BJP – as well as Congress – has only ad-hoc views on parliament disruptions
GN Bureau | March 3, 2016
Prime minister Narendra Modi, replying to the debate after the president’s address, once again called on the opposition to cooperate in pushing ahead parliamentary business and pending legislations. Modi quoted former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee at length to underline his point: that parliament must be allowed to function even as all debates and discussions are welcome on the floor.
A skilled rhetorician first spoke of the need to let parliament function – and then slyly added, “This is not an advice from Narendra Modi, but from former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi” – much to the discomfort of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi sitting across him.
Modi, of course, would not have quoted his own colleagues, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, who as leaders of opposition in the two houses during the UPA years, ensured parliament remained paralytic for record periods.
Just to recall, here are two quotes representative of the BJP argument:
Sushma Swaraj, on September 7, 2012: “Not allowing parliament to function is a form of democracy like any other form…”
Arun Jaitley, on January 30, 2011: “Parliament’s job is to conduct discussions. But many a time, parliament is used to ignore issues and in such situations, obstruction of parliament is in the favour of democracy. Therefore parliamentary obstruction is not undemocratic.”
Now, this is not to argue that Swaraj and Jaitley were indeed right back then. However, as long as Modi quotes non-BJP leaders and does not offer a word of regret over BJP leaders’ earlier remarks and behaviour, there can be little hope for bipartisan cooperation. With a historic majority under his belt, Modi has an opportunity to rise above the partisan lines and set a new precedent of government-opposition cooperation.
Possibly in a first step in that direction, Modi repeatedly underlined that the long-pending GST bill was, after all, “your” (that is, UPA’s) bill. Possibly as a grudging handshake offer, Modi has given up on the ordinance route that he relentlessly used in the first year of his government.
As the Covid-19 situation continues to improve in India, the ministry of home affairs (MHA) has decided to continue the Guidelines for Reopening, which have already done away with nearly all of Lockdown restrictions in areas outside the containment zones. The MHA issued an order Monday and e
After a scare in September with the number of daily fresh cases inching above 90,000, India seems to have gone down the peak, with several key parameters giving cause for relief just in time for the annual festive season. The new confirmed cases in the 24 hours to Tuesday morning have fallen below 36,500 (
The annual festive season has brought good news for India: the country’s case fatality ratio has gone down to touch 1.5 percent, and the number of deaths per day has dipped below 500 in the 24 hours to Monday morning – bringing the situation closer to the number before the lockdown was imposed
Basking in the success of the new web series, ‘Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story ’,on SonyLIV, the OTT platform from Sony stable where the lead actors are new faces, NP Singh, MD and CEO of Sony Pictures Networks, has said that the script is the new hero. He credited the s
India’s trend of steadily decreasing active cases continues unabated. The number of Active Cases has remained below 10% of the total cases for the last three days, suggesting only one in 10 cases is active Covid-19 patient. The active cases comprise merely 9.29% of the total positive c
The union cabinet chaired by prime minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday gave its approval to pay productivity linked bonus (PLB) for 2019-20 to 16.97 lakh non-gazetted employees of commercial establishments like Railways, Posts, Defence, EPFO, and ESIC, with a financial implication of Rs.2,791 crore.