The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday functioned for the full sitting free of any disruptions, which marked the previous 12 sittings of the current monsoon session. The Congress members, however, staged a walkout during the end of the sitting raising an issue not connected with the business in progress, when Sports Minister Anurag Thakur was replying to the marathon debate on the National Anti-Doping Bill. For the first time, Zero Hour was taken up with 17 members raising issues of public importance, officials said.
Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu could not conceal his delight over the return of normalcy in the House during his meeting with senior officials after the Zero Hour on Wednesday. He said it was like a refreshing fresh breeze. Earlier, Naidu noted in the House that Zero Hour could not be taken up so far due to which the members had lost the opportunity of raising over 180 issues of public importance.
The issues raised during the Zero Hour on Wednesday related to supporting education of girl students, docking of a Chinese spy submarine at the Sri Lankan port, exclusion of children from PM Poshan Scheme due to mandatory linkage of Aadhaar, irregularities in the construction of gaushalas under MNREGA in Madhya Pradesh, high cost of cancer treatment, and attacks on Gurudwaras and Sikhs in Afghanistan. Legendary sports person P T Usha made her maiden speech in the House while speaking on the National Anti-Doping Bill which was discussed for about six hours.
The productivity of the Rajya Sabha during the first week of this session has been 27 per cent, which further fell to 17 per cent during the second week, Rajya Sabha secretariat said. Seven special mentions were also made in the House. This is only the third time special mentions could be made on 13 sittings of this session, the officials said.