5:21 pm - Tuesday July 19, 9859

Parliament Adjourned in 15 minutes:lost 6.75 crores in two days

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The Lok Sabha ran for a mere 15 minutes today before raucous Andhra Pradesh lawmakers, shouting slogans in favour of and against the proposal to create Telangana, forced its adjournment for the day. The House of People was a bit luckier yesterday. It functioned for 34 minutes before Speaker Meira Kumar called it a day.

The first two days have already seen 670 minutes being wasted because of the adjournments. Public money worth Rs. 6.75 crores has gone down the drain in the process. On a given day, Parliament works for six hours. Rough estimates peg the working cost of the two Houses at Rs. 2.5 lakh per minute.

Two of the six anti-corruption bills being pushed by Rahul Gandhi to retrieve some of the ground ceded by the Congress in the last few years became casualties. Bills ensuring timebound delivery of goods and services and forbidding the payment of  bribes to foreign public officials were included in the Lok Sabha’s list of business on both the days.

With practically no business being transacted in its first two days, the final session of the 15th Lok Sabha seems headed for a washout. Partners of the yet-to-formed Federal Front had yesterday threatened to stall the passage of all legislative bills, barring the vote-on-account. It is now becoming increasingly clear that the fate of the Telangana and the anti-graft bills will be decided by the next government.

A determined opposition had yesterday forced the government to give up its plans to pass the anti-communal violence bill in the Rajya Sabha.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram was prophetic when he indulged in some plainspeak at a prestigious Delhi University yesterday. “I doubt if Parliament will pass any bill in this session,” he told the audience.

The Congress agenda has 39 bills, including a proposal to create a new state, Telangana by carving it out of Andhra Pradesh.

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