Rajya Sabha lost 52.3% of its winter session in week one

Hyderabad: Last week, interruptions and protests cost the Rajya Sabha over 52% of its allocated sitting time.

The members of parliament from the opposition have been protesting over a number of issues, including the suspension of 12 Upper House members for causing a nuisance on the last day of the monsoon session.

The house however increased productivity on Thursday and Friday which gave promise of a return to normalcy.

While the opposition has condemned the suspension move as “undemocratic” and “selective,” Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has refused to rescind it, citing the suspended members’ failure to “express regret.” He has, however, underlined that it is up to the House to form an opinion on its decision, and it is up to all parties involved to carry it out.

The suspended members of parliament have been demonstrating near Mahatma Gandhi’s monument on parliament grounds, refusing to back down. Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Pralhad Joshi, stated that the administration was willing to reconsider lifting the suspension if the opposition member of parliaments apologised.

According to a media release, the House’s productivity over the past week was 47.70% of the allotted time. According to the report, the House sat for 33 minutes longer than expected on Thursday, boosting overall productivity for the week to 49.70%. Thursday and Friday had the greatest weekly productivity rates, at 95% and 100%, respectively.

The House took up Private Members’ Business for the whole two-and-a-half hours on Friday. The last time this happened was on February 7, 2020, during the Budget session, according to the report.

The Rajya Sabha passed two bills in the first week of the session: the Farm Laws Repeal Bill and the Dam Safety Bills.

Opposition parties walking out

Opposition parties including Congress, RJD, TRS, NCP, and Muslim League staged a walkout from the Rajya Sabha on Thursday over inflation.

The walkout followed denial from the Chair to hold a discussion on inflation as sought by the Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge.

Kharge raised the issue during the Question Hour when the House assembled at noon after its first adjournment, saying “I am sorry. I am troubling you. I will not take more time”.

“Inflation is the major issue today. If the House does not hold discussion over the issue, I will protest and walk out,” Kharge said.

Subsequently, the Opposition parties walked out of the House.