Introspect, Hamid Ansari urges Rajya Sabha members

Monday, December 13, 2010

NEW DELHI - An anguished Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari Monday urged members to introspect on the functioning of the house as it was adjourned sine die without transacting any major business during its winter session that began Nov 9.

“All sections of the house would perhaps introspect on the record of this session to seek the distinction between dissent, remonstration, agitation and disruption,” Ansari said in his valedictory remarks before adjourning the house sine die on the last day of the winter session.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the leader of the house, was present when Ansari made his remarks.

As has happened since the winter session began, the upper house was adjourned Monday soon after the question hour started at 11 a.m. with the opposition unrelenting in its demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

The protests continued when the house reassembled at 12 noon, forcing its adjournment till 12.30 p.m. On resumption, Ansari read out his valedictory remarks and then adjourned the house sine die.

According to Ansari, the Rajya Sabha’s winter session displayed a distinctive feature: no debates or discussions on public matters took place; no special mentions were made or laid on the table; no zero hour interventions were sought; no questions were answered orally and no supplementary questions were raised.”

Four appropriation bills were passed. Altogether the house assembled for two hours and 44 mintues in 23 days. The prohibition in rules about shouting slogans, displaying posters, obstructing proceedings by coming into the well of the house was constantly ignored.”

According to the records of the Rajya Sabha secretary general, more than 100 hours were lost on issues like a JPC probe into 2G allocation, corruption in Commonwealth Games 2010 projects, Mumbai’s Adarsh housing society scam and the offensive remarks made by former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief K. Sudarshan against Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Of the 480 starred questions, only one could be answered orally during the question hour.

The Lok Sabha too was adjourned sine die Monday, essentially on the JPC issue.

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