Congress arrogance behind Parliament logjam
By The New Indian Express
08th September 2012 12:05 AM
Full of sound and fury signifying nothing, the monsoon session of Parliament has ended as a total washout. Only four of the 31 Bills listed for the session were passed — that, too, without any discussion and in the midst of confusion and cacophony. For most of the time the honourable members came to both the Houses tried to shout each other down and, occasionally, pushed and pummelled each other to give vent to their fury before going back after drawing their daily allowances. As Vice President and chairman of Rajya Sabha Hamid Ansari put it, “This session is likely to be remembered for work not done.”
Expectedly, an equally acrimonious blame game has started after the turmoil-ridden session. Hitting out at the Opposition, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has accused the BJP of “total negation” of democracy and called upon the people to stand up against such an attitude of disruption. The latter, in turn, has hit back saying the UPA is a regime committed to kleptocracy. Arguing that disruption of Parliament was justified in this ‘rarest of rare cases’, the BJP has pointed out that a similar exercise in 2010 on the 2G spectrum issue had led to cleansing of the telecom sector and hoped it will bring transparency in allocation of natural resources.
There can be no two views that the constitutional institutions of our parliamentary democracy should be treated with respect and all political parties must share the blame for rendering them defunct. In this particular case, the fault lies with the ruling party that was not willing to concede any space to the Opposition. Throughout the logjam the Congress has displayed arrogance, inflexibility and adopted an attitude of confrontation. It forgets that it doesn’t have a majority and can’t dictate terms. It is the responsibility of the government to ensure that Parliament functions. Instead of standing on prestige, it should have accepted reasonable demands of the Opposition for cancellation of coal blocks if it had nothing to hide.
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