‘No work, no dinner party’, VP Naidu ‘punishes’ MPs for stalling Parliament
New Delhi, March 21: As feared by many, on Wednesday too Parliament failed to function. Both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha were adjourned immediately after Parliament sessions began, as chaos and confusion continued in both the Houses. After witnessing ruckus in the Rajya Sabha, Chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu adjourned the House till Thursday morning, reported ANI.
While Telugu Desam Party (TDP) parliamentarians stormed the well of Rajya Sabha over their demand for special status to Andhra Pradesh, members of the opposition parties blamed the government for repeated adjournments of both the Houses of Parliament during the ongoing second half of Budget Session. On Wednesday, the Lok Sabha saw opposition parties shouting slogans against the government leading to the disruption of the House.
Since the time the second half of Budget Session started on March 5, both the Houses of Parliament saw chaos and repeated adjournments. Thus hardly any work took place in Parliament causing huge loss to taxpayers' money. Anguished over disruptions in the working of the Rajya Sabha, Chairman Naidu, who is also the country's Vice President (VP), on Tuesday cancelled a dinner he was to host for members of the Upper House on Wednesday.
According to reports, preparations for the dinner were completed last week. Naidu had even spoken to the President, the Prime Minister, the Leader of the House, the Leader of Opposition and floor leaders of various parties whom he had invited. Invitation cards were kept ready. Naidu had expected the House proceedings would normalise by Tuesday. However, it did not happen.
At a meeting with the floor leaders of various parties in his chamber on Tuesday, the RS Chairman conveyed anguish over the ongoing stalemate in the House and informed them of his decision to cancel the dinner. Naidu was of the view that it would not be appropriate to go ahead with the dinner with the House not functioning for over two weeks, stated reports.
He had planned an Andhra Pradesh special dinner, with specialist cooks called from the state. It is learnt that he also refused to inaugurate a badminton tournament for MPs at the Constitution Club last week.
According to a government report, each minute of running Parliament in sessions costs Rs 2.5 lakh. On Tuesday, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Manoj Tiwari wrote a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan demanding "no work, no pay" rule for MPs.
The BJP MP not only demanded implementation of "no work, no pay" rule in Parliament but also pitched for reducing emoluments of MPs if they fail to engage in "constructive work".
In his letter to Lok Sabha Speaker, he expressed his "great anguish" at the stalemate in the Lower House over the "unprecedented chaos", and said it was equally disturbing to see public representatives, who are primarily responsible for making laws, running away from their responsibilities.
With opposition parties protesting in both the Houses of Parliament over a variety of issues, the second leg of Budget Session has been a virtual washout so far. The second part of Budget Session will end on April 6. The first part of Budget Session commenced on January 29 and end on February 9.