Parliament adjourned again but some business done

Friday, December 3, 2010

NEW DELHI - The government Friday rushed through some financial bills and other papers in parliament before both houses were again adjourned till afternoon as an adamant opposition stuck to its demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the controversial 2G spectrum allotment.

This was the second disruption of the day. The Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha were first adjourned as soon as MPs assembled in the morning for the crucial question hour that was derailed due to protests by opposition members.

Parliament has been witnessing continuous disruptions since the winter session began Nov 9 with opposition parties targeting the government over corruption scandals. They are demanding a JPC that be convened to investigate alleged irregularities in the allotment of second generation telephony spectrum by former IT and communication minister A. Raja.

But on Friday the government laid some papers and also got some bills, including the Supplementary Demands for Grants (Railways) for 2010-11, passed in the Rajya Sabha amid a din.

While the Rajya Sabha met after its first adjournment in the morning, opposition members again raised slogans over their demand for a JPC but Deputy Chairman K. Rehman Khan went ahead with the business for the day.

He asked the papers to be laid on the table of the house and asked Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee to move the appropriation bill relating to the supplementary demands for grants for railways.

The bill okayed by the Lok Sabha Thursday was passed by voice vote amid continuous slogan-shouting by opposition members in the Rajya Sabha. The bill authorises payment and appropriation of further sums from the Consolidated Fund of India for the services of the financial year 2010-11 for the railways.

The upper house was adjourned to meet again at 2.30 p.m. for considering the bills moved by MPs other than ministers. Such bills are called Private Member bills.

The lower house too witnessed similar protests as the opposition members pressed for their demand for a JPC. But the government went ahead with the day’s schedule of papers, minister’s statements and some reports even as opposition MPs continued with their protests near Speaker Meira Kumar’s podium.

Meira Kumar then adjourned the house till 3.30 p.m. when MPs would meet again for Private Member bills.

The morning was more chaotic in both houses as the opposition forced adjournment of the two houses till noon.

Parliament has seen unabated protests leading to daily disruptions and halting the government’s important legislative and financial business that needs approval of the two houses.

There are no signs of a breakthrough to end the impasse that has paralysed parliament for the last three weeks.

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