Amid Several Controversies, Shortest Budget Session in Recent Years Ends

Tarique Anwar, BeyondHeadlines

New Delhi: The shortest Budget Session of Parliament in recent years came to a close on Friday after acrimony over diverse issues ranging from the CVC controversy to the cash-for-votes scam.

A highlight of the month-long session having 23 sittings was the setting up of the Joint Parliamentary Committee to probe the 2G spectrum scam, an issue that had washed out the entire Winter Session.

The session witnessed uproar over many issues and the Lok Sabha lost over 25 hours due to interruptions followed by adjournments. However, the members made up for the lost time by sitting late for more than 26 hours.

In the Rajya Sabha 20 hours were lost due to interruptions and members partly compensated the loss by sitting late for over 12 hours.

In view of the “unfortunate logjam” in the previous session, Speaker Meira Kumar expressed satisfaction over the “successful” transaction of the business during this session.

After 2006, the Budget Session this year saw the completion of the Budgetary exercise before the end of the current financial year.

The second phase of the Budget Session, which was earlier scheduled to start in April, was dispensed with in view of assembly elections in five states.

A highpoint of the session was the confrontation between the government and the Opposition over the cash-for-votes scam in the wake of a WikiLeaks report, first accessed by The Hindu daily, which spoke of members being bribed to win the July 2008 trust vote.

With elections scheduled in West Bengal, Kerala, Assam, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, the rival sides utilised the session to score points against each other.

The BJP found itself isolated when it made Parliamentary Affairs Minister P.K. Bansal a target over the issue of allotment of kiosks in Chandigarh.

The evacuation of Indians from troubled Libya, radio collaring of Indian students in an American university, the Income Tax notice to Gujarat Government and attacks on Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan navy also figured prominently in Parliament.


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