Online Classes :- Current Affairs Part-3

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Parliament paralysis: Political flashpoints must necessarily find voice in legislatures, but without disrupting them

The washout of Parliament’s budget session is dispiriting and evokes a sense of déjà vu. The 16th Lok Sabha has largely recorded high productivity while Rajya Sabha witnessed greater disruption due to the Congress-led opposition’s greater strength there. Even in last year’s much delayed and ultimately truncated winter session, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha recorded 91% and 56% productivity respectively. Shockingly, the comparative figure for the ongoing session is below 10% for either house. But similarities with UPA-2’s final year in power are hard to ignore.
Virtually the entire contingent from Andhra Pradesh comprising TDP and YSRCP MPs are now agitating loudly over the denial of special status. In 2013-14, it was again Andhra MPs, mostly from Congress, who loudly protested in Parliament against the creation of Telangana. The latest disruptions – surprising because parties like TDP, YSRCP, AIADMK and TRS hardly joined any opposition cause until a month ago – are also a reminder that election season is beckoning. Ever since the then Opposition pinned down UPA-2 and stalled Parliament on CAG reports into 2G/ Coalgate/ CWG “scams” and demanded a JPC on 2G, disruption has replaced debate as Parliament’s primary oppositional gambit.
The NDA government took advantage of all the din and uproar by passing the Finance Bill and Appropriations Bill without any discussion. Being the ongoing session’s main agenda, its hasty passage before the session ends on April 6 was uncalled for. So far Congress had ploughed a lonely furrow leading the shouting brigade, often without support from others. Now the cacophony is complete with Andhra’s discontent, Congress alleging government collusion in Nirav Modi’s exit, TRS demanding removal of 50% cap on reservations, and AIADMK/ DMK raising the Cauvery issue. As elections near the BJP-Congress, TDP-YSRCP, TRS-Congress and AIADMK-DMK rivalries are in full play. But squandering parliamentary time to gain political brownie points has no winners, only losers.
BJP is currently sitting pretty after enacting keystone legislations like Aadhaar Act, GST Act, and Bankruptcy Code comparatively early. The business on the table for the last winter session and current budget session indicate the government has no pressing legislative agenda. While this may explain its lackadaisical attitude, the sense of drift that percolates down to society from a chaotic Parliament is bad for opposition and worse for government.

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