Point of disorder in legislature (GS-2, Polity)

CONTEXT : Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu has suspended 12 Opposition Members of Parliament from the Rajya Sabha for the entire winter session of Parliament. This extreme action of the chairman has turned the spotlight on the use of disruption of proceedings as a parliamentary tactic. 

Both the Government and the Opposition should demonstrate the cooperative tendencies and make the debates constructive. Taking the opposition into consideration, the Government must show its inclusive approach and let the debates and discussion enrich.

The absence of the Opposition will only leave the Government unchecked. 

The Government and the Opposition should try and find out a middle path out of this situation.

A guiding principle of parliamentary proceedings Todays Current Affairs is –

The Government, which is in the majority, will always have its way, and the minority, which is in the Opposition, will have its say. The minority should also have a meaningful contribution and taken into consideration.

Whereas it has been found that principle has been violated in India for several years now. Upto 2014, as the principal Opposition, the Bharatiya Janata Party disrupted Parliament and rendered a majority government dysfunctional for years.

After coming to power since 2014:-

  • BJP has played with parliamentary processes in a way that the Opposition has been opted out 

  • Bills are passed in a haste

  • Scrutiny of Bills by committees has been minimised

  •  Debates have reduced

The decision to suspend Members for their conduct seems retaliatory

 The punishment is only worsening the conflict, and not facilitating debate in any way.

  •  Disruption of proceedings

  •  suspension of MPs undermine parliamentary democracy equally

Parliament is the platform where the executive is held accountable to the representatives of the people. That is where people’s representatives raise matters of public concern and seek the Government’s attention. 

The trend of weakening that process in the name of efficiency is- 

  • Undermining the spirit of democracy

  • It is also landing the Government itself in a difficult spot

Parliamentary debates are :-

  • a barometer of public mood 

  • To be respected by the party in power and the Opposition.

It was Arun Jaitley of BJP,  who theorised on the legitimacy of disruptions as a parliamentary instrument. It is time to delete that idea. 

The Government must make amendments to restore the Parliamentary functioning by deferring to parliamentary mechanisms, and also through informal channels of communication with the Opposition.

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