PM, Sonia Gandhi At Speaker’s Meet After Abrupt End To Lok Sabha Session

The smiling faces in the Speaker’s room were incongruous with the acrimony throughout the session, which was marked by protests and daily disruptions in both houses of parliament.

 

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Sonia Gandhi were both in Speaker Om Birla’s room in parliament when he met with leaders of various parties after the monsoon session ended on Wednesday morning, two days early.

PM Modi and Sonia Gandhi sat on adjoining sofas in the meeting. Home Minister Amit Shah, the Congress’s Lok Sabha leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and leaders of the Trinamool Congress, Akali Dal, YSR Congress and BJD were also present.

The smiling faces in the Speaker’s room were incongruous with the acrimony throughout the session, which was marked by protests and daily disruptions in both houses of parliament.

Sources say the Speaker urged all parties to cooperate with the functioning of the house in future.

Both the government and opposition parties blamed each other for the standoff.

As the opposition protested on a range of issues including the Pegasus snooping scandal, fuel prices and the Covid crisis, the government was accused of rushing through bills without discussion.

“I saw PM Modi for the first time today. When everything is over, he shows up. The government passed bills without discussion. Except for the OBC Bill, all other Bills were passed within minutes – another record by this government,” said Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.

Speaking to reporters, the Speaker said the Lok Sabha functioned only 21 hours in the month-long session and its productivity was at 22 per cent.

“I am hurt by the fact that the proceedings of the house did not take place per expectations in this session. I always make an effort to see that maximum business takes place in the House and discussions are held over issues related to the public. But there was continuous obstruction this time. This could not be resolved,” Mr Birla said.

The Rajya Sabha saw similar disruptions and yesterday, opposition members stood on the table at the centre of the house and one MP threw the rule book at the Chair.

Rajya Sabha Chairman and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu may take action against the MPs, reports said.

Mr Naidu accused the opposition of violating the “temple of democracy”.

“I am distressed as the way this sacredness was destroyed yesterday when some members sat on the table some others climbed on the tables of the house, perhaps to be more visible, was an act of sacrilege. I have no words to condemn the act as I spent a sleepless night,” Mr Naidu had said in the house, breaking down.

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