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Winter session of Lok Sabha ends, 13 Bills passed

The winter session of Lok Sabha came to an end on Wednesday after passing 13 bills despite persistent uproar created by opposition Congress over various issues, including certain allegations against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in connections with DDCA affairs.

The 20-day session, adjourned sine die, was considerably much productive as compared to the last Monsoon session which was a virtual washout due to the ruckus caused by the opposition which had been pressing for ouster of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over various allegations.

In the session which concluded on Wednesday, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan preferred to carry on with the listed business even as protesting Congress members stormed the Well and shouted slogans, many times walking out of the House for the day.

She twice threatened to take action against the Congress members who were disrupting the House by asking officials to note down their names.

In the last session, she had suspended as many as 25 of the 44 Congress members for their unrelenting disruptions.

This session saw the rare action of the Speaker expunging her own controversial “vested interests” remarks made about Congress members on Tuesday.

In her valedictory remarks, Mahajan said, “I hope this coming year brings new hope and new energy in our lives and we reflect with resolve that in the New Year we will take conscious decision while using all Parliamentary instruments to forcefully register our dissent and disagreement, if any, and will attempt to ensure less disruptions.” .

In this session, the Finance Minister was in the firing line over the alleged financial bungling in the Delhi cricket body DDCA with even BJP MP Kirti Azad targetting him.

Congress also created uproar and disrupted the House after a Delhi court issued summons to its leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in connection with alleged financial irregularities in National Herald case.

The opposition party alleged “political vendetta” by the Modi government which maintained that it was purely a legal case and the government had nothing to do with it.

The Congress also created ruckus over political developments in Arunachal Pradesh.

The House passed 13 bills, including the Bureau of Indian Standards Bill, the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Bill and the National Waterways Bill.

A highlight of the session was the special sitting for the first two days to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar.

Two bills aimed at creating commercial benches in select high courts and amending a law on arbitration for speedy settlement of high value business disputes were also cleared by Parliament.
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