Session washed out; Both Houses adjourn sine die

RSTV Bureau

Lok-Sabha-Congress-protestOn Thursday afternoon, both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha adjourned sine die on last day of the monsoon session of Parliament.

But sources say the government is keen to pass the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill and therefore is keeping open the option of reconvening the session. Sources say the decision to reconvene the monsoon session will depend on whether there is some significant headway with other parties on the contentious GST bill.

Thus, the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs decided not to recommend immediate prorogation of the Houses after they are adjourned sine die.

Under Article 85(2) of the Constitution, the President is vested with the power to prorogue (end a session) both Houses of Parliament. If the Houses are not prorogued and are only left at being adjourned sine die by the Chair in Parliament, the same session continues and can be reconvened at any time.

On Tuesday the government had moved the Constitution Amendment Bill for introducing GST, for consideration in the Rajya Sabha. But the Opposition led by the Congress didn’t allow it. The government now hopes to bring regional parties like BJD, SP and INLD on board to push the GST.

Meanwhile in the Upper House, a passionate plea for a consensus on running the House was made by retiring members Ashok Ganguly and HK Dua.

In his farewell speech, Dua said that disturbances and disruptions, first during the UPA rule and now under NDA government, “bring bad name to Parliament.”

He also said that the government and the Opposition needs to sit together to draw out “how to run House better.”

The Upper House was adjourned sine die two minutes after it reconvened at noon.

In the Lower House, Opposition members staged a walk out over a host of issues.

As soon as the House met, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan announced that she had rejected notices of adjournment motion moved by members of Congress, CPI(M), Trinamool Congress, SP and RJD but they were free to raise the matters later.

Congress members then rushed to the Well of the House raising slogans and demanding an answer from PM Modi on the charges against External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and chief ministers Vasundhara Raje and Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

Congress Leader in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge claimed that Swaraj had not replied to the seven questions raised by him during the discussion on the Lalit Modi matter on Wednesday.

After protesting for almost half an hour, Congress along with Left and TMC staged a walkout. SP and RJD too walked out over the issue of caste census. The House finally adjourned sine die about twenty minutes past noon.

No significant business has been transacted in any of the Houses in last three weeks of the session because of the Lalit Modi controversy and the Vyapam scam of Madhya Pradesh.

(With inputs from PTI)