In a session marked by four straight days of disruption, heightened aggression, bitter fights and deepening divides, the Lok Sabha, according to Speaker Om Birla, has seen “record productivity” over the past three days.
“The House sat late night hours, the members took part in discussions on the motion of thanks as well as on the Budget. The motion of thanks debate went on for 16 hours 39 minutes with 130 MPs placing their views… The Budget debate was scheduled to be for 10 hours, but it went on for 14 hours 40 minutes and 117 MPs spoke. Women’s participation in these Budget (debates) was unprecedented,” the Speaker told reporters on Saturday.
But undercurrent of bitterness was reflected in the number of privilege notices moved by each side against the other.
On Friday, BJP MPs Sanjay Jaiswal, Rakesh Singh and P P Chaudhary moved a breach of privilege notice against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi after he led his party members and those from the TMC, DMK and NCP to stand in silence in memory of those who died in protests against the farm laws. The three MPs said the move amounted to contempt of the House as it was carried out without the permission of the Chair. BJP sources said more members will give notices on breach of privilege against Gandhi.
Earlier, BJP members had moved another privilege notice against TMC member Mahua Moitra over her remark against a former Chief Justice in her speech.
Congress MP Hibi Eden, meanwhile, moved a notice of privilege on Saturday over the seating protocol for a Bharat Petroleum function in his constituency, Ernakulam, where PM Narendra Modi will Sunday dedicate the Propylene Derivative Petrochemical Project to the nation. Eden said Union Minister V Muraleedharan, a Rajya Sabha MP fromMaharashtra, has been seated with dignitaries while he, the Lok Sabha MP from the area, has been denied space on the stage. He termed it an attempt at “willfully jeopardising protocol”.
The Lok Sabha witnessed disruption for four consecutive days last week with the Opposition demanding a separate debate on the farm laws issue.