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Parliament in paralysis...

It is nemesis visiting Arun Jaitley and his party. How sweetly and logically he explained the dharma of paralysing the Parliament, opposing any and every move of the UPA government in 2012 and 2013! The famous lawyer explained that paralysing Parliament’s work was a legitimate and essential tool to protest the tyranny of the UPA rule. Jaitley and the BJP leaders also used intemperate language against the Prime Minister and demanded the resignation of Finance Minister P Chidambaram. Dr Singh was ridiculed time and again for his steadfast adherence to the division of responsibilities: leaving political management to the party and focusing on administration. Of course, there were scams surfacing in succession and an ineffective government that rendered the economy downhill.

Congress with its young Turks and shouting brigade are returning the compliments in the same coin, but louder and with more acrimony. Session after session of the Parliament, both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, have been conducted without transacting any worthwhile business. For a while, the attempts made by Prime Minister Modi to seek cooperation by inviting Sonia Gandhi and Dr Singh for a meeting held some promise. There were even hopes of the GST Bill getting passed in the winter session. Disappointingly, the National Herald case killed these.

The hate campaign launched by the Congress party against Narendra Modi post-the 2002 Gujarat riots and the counter by BJP on the issue of 1984 riots, along with dozens of such issues of the past came in the way of the political leaders working in unison on development issues. Sadly, in such divisive approach the economy and the larger issue of nation’s development, suffer grievously.

 States with a comfortable majority, eg. Tamil Nadu, ensure the effective running of the legislature by strong and decisive action by the Speaker. Though it sounds authoritarian to order the suspension of unruly members, such decisive action ensures the conduct of legislative business. Indian polity is characterised by irresolvable divisiveness between the ruling party and those in opposition. Though it does appear unsavoury, both the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, should take decisive action against members who indulge in unruly action and effectively disrupt the functioning of the Parliament. They should take, for a change, a lesson or two from state legislatures. Additionally, MPs should also be denied their fees and all the privileges including the several freebies like rent-free accommodation, free transport, communication facilities and the like for the days when Parliament fails to transact any business.

As Jerome K Jerome held, the measures suggested are harsh and crude but will be effective.


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