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.
Mumbai is one of busiest airports in India, handling a large volume of domestic and international flights including military, non-scheduled and general aviation flights. Mumbai`s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) has two intersecting runways which cannot be operated
BrihanMumbai municipal corporation is floating nearly 900 tenders worth of Rs 150 crore in the next 10 days, but that is only for ward-level civic works, the BMC clarified on Monday, reacting to reports in a section of media. “Since there are 25 wards in BMC, it involves m
In a first-of-its-kind initiative, Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with two prominent organisations, the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) and the Department of Posts (DoP), to amplify its voter outreach and awareness efforts ahead of the forthcom
Snakes, Drugs and Rock ’N’ Roll: My Early Years By Romulus Whitaker with Janaki Lenin HarperCollins, 400 pages, Rs 699
The Moral Contagion By Julia Hauser and Sarnath Banerjee HarperCollins, 140 pages, Rs 699 The world has lar
Addressing the Viksit Bharat Viksit Uttar Pradesh program in Lucknow on Monday, prime minister Narendra Modi launched 14,000 projects across the state, worth more than Rs 10 lakh crore at the fourth groundbreaking ceremony of UP Global Investors Summit held in February 2023. The projects relate to sectors