Make 100 sittings a year mandatory, demand MPs

New Delhi: As Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha today met especially to mark 60th anniversary of first sitting of Parliament, some members demanded making 100 working days a year mandatory.

CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said in Rajya Sabha that 100 sittings of Parliament were necessary and regretted the fact that during the last two decades Parliament never sat for more than 100 days in a year while the British Parliament on the other hand sits for at least 160 days a year.

"We seriously consider, through a Constitutional Amendment, if necessary, making it mandatory for 100 sittings a year. I think, that is necessary as a corrective step for the future," he said. He said the closest the Parliament sat for 100 days was in 1992 with 98 sittings.

The 14th Lok Sabha, Yechury observed, was marked by the least in the Parliament history with 332 sittings with an average of 66 a year. "Worst, 24 per cent of this time was lost due to disruptions and adjournments," he said. He held that unless Parliament sits for a longer duration, its vigilance over the Government will not be effective.

Rewati Raman Singh (SP) expressed similar sentiments in the Lok Sabha when he said that without holding 100 sittings per year, issues which members find necessary cannot be discussed. "We need the sittings to increase from 70 to 100 per annum," he said. He claimed that state legislatures often follow the example set by Lok Sabha and hold not more than 30 sittings per annum.

Jaswant Singh (BJP) lamented in Lok Sabha that a similar resolution adopted on September 1, 1997 is now part of the archives and a "forgotten document". Singh said the 1997 resolution also dealt with issues like importance of Question Hour, disruptions due to slogan shouting and interruptions. He hoped that today`s resolution does not meet the same fate.