Rajya Sabha adjourned sine die

New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha was adjourned sine die on Friday by new Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu.

The 243rd session of the upper House that commenced on July 17, included 19 sittings and it took more than 80 hours.

The House also sat till late for more than seven hours to make up for the time lost in disruptions (about 25 hours) and complete the legislative business.

The Rajya Sabha saw disruptions over the issues of increasing incidents of lynching and atrocities on Dalits and Muslims and violence by cow vigilantes across the country.

The plight of farmers and agrarian crisis; alleged horse trading of Congress MLAs in Gujarat; different sized currency notes of Rs 500; Income Tax raids on a Karnataka Minister and renaming of the Mughalsarai railway station, were some of the other issues that rocked the House.

During the monsoon session, the House passed nine government Bills including the Footwear Design and Development Institute Bill; the Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Bill; the Collection of Statistics (Amendment) Bill; and the National Institutes of Technology and Science Education and Research (Amendment) Bill.

The other Bills passed by the upper House were the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (Public-Private Partnership) Bill; the Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill, the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (Amendment) Bill and the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill.

The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was referred to the Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha.

The Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill, 2017 was referred to the Joint Committee of both Houses. Besides, three government Bills were withdrawn.

The issues discussed at length for over 17 hours in the Short Duration Discussions included the increase in incidents of lynching and atrocities on Muslims and Dalits across the country; farmers’ distress leading to rise in suicides and India’s foreign policy and engagement with strategic partners.

The issues regarding the situation arising out of recent floods in various parts of the country particularly in Assam and the situation arising out of the violation of prescribed conditions of Letter of Permit by foreign trawlers in deep sea fishing in Indian seas were also taken up in the form of Calling Attention.

Besides, 13 Private Member’s Bills were introduced in the House and two Private Members’ Bills, the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (Amendment of the Eighth Schedule), and the Central Himalayan States Development Council Bill, 2016 were discussed at length.

During the Session, 285 starred questions and 3,040 unstarred questions were admitted and answered. Of these 46 starred questions were answered orally.

The Question Hour could not be taken up on three days due to ruckus and interruptions in the House over one or the other issue.

Also, 113 reports/statements of various Parliamentary Committees including those of the Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committees were presented or laid on the Table of the House.

Two new members, Vinay Dinu Tendulkar and Sampatiya Uikey elected from Goa and Madhya Pradesh respectively, joined the House during the session.

Two members – BSP leader Mayawati and BJP’s M. Venkaiah Naidu — resigned from the Rajya Sabha during this monsoon session.

The House made references to the passing away of sitting members Anil Madhav Dave and Palvai Govardhan Reddy, besides 11 former members of the Rajya Sabha.

A reference was also made on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Quit India Movement. The leaders of various parties spoke on the occasion and a resolution was adopted unanimously by the House.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the members of the House bid farewell to outgoing Vice President M. Hamid Ansari and to nine members representing Gujarat and West Bengal, who will be retiring on August 18 on expiration of their terms.