To protest non-functioning of the second half the Budget session, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Members of Parliament would be surrendering salary and allowances to the tune of Rs 36.12 million.
On Wednesday, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar had announced that all NDA MPs would surrender their salaries and allowances of the entire 23 days of the second half of the Budget session to protest disruptions by opposition parties.
Union minister Upendra Kushwaha, leader of Rashtriya Loktantrik Samata Party, an ally of the BJP, said he was unaware of NDA's decision that alliance MPs should forgo their salaries for 23 days of the second half of the Budget session.
A Shiv Sena MP also said his party MPs might not surrender their salary and allowances. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kumar said he has reached out to all allies and their MPs would surrender their salary and allowances.
According to a calculation by the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry, the salary and allowances for each MP for 23 days works out to be Rs 91,699.
After the Telugu Desam Party has quit and some losses in by-elections, the NDA currently has 314 MPs in the Lok Sabha and 80 in the Rajya Sabha. The total salary and allowances to be surrendered by NDA MPs works out to be Rs 36,129,406.
According to the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariat, the monthly cost of salary and dearness allowance of MPs of both the Houses is Rs 127.2 million. Monthly salary and dearness allowance of MPs is Rs 1,60,000. MPs also get some other allowances as well.
The BJP has asked individual members to write a letter to their respective secretariats, Lok Sabha secretariat or Rajya Sabha secretariat, specifically asking them to recover the payments already made for the month of March and to not make payment on the days Parliament sat in April.
The Budget session concludes on Friday. It has been a complete washout because of frequent disruptions. The government introduced 5 Bills in the Lok Sabha, all of which were passed. This included the Finance Bill, which was passed without any discussion and in the din. While no Bills were introduced in the Rajya Sabah, it passed one Bill.
In its defence, the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry claimed this wasn't the first instance of a Budget session being washed out. It said demands for grants were passed without discussion during the tenure of PV Narasimha Rao-led Congress government in 1991, and Manmohan Singh-led UPA government in 2004 and 2013.
On the government unwilling to face the no-confidence motion, Kumar said there have been 43 occasions during 55-year of Congress rule when no-confidence motions were not taken up for discussion. He said the Congress' disruptive politics in Parliament was a direct result of the change in that party's leadership, and their new party chief Rahul Gandhi is indulging in myopic politics.
Neither of the two Houses could transact any business on Thursday, the penultimate day of the Budget session. In the Lok Sabha, Congress leader Sonia Gandhi protested when Kumar held Congress responsible for the disruption.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said the Congress and the entire opposition were ready for a discussion on the no- confidence motion moved by some of them besides looking for debates on alleged dilution of SC/ST Act and bank scam. The Parliamentary Affairs Minister saidthe Congress was against the debate.
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan appealed to protesting AIADMK members to return to their seats. "I am duty bound to place the no-confidence motion. Please go to your seats. I have to do a head count. I have not been able to take up notices on the no-confidence motion," she said, but adjourned the House when AIADMK members didn't relent.
In the morning, 17 opposition parties staged a protest near the Gandhi statue outside Parliament over several issues, including farm distress and special category status to Andhra Pradesh.
In the Rajya Sabha, disruptions meant the House couldn't take up voting on the Prevention of Corruption (amendment) Bill. At one point of time, Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien said he would be forced to invoke rule 256 to suspend the protesting MPs. However, he later adjourned the House for the day without the Bill being passed.
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) said the repeated adjournments were "choreographed and staged" by the BJP to thwart the debate on the no-confidence motion against it and escape the opposition's flak.