While adjournments and walkouts in Parliament and state assemblies have become commonplace, the slack pace of legislation is being blamed on an alarmingly low number of sittings, according to a study by the Association of Democratic Reforms. According to data analysed by the body, Lok Sabha members met for only 282 days during 12 sessions in four years (2009-2012), averaging 70.5 days per year.

Out of the nine state assemblies — Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Manipur, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Goa — Gujarat had the maximum number of sittings of 31 days per year on an average between 2008 and 2012. Tripura had the minimum average number of sittings per year with 16 days, followed by Goa with 18 days, the study stated. Punjab and Uttarakhand sat for only 19 days per year on an average. Rajasthan House convened sessions on an average of 24 days per year between 2009 and 2012. The data includes the time lost during adjournments and walkouts.

The last time the Lok Sabha met for 100 days in a year was nearly two decades back in 1988 when it met for 102 days. The Rajya Sabha met for 109 days in 1974. In 2008, the last year of the 14th Lok Sabha, both Houses of Parliament met for just 46 days each — the lowest ever.

"A private member Bill was introduced in the RS in December 2008 that proposed to make it mandatory to have 120 days of sitting per year in the RS and LS and 60 days of sitting per year for the state assemblies. A discussion in the RS in July 2009 saw members of leading parties, except the Congress, lining up to pledge their support for the proposal," said Anil Bairwal, national coordinator of National Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms.

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