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Homechevron_rightOpinionchevron_rightEditorialchevron_rightUndermining democracy...

Undermining democracy with ordinance raj

Undermining democracy with ordinance raj

President Pranab mukherjee had stated early this week should find a feasible solution on law making and avoid issuing ordinances for normal legislations.

He said that ordinances were meant for specific purpose "to meet an extraordinary situation under extraordinary circumstances". After the President voicing his objection strongly over the “ordinance route”, the government has decided to appraise the public on the importance of recent ordinances and the circumstances in which they had to be issued. The meeting comes as some of the ordinances not backed in Bills in the Parliament. The President’s warning comes amidst criticisms by the Congress and the Left parties against the Modi government over the issue of series of ordinances promulgated after the NDA came into power. The BJP government had issued eight ordinances unlike the erstwhile governments after the Parliament was paralysed in the winter season. It includes the one raising the FDI limit in the insurance sector from 26 percent to 49 percent and another related to e-auctioning of coal mines. Around twelve Bills were passed into law whereas some significant others have not been passed. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that they were awaiting approval from the Parliament.

As per the rules, an Ordinance has to be converted into legislation within 42 days of commencement of Parliament session else it lapses. An Ordinance can be re-promulgated only three times. The moves prompt one to doubt whether the ordinances are an alternative option to impose on people the laws which the Parliament doesn’t approve of. Despite a huge victory in the national polls, the Modi government and the BJP have not been able to gain the trust and support of the people needed to rule the country. The BJP has only 45 representatives in 243-member Rajya Sabha which makes it difficult to pass a Bill into law without the complete backing of the Opposition. Pranab Mukherjee’s statement indicates that there would not be any positive response from the Rashtrapathi Bhavan for the efforts of the government to resolve the current predicament by consultations with the two houses of the Parliament. The government’s move apparently has prompted the President to issue such a strong statement. He said that since the Constitution came to effect, only four times has the joint parliamentary session been convened and that it was not feasible. Instead of resisting the Opposition, the ruling party should try to gain its trust and work towards cooperating with them for the betterment of the country.

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