The politics of disturbance!

By Sharique N Siddiquie | Last Updated: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 21:29
Sharique N Siddiquie
Common Man

The Winter Session of Parliament is underway and like every time, it is again hit by an agitating Opposition demanding to push adjournment motion on the issues of price rise, corruption and black money.

There is no denying the fact that the current UPA government is hit by so many taints that when its leaders talk about fighting corruption, people laugh at the ‘joke’.

The corruption is at all time high, Rupee is hitting a new low by the day, prices of important commodities are touching sky, government is still non-committal on the black money stashed abroad and the economy is in shambles. In short, the opposition has got all the arsenals in its armoury to pin down the government and expose its shortcomings.

The common sense says that the Opposition should seize the Winter Session as an opportunity to corner government. But strangely, the main Opposition party BJP thinks differently.

The saffron party, instead of forcing the government to answer the charges, is actually targeting only one man, Home Minister P Chidambaram for his alleged role in the 2G spectrum scam.

At a time when the government is clearly on back foot, this move of boycotting Chidambaram is baffling one and all as it s only helping the government in shying away from its accountability.

The Opposition is demanding the resignation of the Home Minister on the 2G issue and stalling the Parliament over it. This means, the Opposition clearly thinks that the 2G scam issue is bigger than price rise, black money and economic stability.

Does that make sense? Is it right to sideline all the major issues for the sake of one?

Here, I would like to mention that a bench hearing 2G scam case is yet to decide that whether the role of P Chidambaram should be probed in 1.76 lakh crore scam or not. But the Opposition is wasting the valuable time of the legislative over it.

Ironically, when BJP was in power and Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister of the country, the then Defence Minister George Fernandes was also accused into the 2002 coffin scam.

It was alleged that 500 poor quality aluminium caskets were bought from the United States at rates 13 times more than the actual price, to transport the bodies of slain soldiers after the Kargil War.

At that time, Fernandes resigned from the post saying that he will only rejoin after his name is being cleared. The CBI started the probe and gave a clean chit to Fernandes in the scam in its 2009 charge sheet.

However, Fernandes was reinducted in the ministry much before that. Though the Opposition at that time, Congress also resorted to his boycott but that is a different story.

Now, the pertinent question here is when BJP did the same thing when it was in power, then how is it justified to ask for Chidambaram’s resignation when even an enquiry over him is yet to be ascertained, let alone a conviction?

Also, what sense does it make to stall the Parliament when 54 bills, including the much debated Lokpal and Food Safety Bill are to be passed in the current session?

Parliament is essentially law making body and any move to stall it, actually hampers national interest, especially when the government is already on the defensive and is ready to discuss all the pertinent issues.

This takes me to another point; rather a conspiracy theory.

Though you may differ with me over it, but this ‘conspiracy theory’ is worth a thought at least.

This Parliament Session is historic because it will debate the most discussed bill in the Indian democratic history—The Lokpal Bill.

Now, without getting into intricacies of the proposed ombudsman, let’s think about its ambit—The political class.

Sure, the government officials will be covered under it, but the first casualty of this bill will certainly be the political class of this country. It is expected that after the implementation of Lokpal, our country will come out of the vicious cycle of Scam—Allegation—Inquiry Commission—Report—Allegation—Inquiry Commission.

So, however farfetched it may seem, but there is possibility that both the ruling party and the Opposition are hand-in-glove in delaying it and resorting to the idea of stalling the Parliament.

Now, I am not saying that this is true, but it is possible.

Anyways, in this politics of disturbance the common man stands cheated. After all, the cost of each day of a parliamentary session is Rs 7.65 crore! This money comes from the pockets of the tax-paying common man.

The ruling party is answerable to the nation and the Opposition should felicitate this rather than disrupting it. The nation is watching!

First Published: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 21:29

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