16th Lok Sabha comes to an end; govt claims 85% productivity

modi-lok-sabha-pti Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks in the Lok Sabha during the Budget Session of Parliament in New Delhi, on Wednesday | PTI

Farewells can be emotional or bitter depending on the relationships one has forged. The last day of the Parliament showed that the ruling party and the opposition were headed for a tough fight during the elections.

The main highlight of the session as it came to an end was the tabling of the CAG report on Rafale deal which has caused significant amount tensions between the treasury and the opposition benches. The government cited the report to claim that it has been vindicated. Union Minister Arun Jaitley said “Satyamev Jayate” after the report was tabled. The Congress dismissed it saying it was written by the government and had no credibility.

The Congress had been protesting inside and outside the House to turn Rafale deal into an election issue. Before the House convened, senior Congress MPs including Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi held symbolic protest outside Mahatma Gandhi's iconic statute. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee too came to the Parliament, and prayed before Gandhi statue to “remove the BJP”. The opposition has been trying to forge a grand alliance to take on Modi.

For the government, the last day ended on a good note. After the CAG report, it was an endorsement from Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh for the Modi government. “I hope that Modi becomes prime minister again. He must get another term,” Mulayam said in his valedictory speech.

The speech took opposition leaders by surprise or even a cause of embarrassment in the election season, but it brought smile to the BJP leaders. Modi in his valedictory speech thanked Yadav saying his government has been blessed.

Prime minister did not lose an opportunity to rub it in on his main rival Rahul Gandhi. “We have been hearing there will be an earthquake, but there was no earthquake in the past five years," Modi said in not so veiled reference to Rahul Gandhi's earlier claims of bringing earth shattering scam details inside the House.

"Planes were flown in the house but so great is our democracy that no plane could touch that level," Modi added hinting at Congress' Rafale protests.

Modi also took a swipe on Gandhi's hug and wink act inside the Lok Sabha during a session in 2018. “I came to Lok Sabha for the first time, I learnt many things. For the first time, I realised the difference between gale lagna and gale padna,” Modi said in an obvious reference to Rahul's hugging Modi inside the House.

The Lok Sabha MPs later bid each other farewell and hugged as they would now go to their respective constituencies to contest elections.

During the five year tenure of 16th Lok Sabha, there were 331 sittings during which 205 bills were passed and the government claimed an overall productivity was 85 per cent. For Rajya Sabha, the number of sittings were 329, 154 bills were passed and the productivity was 68 per cent.