At the fag end, the Government managed to salvage the winter session of Parliament which was otherwise turning out to be legislatively barren.
It tabled the Sachar committee report on the status of Muslims, got the OBC quota in education, Tribal rights and the prevention of child marriage bills passed and saw Prime Minister Manmohan Singh making a pointed intervention on the nuclear debate in the Lok Sabha in wihch he took on the BJP and sceptics while assuring that the country’s interests would not be compromised.
The Government’s success in focussing on some of these crucial issues and social legislations figuring in the Common Minimum Programme(CMP), however, is marred by its failure to keep its word on tabling the Women’s Reservation bill in this session.
Because of the Left’s opposition, it also found itself hamstrung in bringing important economic bills like those relating to insurance, banking regulation and pension funds
The UPA leaders will continue their dialogue with the Left parties in their bid to find a middle ground on these contentious issue. The Government will also review the CMP promises it has fulfilled and focus on implementing the others which are mentioned in the document.
"Our objective is to give effect to at least three-fourths of the CMP promises by the end of the Budget session in mid-2007," claimed Parliamentary Affairs Minister PR Dasmunsi.
While taking stock of the work done in the winter session, Dasmunsi said that for want of time, the discussion on the 11th Plan Approach Paper, slotted for Tuesday in the Lok Sabha is being postponed to the Budget session. This is because the Prime Minister, who has to reply to the discussion, will be busy in the Rajya Sabha where he will intervene in the debate on the nuclear deal.
The 20-day session was marred by repeated adjournments and the BJP’s decision to boycott Speaker Somnath Chatterjee’s meetings of floor leaders and the Business Advisory Committee.
However, the Opposition managed to get its key issues debated, including price rise, internal security, the sealing drive in Delhi ( which was discussed in the Lok Sabha) and the Indo-US nuclear deal
``But if there had been no disruptions, we could have done completed some more business... We could have persuaded the Standing Committee to give its report on the Forward Trading bill. We could have held broader consultations on the Women’s Reservation bill....’’ claimed Dasmunsi without citing any example of a bill the Government had in hand but could not bring because of disruptions.
Reacting to queries, the Minister said that he had no information whether the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) desired a change in their seating arrangement in the Lok Sabha. The TRS MPs continue to sit with the UPA even though they quit the alliance on the issue of a separate Telangana.