Parliament should be allowed to function and debate is the necessary element of democracy
GN Bureau | July 22, 2015
Tyranny of the majority is a familiar concept in politics. It occurs when a majority takes action to thoroughly subjugate the minority. But what is happening in parliament or nothing is happening in parliament is because of the tyranny of the minority.
The Congress party with a slim block of 44 MPs is holding the Lok Sabha to ransome. It wants to stall debate and passing of various bills by sticking to its demand. The Congress has made clear that the resignation of the three leaders (foreign minister Sushma Swaraj, two chief ministers Vasundhara Raje of Rajasthan and Shivraj Singh Chouhan of Madhya Pradesh) is a pre-condition to it allowing legislative work to be done in the 21-day Monsoon Session of Parliament that began yesterday.
It is not possible to run a country on pre-conditions. A democratic set up allows negotiations and debate but never a situation where the rules of the game are set unilaterally by one party.
One cannot be sure of the Congress, what it wants next. Because, it did not hold a protest by its MPs at the Gandhi statue in parliament complex that it had planned for this morning. May be they lack the conviction of their action under the imposing figure of Mahatma Gandhi. What the party did was to give its MPs a black armband to be worn in the house.
Both the Lok Sabha annd the Rajya Sabha were adjourned amid slogan shouting by Congress members soon after parliament convened on yesterday morning.
This morning Sushma Swaraj made it clear at the BJP's parliamentary Party that she offered no help to Lalit Modi and also defends the Madhya Pradesh government over the Vyapam issue.
The BJP-led government has said there will be no resignations, but has offered to discuss in Parliament the role of Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhara Raje in helping disgraced cricket boss Lalit Modi.
The BJP has accused the Congress of running away from debate. The party would be happy to debate any issue that the opposition wants to raise. It would also like to raise for discussion, the BJP has said, alleged scams in states ruled by the Congress.
However, at stake in this tyranny of the minority is the legislative business. The government has finalised 35 items of business for the monsoon session. They include nine bills pending in Rajya Sabha and four in Lok Sabha, besides introduction of 11 new pieces of legislation.
Bills pending in Lok Sabha: The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015; Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2014; Delhi High Court (Amendment) Bill, 2015 and the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2014.
Bills pending in Rajya Sabha: Constitution (122nd) Amendment Bill, 2014 relating to GST; Whistle Blower Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2015; Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013; Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2015; Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2012; Appropriation Act (Repeal) Bill; Readjustment of Representation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Parliamentary, Assembly Constituencies (Third) Bill, 2014.
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