Politics of Parliament and road is concentrated at people’s welfare and country’s progress. But this is for the first time in Parliamentary democracy when the “brand new leader” of the “grand old party” is neither able to understand realities of the roads nor importance of Parliament. Political journey from “nonsense to nuisance” of Rahul Baba, the “brand new leader” of the “grand old party”, is miles away from ground realities.
In India, the world’s largest democracy, Parliament is the supreme and the most effective institution to raise people’s concerns, to express their expectations and aspirations and to solve issues. In our country, disruption in Parliament on genuine issues is an acceptable part of Parliamentary democracy but that disruption must be issue-based, logical and in the interest of people of the country. The Opposition has every democratic right to raise its voice if the Government is ignoring public interest.
But what we have seen from day one of the current Monsoon Session of Parliament, which started on July 21, is disruption on non-issues and without any logic. It is against democratic principles. Proceedings in both the Houses have been disrupted by the Congress, the main Opposition party, on baseless issues while the Government was always ready for debate on all the issues and to resolve them. The Government urged the Congress for discussion on all the issues but the main Opposition was adamant on its negative and arrogant strategy. In a democracy, the Opposition has an important role to play but the entire country knows that the Congress has played a role of ‘obstructionist’ and ‘destructive’ Opposition during this Monsoon Session. This cannot be justified in any manner. The Congress has made Parliament, the biggest temple of democracy, a platform to display it’s “narrow political mindset”. The Congress is denigrating the people’s mandate by blocking reform initiatives taken by the Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
We understand that the Government has bigger duty to ensure that the Parliament functions smoothly. Our Government has made all honest efforts in this regard from beginning of the Monsoon Session. The Government convened an all-party meeting on July 20, 2015 to discuss agenda for the Monsoon Session. Representatives of 30 political parties attended the meeting where all the parties including the Congress wanted detailed discussions on all major issues. The Congress also went on record saying that they were also ready for discussion on issues relating to Vyapam and Lalit Modi travel documents. The Government was ready for discussion but the Congress made a U-turn and has disrupted proceedings of the Parliament from the day one of the Monsoon Session. Misusing its numerical strength in the Rajya Sabha, the Congress has violated all limits of decorum of the House.
Government’s seriousness for smooth functioning of the Parliament can be gauged from the fact that the Prime Minister also attended the all-party meeting on July 20 where he suggested that all major issues should be discussed in detail expressing that the Parliament is the most effective platform for reflecting public concerns and aspirations. He also sought cooperation from all concerned. Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha and Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley wanted to meet leaders of various parties to address their concerns but the Congress refused. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shri Venkaiah Naidu also wanted to convene an all-party meeting on July 31 but the Congress did not confirm their participation saying they were pre-occupied.
This clearly shows that our Government made every possible effort to end stalemate in the Parliament but the Congress was keen to see a washout of the Monsoon Session. This is nothing but its negative determination. The Congress has been disrupting both the Houses demanding resignations of External Affairs Minister Smt Sushma Swaraj, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chauhan on Vyapam and Lalit Modi issues without any evidence. Smt Swaraj has made her stand clear but the Congress doesn’t want to let the Houses function smoothly. This shows that the Congress has become a “political bankrupt party”. They only want disruption. The recent comments of Smt Sonia Gandhi and Shri Rahul Gandhi are against political decency.
The approach and attitude of the Congress has made it clear that they are not interested in discussion but only want disruption. The Congress has not been able to digest the fact that it had received a humiliating defeat in the 2014 General Elections and the BJP-led NDA, under the able leadership of Shri Narendra Modi, came to power with an absolute majority after three decades. The people of the country have realised that the Congress has been doing so to create hurdles for the NDA Government in its honest efforts to make India a developed nation. The Congress has adopted negative tactics in Parliament, particularly, misusing its numerical strength in the Rajya Sabha.
Now it has become crystal clear that the Congress is afraid of the growing popularity of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and his Government. The Opposition party wants to delay the legislations which are essential for country’s economy and development. Nine Bills were identified for introduction in Parliament during the Monsoon Session. Eight Bills, which are pending in the Rajya Sabha, were lined up for consideration and passing during this session. These included two most important legislations: GST Bill; and the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2013.
Other important Bills such as the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2015; the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013; and the Whistle Blowers Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2015 could not be taken up due to disruption in the Rajya Sabha. The Congress wants to obstruct important and path breaking initiatives and other reformist measures of the NDA Government. These Bills are important for the country’s development. This reform is not related to any political party but it is connected with the poor people, farmers, labourers, youths and common man of the country.
It is very unfortunate that the Congress has been doing all this for its narrow political interest. The Congress should understand that by stalling Parliament, it is actually stalling progress of the nation. It will have to pay a heavy price for such an attitude as people of the country are watching this negative strategy of the Congress. The NDA was always ready to accommodate the opinion of the Opposition which resulted into high productivity in the last Parliament sessions. The last Budget Session was proved to be the most productive during the last decade with the Lok Sabha working for 117 per cent of the scheduled working hours while the Rajya Sabha reported a productivity of 101 per cent.
But due to the disruption by the Congress in the Monsoon Session, more than 57 hours have been lost in the Rajya Sabha from July 21 to August 7, 2015. In the Lok Sabha, more than 27 hours have been lost from July 21 to August 4, 2015 due to disruption. Besides, crores of public money has also been wasted. The Congress’ arrogance is solely responsible for this. The Congress claims that the BJP, when in the Opposition, had also disrupted Parliament. But truth is that the BJP had effectively raised issues of monumental scams such as 2G, coal blocks allocation as clinching evidence came out in public domain in the form of the courts taking cognizance of these matters. There were CAG reports on irregularities committed by the then Central Government and in some matters even FIRs had been registered. 2G scam worth Rs 1.76 lakh crore, coal scam worth Rs 1.86 lakh crore and Commonwealth Games scam worth Rs 70,000 crore took place. Demands for JPC were raised by the BJP in connection with loot of public money by the then Government.
But unfortunately, the Congress has violated all Parliamentary norms in this Monsoon Session including denigrating authority of the Lok Sabha Speaker. This resulted into suspension of 25 Congress Members by Speaker Smt Sumitra Mahajan on August 3. There were several earlier instances when Members were suspended. A total of 63 Members were suspended on March 15, 1989 for demanding tabling of report of Justice Thakkar Commission on assassination of the then Prime Minister Smt Indira Gandhi. On 23 August 2013, under the UPA Government some Members were suspended by the then Speaker Smt Meira Kumar. Lok Sabha Speaker Smt Sumitra Mahajan was compelled to suspend the Congress Members because there was no other option left as the Congress Members were not ready to listen to her appeal to maintain discipline in the House. Any Speaker or the Chairman suspends the Members with a heavy heart.
Politics and progress should go together. The Congress’ negative attitude will not create a healthy precedent for our democracy. This is also not good for “political health” of the Congress. Our Government is committed that it will not allow any destructive politics to succeed to derail development path of the country. The illogical disruption by the Congress proves that “power brokers” and ‘middlemen’, who have been kicked out from power corridors by the NDA Government, have given a ‘supari’ to the Congress to derail the development agenda.