The final session of the 14th Lok Sabha, before the General Elections is likely to begin on the 16th of February and likely to extend till the 24th of the month. The previous session was so eventful. The session started on a promising note with a special two day session on the 21st and 22nd of July for the sake of the Indo-US Nuclear deal. The Parliament saw historical debates on the deal with some of the sessions making it to the most watched videos on YouTube, an indication of the global reach of the business of Indian Parliament, only to end as one of the saddest and shameful days in the history of the Indian Parliament with the elected representatives showing bundles of cash. Some important issues like who gave the cash, how the MP’s managed to sneak in such large amounts inside a high security zone like the Parliament, why they decided to display it at the very last moment, while they were aware of it before hand, so on and so forth are still at large while the session ended on a successful note.
The speculation of the possibility of early polls and premature dissolution of the 14th Lok Sabha were all laid to rest with the ruling coalition going for combining the monsoon and winter sessions, which, though a departure from the existing conventions, a gamble which paid off to the extent the Government survived and the parties in power were able to buy time to prepare for the next elections
The session extended from the 17th to 24th of October and from the 10th to 23rd of December, comprising of 18 sittings with a total number of work hours of 96 hours and 15 minutes. 34 government bills were pending before the parliament before the session begun of which 31 were discussed and passed. So says the official statement of work released by the Lok Sabha secretariat.
Of the 31 passed, 4 bills were introduced in the house in 2006 and 1 in the year 2007. Simultaneously 22 new bills were also introduced out of which 12 have been passed which mostly comprised of the salary hike of the various constitutional heads.
On the final 2 days 12 bills were passed, apparently without any discussion, amongst which were important bills like the amendments to the IT ACT, amendments to the number of Supreme Court judges, Prevention of Corruption Amendment Bill, to name a few. Also, 270 Private member bills were pending before the start of the session and 13 more were introduced. None of them were discussed and the session ended with an increased number of such pending bills (274) – one was part discussed, and nine of them were removed from the list of pending bills.
In all probabilities, the forthcoming session is going to be the final session before the General Elections. The same set of people who were responsible for the above are going to contest and if not the ruling party, the opposition is going to come to power but the situation is not going to change radically.
It is widely believed that the elected representatives in the Lower House are directly accountable to the people of India and with each minute of the Parliamentary proceedings costing several thousands of tax payers money, one wonders to whom they are responsible towards or rather who is responsible for this mockery.