Government’s sudden demonetisation decision wrecked the Winter Session making it one of the worst in terms of the level of disruptions witnessed in recent times as Parliament wrapped up the year struggling to find a balance that will enable transaction of work.
The raging political storm over demonetisation may even spill over, given the confrontation between the ruling and opposition benches, into the Budget Session which will see advancing of the presentation of the General Budget on February 1.
Rahul Gandhi’s recent attack accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of personal corruption is likely to add fuel to the fire which turned the Winter Session as one of the least productive period in Parliament’s recent history.
While the ties between Modi dispensation and Opposition were never that cordial, the dramatic demonetisation decision on November 8 widened the growing chasms like never before.
Continued disruptions saw the Prime Minister not speaking a single word on the issue either in the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha amid conflicting claims from rival sides.
Modi and BJP time and again complained that the Prime Minister was not being allowed to speak while the Opposition hit back charging him with running away from debate in order to avoid inconvenient questions.
He has all the time to address a pop concert but no time for Parliament, was the refrain of the detractors of the Prime Minister.
Opposition also alleged that the ruling side deliberately created an uproar on days when Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi planned to target the government especially Modi.
A highlight of the year was government approving the merger of Railway Budget with Union Budget, an issue which had long been debated in the past but never implemented.
Plans are afoot to advance the Budget Session and present the Union Budget 2017-18 on 1 February, dispensing with the age old practice of carrying out the exercise on 28 February.