Importance of parliament must not be compromised
The Modi government has decided not to call winter session of parliament due to Covid 19 threat. During the earlier session question hour did not happened. Asking questions is the spirit of democracy and privilege of MPs but it was not allowed only some bills were presented and passed in hurry without giving full opportunity to MPs to put forward their view point. A bill of far reaching consequences three new farm laws were passed in hurry and in upper house the Rajya Sabha saw an ugly and shameful scene when these bills were passed with voice vote even though the opposition was demanding voting. It was the brazen violation of parliamentary procedure but majoritarianism and might is right is the formula of success of this government which it uses with quite often and at every possible need. The spirit of constitution was already killed, parliamentary procedures and decency had been done away and finally parliament session is not being called on. The day is not far away when both constitution and parliament will be declared useless and an unnecessary burden on nation’s exchequer and on public’s shoulder.
Is it not surprising that no political gathering including election campaign and political rallies including Bihar assembly election,Hyderabad Municiple Corporation election and now political campaign for Bengal assembly election are in full swing none of these political and religious campaigns have been cancelled to avoid social amalgamation and follow the Covid protocols so much so that too much hue and cry was made by BJP leadership in which state governor Koshiyari also jumped to pursue the Maharashtra government to open the places of worship. But parliament session is being done away on the flimsy ground to follow the Covid protocol. This is nothing but a joke with parliamentary democracy and attempt to minimize the importance of parliament and governing the country and policy framing.
The government claims that it has consulted the floor leaders of every party before deciding to do away with winter session. In his response against not calling the winter session Mr. Prahlad Joshi said that “I have informally contacted floor leaders of various political parties and they have expressed concerns about the ongoing pandemic and opined of doing away with the witer session. But senior Congress leader and its chief whip in Rajya Sabha Mr. Jairam Ramesh has refuted this claim. In a tweet he said that no such consultation has taken place. The leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad was not consulted he claimed and added that minster of parliamentary affairs Mr. Prahlad Joshi is departing from the truth. Earlier Congress parliamentary party leader Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary in a letter has demanded a special session of parliament to discuss the ongoing stir of famers against recently enacted three the farm laws. What to say of calling special session of parliament, the government decided not to call even winter session to avoid embarrassment in the house against the farm laws which have stirred the hornest nest and farmers all over the country are up in arms against these laws.
Serious debates meaningful exchange of thoughts and ideas have already become things of past in our parliamentary democracy. Allegations, counter allegations, digging the past, showing one’s Kurta more white than other’s is the new norm of our legislative houses. Issuing ordinances should have been a rare thing and a provision for emergency needs is the regular feature of today. Leader of the house in Lok sabha and state Vidhan sabhas takes decisions, cabinet usually approves it without any if and but and the President /Governor willingly signs the ordinance without little care for parliamentary decency and scheme of things. Gone are the days when President (Late) Gyani Zail Singh refused to sign the postal bill terming it as breach of citizens fundamental right and the all powerful Rajiv Gandhi government withdrew it.
The government is planning a new parliament house that will be constructed at the cost of Rs. 20,000 crores. At present the Supreme Court only allowed its foundation laying which was performed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi few days ago. It is very difficult to understand the need of such a house at the cost of such a huge amount and that too when due to immature economic decision including demonetization, GST and lockdown our economy has crumbled our GDP is in negative and unemployment is at its peak. India does’nt need a new parliament house but needs a true parliamentary democratic system with adherence to parliamentary protocols and decency. Parliaments superiority its prestige and its spirit must be restored. Standard of debate must be uplifted and it should be true reflection of peoples aspiration and choices.
Decision not to hold winter session of parliament is highly deplorable and unacceptable government should re think its decision.