In its first session after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Parliament passed not only landmark bills like repealing of Article 370, Triple Talaq Bill, but also created the record for maximum Bills passed in the last 67 years.
Lok Sabha passed 36 Bills, out of which, in seven cases, there was recorded voting (21 per cent) at some point during the discussion. This is higher than the 16th Lok Sabha, in which, recorded voting was called for 8 per cent of the Bills.
The newly elected Modi government took charge, Lok Sabha worked for 281 hours, which is 135 per cent of the scheduled hours. It is higher than any other session in the past 20 years. The session was extended by the Centre in order to complete legislative business.
Thirty eight Bills were introduced in the Parliament during the session. Twenty eight of these were passed by both Houses, the highest for any session in the last 10 years. None of the Bills introduced in this session were referred to any committee.
It also saw 96% or 241 out of 265 first term MPs participating in various debates. This included 70 out of 78 women MPs. Out of 265 first-time MPs, 229 were allowed to speak in the Zero Hour, including 42 of the 46 women MPs—the highest for any inaugural session.
In his valedictory speech, Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla said that in terms of passage of bills and utilization of time, this session was the best inaugural session ever. The House lost no time to disruptions—a stark contrast from the winter session of 2016, when the House wasted 85% of its allotted time according to data from researcher PRS.
This time, the government has had its way in both Houses with the fabled unity of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha missing altogether. The appointment of Om Birla as the Speaker of the Lok Sabha also seems to have helped. Birla has so far been able to deftly handle protests and possibilities of disruptions in the House.
The Speaker even earned praise from Opposition quarters for “not favouring” the treasury benches and giving time to MPs, irrespective of party affiliations, to speak in the House.