The recently concluded monsoon session of the Parliament was unique for one reason. Members of both the Ruling dispensation & the Opposition came onto the roads to protest against one another. While the BJP accused the Congress of being an obstructionist party, data compiled by the Lok Sabha Secretariat suggests that both the parties are equally guilty of disrupting the proceedings of the house when they were in the Opposition.
The recently concluded monsoon session of the Parliament was unique for one reason. Members of both the Ruling dispensation & the Opposition came onto the roads to protest against one another. Valuable time was lost in both the houses without any major business. The BJP has accused the Congress of being an obstructionist party. But data suggests that no matter who is in the Opposition, percentage of Time Lost due to due to Interruptions/ Adjournments has been on the rise since 1991.
Who was in Power & in the Opposition?
Since 1991, there have been seven different Lok Sabhas (including the current one), from the 10th Lok Sabha to the 16th Lok Sabha. The Congress led alliance was in power during three of these Lok Sabhas (10th, 14th & 15th) , while the BJP led alliance was in power during another three Lok Sabhas (12th, 13th & 16th). The United Front was in power during the 11th Lok Sabha (1996-98) with the outside support of Congress. The BJP was in the opposition during four of these Lok Sabhas and the Congress was in the opposition in the remaining three.
|Lok Sabha||Years||Ruling Party/ Alliance||Party/Alliance in Opposition|
|11th||1996-98||United Front (With outside support of Congress)|
Time Lost due to Interruptions/ Adjournments
Data compiled by the Lok Sabha Secretariat suggests that more than 10% of the total time was lost on each of the Lok Sabhas except during the 11th Lok Sabha and 16th Lok Sabha (till date). The record for the most time lost is during the 15th Lok Sabha where 40% of the total time was lost due to Interruptions & Adjournments. This was when the BJP was in the Opposition & the Congress was the ruling party. Close to 10% of the time was lost during the 10th Lok Sabha and more than 5% of the time was lost during the 11th Lok Sabha. This went up to 10.7% during the 12th Lok Sabha. And since then, the percentage of time lost has been on the rise consistently.
|Lok Sabha||Years||Time of Actual Sitting(in Hours)||Time Lost due to Interruptions/ Adjournments (in Hours)||%of Time lost due to Interruptions/ Adjournments||Ruling Party/ Alliance||Party/Alliance in Opposition|
|16th (Till the Monsoon Session of Aug, 2015)||2014-19||610.7||58.7||8.77%||BJP||INC|
No Moral High ground
From the data, it is clear that none of the two major national parties can claim a moral high ground when it comes to disrupting the Parliament. Both the parties are equally guilty of disrupting the Parliament when they were in the Opposition.