Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal described the winter session, which ended on Tuesday, as a fruitful one, though there were occasions when “the sound of democracy prevailed over the reason of democracy.”

Mr. Bansal refuted the charge that Congress members had forced the adjournment sine die of the Lok Sabha on Friday. “When the Opposition raised the Telangana issue, political compulsion forced the Congress MPs to protest, but they did not force the adjournment,” he said at a press conference after the Rajya Sabha adjourned sine die. Asked whether the passage of Bills without discussion could be termed democratic, Mr. Bansal conceded that this was not a good practice, but added: “It is imperative that legislative business does not suffer.”

Pointing out that time was allotted for discussion on the Bills, in consultation with the Opposition at the Business Advisory Committee meeting, he said the government had to rush through the legislative business when proceedings were disrupted time and again.

Mr. Bansal said the Lok Sabha lost 31 hours and 48 minutes to disruptions and the Rajya Sabha 13 hours and 01 minute. Both Houses worked overtime to make up for the time lost: the Lok Sabha made up 10 hours and 49 minutes and the Rajya Sabha 11 hours and 20 minutes. In all, the Lok Sabha had 21 sittings spread over 30 days and the Rajya Sabha 23 sittings over 34 days. The government introduced 21 Bills during the session, and 17 draft legislation -- some of them pending since the last session -- were cleared by the two Houses. Four of these Bills replaced the ordinances promulgated inter-session. They were The Competition (Amendment) Ordinance; The Jharkhand Contingency Fund (Amendment) Ordinance; The Central Universities (Amendment) Ordinance; and The Essential Commodities (Amendment and Validation) Ordinance.

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