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Its power vs democracy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has blamed the Opposition saying that they ran away from the Parliament, during the debate on the Manipur issue; for the opposition, the party is more important than the state; in a democracy, we should listen to what people have to say. The opposition did not do that- Modi made these allegations while virtually addressing a conference of the BJP West Bengal unit. In fact, this is what the opposition has also been saying about Modi. It was because the Prime Minister ran away from the Manipur issue for over three months, that the party moved the no-confidence motion, despite knowing that it would be defeated. The Prime Minister hesitates to make an appearance in Parliament, even as he takes part in many party events; he refuses to listen to the Opposition. Finally, even in his reply to the no-confidence motion, he utilised the time to talk politics, and so goes the Opposition's blame. It is not hard to find out who is speaking the truth.

However, the government, who should be more responsible than the Opposition, trying to pass controversial laws without any discussion in the Parliament, by exploiting the ruckus and disruptions during the sessions, is surely making an escape from the democratic process. The Parliament did not function properly even for half of the monsoon session. However, during this short period, 23 Bills were passed. The Lok Sabha functioned only for 25 hours, except for the time taken for the no-confidence motion. There was a visible rush all through, to pass by voice note several important Bills that are normally bound to be decided on, only after taking into consideration different points of view. Only that the Delhi ordinance Bill on Control of Services was passed after five hours of deliberation. It took a total of just 20 hours for the remaining 22 Bills. An important law such as the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill didn’t take even an hour to pass. The situation in the Rajya Sabha was also no different.

Also Read: PM slams opposition's 'hunger for power' in reply to no-confidence motion debate

It will not be wrong to say that the government is in effect running away from Parliament. According to the records from one and a half years ago, the Modi government issues 11 ordinances on average, every year; during the tenure of the Manmohan Singh government, there were an average of six ordinances. New laws such as demonetisation, agrarian laws and labour laws were passed without parliamentary scrutiny. The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) was passed in two days; there was no discussion about it in the Rajya Sabha. When the NDA lacked a majority, several laws were presented as Money Bill to bypass the Rajya Sabha. It was a misuse of rules as much as an escape from democratic responsibility. Given that only things related to tax, government business and government loans come under the ambit of a money bill, what was the need to present Aadhaar Act as money bill? The government has been deflecting its responsibilities by cutting short the session days, reducing the time allotted for discussions and adjourning the discussions repeatedly on the pretext of Opposition protests. Statistics also say that the Prime Minister lags behind in addressing the Parliament. Narendra Modi has spoken in Parliament only half the number of times that of Manmohan Singh, who was frequently mocked as the ‘silent PM’. Modi had recently mocked him Mauni (silent) Mohan Singh.

Even during the discussions, the government rarely spoke responsibly. The speeches were mainly political narrative. Prime Minister's speech which was a response to the no-confidence motion by the Opposition, was a perfect example of running away from the issue. Home Minister Amit Shah who tried to defend the Chief Minister of Manipur. Shah said that since Chief Minister Biren Singh was cooperating, there was no need to sack him. These remarks were about a state in which the Supreme Court had previously observed an “absolute breakdown of the constitutional machinery". The Home Minister had said things that in no way relate to the actual situation in the state, that the Chief Minister who could not restore peace even after 100 days, be allowed to continue. It has been two months since seven BJP MLAs, who belong to the Kuki community, said that they have no trust in CM Biren Singh. It has been over a month, that eight BJP MLAs belonging to the Meitei community, wrote to the Prime Minister’s office that the public has lost faith in the Biren Singh government. In the Parliament debate on the Manipur issue, a BJP MP from Manipur, present then, was not allowed to speak. However, the Prime Minister says that the opposition is running away from the issue. The country is watching who, in fact, is actually running away from the democratic systems in search of power.

Also Read: Jairam Ramesh accuses PM Modi of deliberately twisting, deflecting issues

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TAGS:Narendra ModiManipurCongressNo confidence motionOppositionINDIA
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