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Left dismisses BJP charges against Speaker

The Left blames the BJP for needlessly disrupting proceedings, which is eating into the Parliament's working hours, reports Sutirtho Patranobis.

india Updated: Dec 06, 2006 19:59 IST

The Left on Wednesday dismissed BJP's claim that Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee was acting in a partisan manner and instead blamed the Party for needlessly disrupting proceedings, which is eating into the Parliament's working hours.

Gurudas Das Gupta, CPI MP and Lok Sabha leader, said that the Parliament has already lost more than three working days. Each working day is for six hours (11 am to 1 pm And 2 pm to 6 pm). "The Parliament was to meet for 20 days in the current session and we have already met for 10 days. The first day of the Parliament was adjourned as a mark of respect for parliamentarians who passed away between the last and the current session," Das Gupta said.

More than 3 working days - and it does not include the first day's adjournment -- have been lost because of the repeated disruption of both Houses and the adjournments that followed. In the first week of the Session, Parliament lost more than 7 hours; second week the figure was more than 500; again in the last session, more than five hours were lost.

Sitaram Yechury, CPI (M)'s politburo member and Rajya Sabha member, said what the BJP has been going cannot "simply be accepted". He added that because of the BJP's repeated disruption, the Rajya Sabha has had time for only one detailed discussion on internal security.

Das Gupta said that because Friday's are reserved for Private Members' Bills, it would leave the Parliament only 16 days for business. From the first day, the BJP is trying to bring the Parliament to a standstill," he said.

Das Gupta dismissed BJP's claim of receiving partisan treatment from Speaker Somnath Chatterjee. "During the entire 13th session, only four adjournment sessions were admitted. In the last two-and-half years of this session, four such motions have already been accepted. Where is the issue of receiving partisan treatment," asked Das Gupta.

(Adjournment motion is a motion, which can be admitted to discuss an issue of national importance, setting aside the normal business of the House).

In fact, due to regular disruptions, the number of days that the Parliament meets to conduct business is decreasing. This year, for example, Parliament has only met for 57 working days. If the Parliament functions for all 20 days - which it is not anyway - during the coming Winter Session, it would still fall well short of the 100 days per year as recommended in the Speakers' Conference few years ago.

Email Sutirtho Patranobis: sutirthopatranobis@hindustantimes.com

First Published: Dec 06, 2006 19:59 IST