After ensuring a washout of the monsoon session of Parliament, the BJP chose the last day of the session to announce that the political formation it leads, the NDA, will take its protest on the coal block allocation issue to the streets now. As has happened everyday for two weeks, both Houses were adjourned without transacting much business. (Read: Coal scam: NDA leaders protest outside Parliament)
In his valedictory remarks President Hamid Ansari, who's also the
chairman of the Upper House, said, "This session likely to be remembered
for work not done."
For much of this session, MPs have come to both Houses, shouted, even assaulted each other, taken their daily allowances and gone home. It is estimated that the repeated adjournments that washed out the Monsoon Session have cost the taxpayer Rs 10 crore for the two weeks they lasted.
Of the 31 bills listed, only six were passed. The one introduced in the Rajy Sabha on Tuesday to allow reservation in promotions for SC/ST public sector employees too has landed in cold storage.
The month-long session was marked by constant protests by the Opposition BJP over the coal allocation issue or Coal-gate as it has been christened. The party has stuck to its demand for the resignation of the Prime Minister, saying he must take responsibility since he was the Coal Minister for part of the period in which the allocations were made. The Comptroller and Auditor General's report on coal block allocations has alleged that faulty allotment caused a R 1.86 lakh windfall gain for several private firms that were favoured. The BJP has also sought that all the licences issued in the period that the CAG surveyed. The Congress says, no way.
Today senior BJP leader LK Advani said, "From 2G spectrum to Coal-gate, the UPA government has been deeply involved in corruption and this has angered the people across the country.We will take this agitation to all corners of the country."
With neither the BJP nor the government willing to back down on their positions, the Opposition party shouted down every session, forcing adjournment with the din. But at least the BJP kept its opposition vocal. On Tuesday, the entire nation watched the shocking image of two honourable members of the Rajya Sabha break into a fight on the floor of the House when the quota in promotions bill was being tabled. The fight went on in the presence of the Prime Minister.
That bill is now likely to head for the next session, since it will be difficult for the government to pass it on the last day.
The Winter Session of Parliament that ended on December 29, 2011, was one of the worst that the country had seen. That time the logjam was over the 2G scam and saw repeated adjournments. It also ended with the Lokpal Bill being tabled, but not passed.
This Monsoon Session gives it a tough fight. It will probably be remembered as even worse because of the sight of the BSP's Avtar Singh and SP's Naresh Aggarwal push and fist-fight inside the House.