Opposition members boycotted the last day of the Monsoon Session due to some “political compulsions,” Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said on Friday, noting that they conveyed they have no issues with him.
Birla said he called the floor leaders of all opposition parties for a meeting over a cup of tea and requested them to attend the valedictory proceedings of the house.
“The opposition leaders boycotted the last day of the session due to some political compulsions, while they conveyed to me that they had no issues with me,” the speaker said.
Birla was addressing a press conference here on the conclusion of the Monsoon Session.
Underlining that the productivity of the Lok Sabha was at a historic 167 per cent, he said that despite the threat of Covid-19, the average attendance of MPs in the Lower House, during this session, was more than 300 which sends a very positive message and strengthens peoples’ faith in democratic institutions.
He credited the cooperation from all political parties for higher productivity of the Lower House.
“The Lok Sabha sat for 60 hours instead of the allotted time of 37 hours. In fact, despite the curtailment of the session due to Covid-19, the Lok Sabha was able to function optimally with minimal loss of productivity,” Birla said.
Describing unruly scenes on the last day of the Rajya Sabha as “unfortunate,” Birla said he doesn’t want to comment on the proceedings of the other House and efforts should be made to further strengthen the democratic institutions.
On the issue of the Question Hour, Birla said that members were given ample opportunities to raise matters concerning peoples’ welfare through written questions and the Zero Hour.
Highlighting the enhanced participation of members during the Zero Hour, Birla said it shows that they were given enough opportunities to express their views and were encouraged to participate in the discussions.
Talking about curtailment of the session, Birla said the decision was taken with a consensus in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Monsoon Session of Parliament, which started on September 14, concluded on September 23, eight days before the scheduled end on October 1.
When asked about new Parliament building, Birla informed that the construction work has started and it will be completed within 21 months.