New Delhi: The 2-week budget session of Parliament is all set to end at lunch time on Wednesday, with the Rajya Sabha remaining paralysed and adjourned again on Monday, leaving just one working day on Tuesday.
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan invited journalists for a lunch at her Akbar Road residence on Wednesday, indicating to ring the curtains on the 16th Lok Sabha, ahead of the elections in April-May. Both the Houses were rocked by the Congress protests over the BJP’s Karnataka unit chief B S Yeddyurappa’s alleged attempt to poach MLAs to bring down the coalition government of Janata Dal-S and Congress.
The Opposition appears determined not to allow any business in the Rajya Sabha even on the last working day on Tuesday, though indicating that at the most a motion of thanks to the President for his address may be passed without a debate and no passing of half a dozen Bills it had agreed last week. Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu first adjourned the House soon after the sitting began at 11 AM as Congress and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) came in the well while his deputy Harivansh Rai adjourned for the day in the post-lunch session.
The Speaker adjourned the Lok Sabha’s question hour over the Karnataka wrangle and then allowed Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge speak at length on the audio tapes of Yeddyurappa offering bribe to the ruling MLAs in Karnataka to defect amid strong protests by the BJP’s three Karnataka MPs, led by Union Minister Sadanand Gowda and the Speaker repeatedly warning not to mention names.
The Congress wanted an inquiry into Yeddyurappa’s failed mission and its members staged a walkout when the Speaker took up discussion on the interim budget, with AIADMK’s M Thambi Durai, deputy speaker, coming down heavily on the government, accusing it of not bringing an interim budget but a BJP manifesto with popular announcements to influence the polls.