In the wake of disruptions during the budget session of Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah will observe a day-long fast on April 12, Thursday.
On April 6, the second leg of the Budget Session, which had commenced on January 29, concluded with the Rajya Sabha losing over 121 hours. The Upper House had 30 sittings where the sittings were held for just 44 hours.
Along with the Prime Minister and the party chief, all the BJP MPs will also join the fast observation.
There was no Question Hour in the Upper House for 27 days due to the uproar causing repeated adjournments, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said.
Issues like special status to Andhra Pradesh, bank scams, demand for Cauvery water management board, vandalising of statues, review of the recent Supreme Court order on SC/ST Act and law and order situation in Kasganj in Uttar Pradesh were some of the issues on which the House saw the uproar. The House lost nearly three- fourths of its time to disruptions and adjournments.
Upset by the loss of time caused due to disruptions, Naidu called the session 'an eminently forgettable one'. "I am pained to note that it turned out to be an eminently forgettable one on account of utter disregard of the mandate of this important parliamentary institution and its responsibilities and missed opportunities," Naidu said in his concluding address to the 245th session of Rajya Sabha.
He also urged the members not to make the Rajya Sabha a "clog in the wheel" of progress, before adjourning the proceedings of the Budget Session sine die. "Let us not be a party to this House becoming a clog in the wheel of progress. You need to rise to the expectations of those who strongly justified the need for this House in the Constituent Assembly," Naidu said.
He noted that there was a "total breakdown" in communication among various sections of the House that was "at the root of the prolonged stalemate that ruined the session." "This is not good for our parliamentary democracy of which our country has come to acquire a pride of place," he said, adding "we are all losers. This includes the opposition, the ruling party, the government and most importantly, the people and the nation".
Due to the disruptions, the House could not debate the important Finance Bill 2018, but passed the payment of gratutity law without debate.