Forget Winter session, normalcy back in Parl
In total contrast to the Winter session which was washed out due to stand-off over 2G spectrum allocation issue, the first working day of the Budget Session saw normal functioning in both Houses.
The tone for the peaceful functioning of the Session was set by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when he announced the government`s decision to set up a Joint Parliamentary Committee to probe 2G spectrum allocation.
Singh made the announcement in the Lok Sabha as soon as the House met for the day and it was immediately welcomed by the Opposition parties.
Noting that the government was agreeing to JPC formation due to "special circumstances" he said the country could "ill afford" disruption of the crucial Budget session.
Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj said the government`s decision should not be seen as anybody`s "victory or defeat" as it was a "victory of democracy. We should all work together putting aside any talk of victory or defeat."
Leaders of other parties, including AIADMK, CPI(M), CPI, Samajwadi Party, JD(U), BJD, TRS and Raghuvansh Prasad also welcomed the government decision.
Soon after their brief comments, Question Hour was taken up in both Houses and it was followed by Zero Hour and a debate on Motion of Thanks to the President`s address.
The smooth functioning was in sharp contrast to the unprecedented disruptions witnessed in the last Winter Session which was completely washed out due to a stand-off between the government and Opposition over JPC probe into 2G allocation.
During the four-week Winter session that ended on December 13, both Houses saw similar scenes every day with Opposition members trooping into the Well and creating pandemonium by raising slogans to seek JPC on the 2G scam, a demand continuously rejected by the government.
The government had to finally give in and agree to the JPC probe. It also had to give in to the Opposition`s demand to make the announcement today, the first working day of the Budget session.