Pandemonium in Parliament

Govt’s obstinacy, disruptions expose unhealthy trend

Pandemonium in Parliament

When leaders of political parties, including PM Modi and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, met in the chamber of the Lok Sabha Speaker after the Parliament session was adjourned sine die, two days ahead of schedule, it symbolised the best of democratic traditions, of opposing ideas with ideas and working in a spirit of constructive cooperation. But the acrimonious events that preceded the meeting belied the expectations, with both Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu expressing anguish at the way in which the proceedings were conducted. Leaders of the Opposition parties, in a show of unity, also carried out a protest march a day later to voice their disapproval.

That it was possible to hold even a curtailed session of Parliament in Covid times was a positive sign, but the refusal to allow discussions on issues like the Pegasus row that has international ramifications and the repeal of farm laws, followed by unruly scenes, with members even climbing atop the table and throwing files at the Rajya Sabha Chairman and the alleged manhandling of women MPs by male marshals during the passage of the Insurance Amendment Bill remain an unhealthy sign. While the Speaker and the Rajya Sabha Chairman have called for a review of the House rules because of the MPs’ conduct, MPs belonging to the Opposition objected to the way in which parliamentary business was conducted. The scene in the Rajya Sabha appeared to be a repeat of last year’s Monsoon session when eight MPs were suspended during the passage of the farm Bills.

A curtailed session of Parliament should also be marked by decorum. PM Modi expressed his disappointment over MPs, even from his own party, staying away during the passage of key legislations. Members of Parliament have to realise that it is the people who elect them. They cannot fail their cause by staying away from the discharge of duty, despite the strength in the House of the elected government of the day.

Tribune Shorts


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