More brickbats than bouquets for government in Budget SessionMay 6th, 2008 - 10:28 pm ICT by admin
New Delhi, May 6 (IANS) More brickbats than bouquets came the government way during the budget session of parliament which came to an end Tuesday with the Rajya Sabha adjourning sine die. The upper house Tuesday witnessed near scuffles between the Congress members and those of the Samajwadi Party (SP) even as Law Minister Hans Raj Bharadwaj was tabling the session’s politically most sensitive Women’s Reservation Bill, 2008.
The Indo-US nuclear deal and the verbal duels between the leaders of the Communist of Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over violent clashes among their activists in Kerala marked the first part of the session which began February 25.
The alleged attack on the CPI-M’s office at A.K. Gopalan Bhawan here by the workers of the BJP March 9 rocked both houses of parliament for several days.
The BJP leaders launched a scathing attack on the government for failing to check “organised violence” against their workers in Kerala.
Uproarious scenes over sky-rocketing inflation, food cut for Kerala under the public distribution system (PDS), and the exclusion of the creamy layer from quota for other backward classes in educational institutions dominated the second part of the session, which began April 15.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, however, successfully countered the opposition attacks inside and outside parliament on the issue of inflation, which, they said, was an offshoot of a global phenomenon.
The government drew flak from left, right, and centre for not being able to control inflation, while the issue of drought in Bundelkhand region was strongly raised by the members of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), BJP and the Samajwadi Party.
The members of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the BSP and the SP raised the issue of quota for other backward classes in institutions of higher education demanding the withdrawal of the provision regarding the creamy layer.
Compared to the budget session of 2007, the just concluded session had 58 sittings in the two houses against 63 sittings in the last session, seven sittings less.
“The Lok Sabha had 28 sittings, while the Rajya Sabha had 30 sittings during the budget session, beginning February 25,” Vayalar Ravi, parliamentary affairs minister, told reporters.
The Lok Sabha was adjourned sine die Monday, while the Rajya Sabha did so Tuesday.
Ravi said 20 Bills were introduced and passed by the Lok Sabha during the whole session. Notable among them were the Finance Bill, 2008, the Food Safety and Standards (Amendment) Bill, 2008 and the Appropriation (Railways) Vote on Account Bill.
The Rajya Sabha passed 20 Bills. Notable among them were the Central Universities Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2007, the Food Safety and Standards (Amendment) Bill, 2008, the Delimitation (Amendment) Bill, 2008, and the Finance Bill, 2008.
Being the first session of the year, Budget session 2008 commenced with President Pratibha Patil addressing a joint sitting of both houses of parliament in the Central Hall. It was her maiden address to parliament.
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