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No Fear No Favour

There’s exactly no sessions in this ‘Winter Session of Parliament’, whom you blame BJP, Cong?

This ‘winter session’ is a disappointment for not only LK Advani but for all 125 crore Indians.

When a senior leader of BJP Mr. LK Advani spoke out of despair ‘I Feel like resigning’, the same feelings were running in the minds of 125 crore Indians who were hoping for something productive from the leaders they have chosen to do some good for the country. Much to the disappointment, the session turns out to be a complete failure and ‘Adjournment’ was actually the only word that surrounds the halls of lower and upper houses.

The session where Government and Opposition need to clear policies for General Sales and Entertainment Tax (GST) the policy before the arrival of PM Modi’s ‘Demonetisation Issues’ which touted as Brahmastra for Government. The same GST bill which PM Modi-led government wanted to clear way back in April 2016 now thrown in the backburner as super defensive government and over offensive oppositions were busy in ‘Demonetisation’ rants and forgets the ethical structures of Lower and Uppers which our past leaders created for the betterment of the economy.

A report published by news website Firstpost suggests that this will be the least productive session since 2010. At this stage, it is doubtful whether the GST will be able to honour the April deadline. The grand indirect tax reform is already delayed by a year since the Modi government took over charge. Originally, this government wanted to introduce GST in April 2016. The continuing delays after announcing a date will not augur well for the investor community, international rating agencies and other economy watchers.

What next? A constitutional amendment the government managed last year gives it time till September next year to introduce the new regime. By then, the government will have to regain political consensus and might even need to take another look at the agreed four-slab rate structure. It doesn’t sound like a smooth task in the changed political environment.

The amount of time ‘Session’ runs in Parliament.

The Lok Sabha, where the NDA enjoys a brute majority with more than 330 parliamentarians, has managed to pass two bills this session. The Rajya Sabha, where the NDA is in a minority, passed a single legislation.

The Lower House has been able to use 15% of the allotted time, against the Rajya Sabha’s 19%. This is a sharp fall from the previous session in which the two Houses spent 101% and 96% of their time

Going by the data, let’s count the time Delhi University made it compulsory for their students to attend lectures.

According to Delhi University rules, a student must have a minimum of 66.53 per cent attendance to be eligible for appearing in semester-end exams. This 66.53 percent decides whether or not the student gets enough knowledge about the subject. What has changed here is that the class which supposed to make a student knowledge improver hasn’t been able to put a proper class for him.

With members of both the ruling party and the Opposition shouting down each other every time when they rise to speak on the issue, the public representatives have made a complete mockery of the Parliament and the high values democracy offers to citizens, which gives a sense to the observer that neither side cared about the concerns of the general public who would have looked to the House for clarity on the issue, instead of a meaningless ruckus. There is no better phrase than ‘high political drama’ to describe both the BJP and Congress accusing each other of not letting them speak on demonetisation. It appears neither side actually wanted a productive discussion on the issue.
Both the ruling party and Opposition are to shame the blame equally for the miserable failure of the Winter Session.
Given that demonetisation is something personally announced and endorsed by Modi himself and the vast impact it had on common lives, the prime minister can’t deny the moral responsibility to speak about the government action. It is his stubbornness not to speak on the issue that irked the Opposition parties more.

“There was absolutely no reason for PM Modi to not talk about ‘Demonetisation’ issue in the Parliament”

As against this, Opposition parties, led by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi too failed miserably to bring the government for a face-to-face discussion exerting the political pressure. Beyond optics and headline-making statements, Gandhi, the leader of the largest Opposition party, couldn’t even once engage with the opposition on the demonetisation issue in the House and failed to ask the right questions. The Opposition parties have now been reduced to a group making noises and wasting the precious time of Parliament, instead of engaging with the ruling party with constructive criticism and clever political moves. And, this opens the way of PM Modi to cry foul in front of people about the opposition and he swiftly dodges all the important questions in the process.

The important questions were left unanswered, the opposition failed to play the part strong, senior leaders showing despair on the conditions and government is busy dodging the unanswerable bullets, at last, this parliament session was the complete washout and a disappointment for 125 crore leaders. Hope next budget session would be an improvement over this fiasco.

BY: Saket Sharma

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