent boycott of the proceedings by the Opposition and passage of 25 bills, including 15 on the last two days in 346 minutes, as well as the introduction of six Bills.

Since 1952 when Rajya Sabha was established, this (252nd) was the second shortest Monsoon Session of the House when only ten sittings were held, as the government chose to curtail the sittings from 18 days owing to rising Covid-19 cases.

When it comes to the shortest Monsoon Sessions, the 110th session held in July 1979 and the 187th session in October 1999 share the record with just six sittings. 

The 111th session with sitting on just one day on 20 August 1979 is the shortest among all sessions, as the then Prime Minister Charan Singh resigned the same day.

The 89th session of the House, also a Monsoon Session, held during July-September, 1974 holds the record of being the longest among all sessions with 40 sittings of Rajya Sabha.

According to ‘Rajya Sabha Statistical Information 1952-2018’ and subsequent official records, 16 Monsoon sessions were held for 11 to 20 sittings each, 40 sessions had 21 to 30 sessions each and nine had 31 to 39 sittings each and one session had 40 sittings.

In his valedictory address, Naidu said the high productivity of the last four sessions was "praiseworthy". He said 58% of the total time spent by Rajya Sabha was on Bills and it justified the purpose of the Session during which Question Hour was dispensed with.

The House was scheduled to sit for 38:30 hours but it functioned 38:41 hours. Due to disruptions, 3:15 minutes were lost but the House sat 3:26 hours beyond its schedule in some days to bridge the gap. The last four sessions had total productivity of 96.13%.

Naidu was critical of the incidents last Sunday when Opposition created ruckus over denying voting during the agriculture Bills and a notice of no-confidence motion submitted against the Deputy Chairman. "It is the collective responsibility to avert such unpleasant turn of event," he said.

The Chairman also said not taking up Bills during the Opposition boycott would have "legitimised" it as an effective instrument of blocking legislation.

Of all the 69 monsoon sessions, 34 were held during the months of July-August while 16 were held during August-September, six during July-September and five sessions during August-October. Only the 187th session, the monsoon session with six sittings was held fully in October, which was the first session after Atal Bihari Vajpayee became the Prime Minister for the third time.