A sterile Parliament session

The second part of the budget session of Parliament has been practically washed out because of a handful of law-makers. Lok Sabha is being adjourned day after day because two parties of the south are indulging in non-stop slogan shouting from the moment the House assembles. The Speaker says she cannot allow discussion on the No Confidence motion against the Government unless the slogan shouting stops and at least fifty members stand up in favour of the motion which has been admitted. The Government says it is prepared to discuss the motion, the Opposition is also eager to have a debate on it. Still Lok Sabha remains stalled and the current session is about to end practically without transacting any business.
Why is this so? Why is the Speaker saying she is helpless? If some members make it impossible to transact any business in the Lok Sabha by resorting to obstructive tactics, the Speaker has enough powers to suspend the members concerned. What most of the Opposition parties are saying is that the Modi Government, contrary to its public stand, wants to avoid a discussion on the no-trust motion. And the disruption that is being witnessed in the Lok Sabha every day is a ‘got up’ game between the Treasury Benches and a couple of Opposition parties. Going by the reaction of the members of the ruling party, the allegation cannot be dismissed with a shrug of the shoulders.
Indeed, why has there been no initiative on the part of the Government and especially the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs to break the deadlock by inviting all the Opposition parties and having consultations with them? Why has there not been even an informal attempt at holding an all-party meeting to find a way out? Why has not the ruling party moved a motion for the suspension of the few members who have brought the functioning of the Lok Sabha to a screeching halt? The Opposition says the Government, for all its apparent bravado and despite enjoying a numerical majority in the House is not keen on facing a no trust motion because it is not sure of the support of all the constituent parties of the NDA. Some, like the Shiv Sena, may abstain from voting, others may stage a walk out. Even if the House rejects the motion with a wafer thin majority, it will seriously dent the Government. What the Government is not realizing is that its attempt at avoiding a discussion through devious means is also reducing its credibility.

Friday, 13 April, 2018