New Delhi: How were
MPs keeping themselves occupied during the wasted days of this
winter session? Well, reading was by far the favourite pursuit of
lawmakers, besides discussing politics, writing letters to
ministers and attending social events and other functions.
Parliament has had 17 sittings so far in the winter session, of
which it has functioned normally for only seven days.
Rajendra Agrawal, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Meerut,
said he reads books and meets people from his constituency
whenever the house is adjourned early.
Members of a Meerut-based organisation, including women and
children, had come to witness parliament proceedings in the first
week of December. However, as the guests entered parliament, the
house was adjourned. So, Agarwal accompanied the group from his
constituency on a round of Parliament House to give them a feel of
the country's biggest institution of democracy.
"They had come to witness Lok Sabha proceedings but the house was
adjourned before the scheduled time of their entry to the visitors
gallery," Agrawal told IANS.
The daily adjournments also gave Agrawal the time to head off to
Meerut to attend local events and marriages.
"I was able to spend more time at the marriages," he said.
The winter session, which began Nov 22, witnessed daily
adjournments for the first nine days after the opposition created
a ruckus on various issues, mainly on price rise and Foreign
Direct Investment in retail. It started functioning again from Dec
7 after the issue of FDI in retail was put on hold.
But on Dec 15 and 16, both houses were again adjourned with the
opposition demanding the resignation of Home Minister P.
Chidambaram alleging he was involved in quashing criminal cases
against a businessman he represented as a lawyer in 1999.
The two houses have mostly been adjourned in the pre-lunch period
due to opposition demands and noisy scenes.
Ashok Argal, BJP MP from Bhind in Madhya Pradesh, says he went to
his constituency to attend a marriage after the Lok Sabha was
adjourned on the FDI issue.
"I had gone to attend a marriage and returned the next day," Argal
Congress MP from Anandpur Sahib, Ravneet Singh, said he visits
ministers in their offices regarding work of people from his
constituency after adjournment of the house in the afternoon
The young MP said he has also been joining his colleagues from
Punjab over lunch to discuss assembly polls in the state likely to
be held early next year.
He said that people do not like disruptions of Parliament and MPs
have to face criticism that they get paid without working.
"It is unfortunate. The house should function," he said, adding
that disruptions take away the opportunity to ask questions about
BJP MP from Hamirpur, Anurag Thakur, said he has been meeting
workers of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) after adjournment
of the house in the afternoon.
"I also try to resolve pending issues concerning my constituency,"
Communist Party of India Rajya Sabha MP D. Raja said he devotes
time to reading and attending social events after the house is
"I attend to party work. I do a lot of reading... I continue to do
the same." he said.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP from Vaishali, Raghuvansh Prasad
Singh, said he devotes time to reading and meeting visitors at his
Singh said the government should find a way to end the logjam as
the scenario of prolonged stalemate goes to the advantage of the
He said it is the government's legislative agenda that gets held
up due to disruptions.
PRS Legislative Research, a research initiative which tracks
functioning of parliament, said that much of what the government
listed at the beginning of the winter session remains to be
"At the beginning of the winter session, the government had listed
23 new bills for introduction and 31 bills were pending for
consideration and passing.
"With four days remaining before the session ends, only 14 of the
planned bills have been introduced and six have been passed. A
significant proportion of the legislative agenda remains
unachieved," said Devika Malik of PRS Legislative Research.
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