Jay Panda of the BJD, a well admired politician from Odisha, revealed this on a leading television channel on Tuesday evening. He accidentally overheard the politician, whom he refused to name, speaking in such a revolting manner. Isn’t it obvious, anyway, that the opposition parties are always out to get the Government entangled in some or the other hideous scandal?
It was a normal first day in office for our venerable politicians. For the uninitiated, ‘normal day in office’, Indian standards, means disruptions, chaos, walkouts, storming the well of the House, and most importantly, royal waste of tax payers’ money. Some things never change.
The opening day of the Monsoon Session was a culmination of the mind games being played by the politicians for the past few days. They have been making allegations and counter-allegations, accusing each other of various crimes, on television channels and in news reports. Suddenly, they were face to face. Instead of spewing venom at the Government through the media, the Congress-led opposition suddenly had the chance to do so on their face. They harassed and threw brickbats at the Narendra Modi-led NDA from 20 feet away, and they did it relentlessly, going hoarse and frothy at times.
Congress demanded resignations of Sushma Swaraj, Vasundhara Raje Scindia and Shivraj Singh Chouhan for their alleged roles in #Lalitgate and Vyapam Scam. No trial, no hearing… only the gallows for the two ladies and the gentleman.
The Government hit back in equal measure. It reminded the Congress of its own sins, chiefly Robert Vadra and his under-the-scanner land deals, and CBI’s probe against Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Virbhadra Singh. But nobody was listening to Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Horribly blinded by dislike for Modi and BJP, the Congress tried to rake up the Vyapam issue, knowing fully well that State matters are not discussed in the Parliament. There hasn’t been a single instance in the history of Parliament when state issues were discussed. It was both an impulsive, as well as a compulsive act. These sessions are a chance for them to corner the Government effectively, not through news reports.
The physical closeness often triggers a deep sense of bitterness, and the resulting mayhem often leads to adjournments and early end to the day’s proceedings. Congress is under obligation to use all means possible, even if it is beyond the purviews of law.
It knows it is fighting for survival, to remain meaningful. They have been reduced to a non-entity, and recklessly making noise appears to be their last-gasp effort. But it is important for Congress to remain in existence, it must humbly, finally, accept defeat. It must try to generate public interest not through vengeful tactics, but through constructive politics. But there appears to be a complete absence of mature heads in the party.
The Indian Parliament has become a disruptionary platform for the opposition. The sacred House is violated every time a party puts its foot down and refuses to budge, like in Tuesday’s case. It was beyond parliamentary tradition for Congress to recklessly accuse well-respected politicians without allowing them to present their side of the story.
Straightaway going for the jugular, the Congress refused to listen to Arun Jaitley, who urged the volatile opposition to give Sushma Swaraj and the others a chance to defend themselves. But when there is only blood in the eyes, reasoning is not even into consideration.
Why couldn’t Congress and other parties let Sushma Swaraj make a statement on why she allowed the British government to give travel documents to Lalit Modi? Isn’t that the essence of democracy, to give everyone the opportunity to clear his or her name?
Congress’ demand boiled down to this: Hang first, trial later! But politicians cannot throw deeply-rooted parliamentary traditions to the wind and demand fascist-like judgment.
Of course, the Government will not cede an inch. It is unfortunate that the sanctity of the Indian parliament is sacrificed at the altars of personal rivalry. Some politicians are only concerned about scoring points. There is no consideration for time and money involved.
I voted so that my representative in the parliament could raise my concerns. I trusted him to utilise the time in parliament, to make it count. I expected him to bring to the table as many pending Bills as possible within the limited time period. But it’s already a bad start. The proceedings in Rajya Sabha had to be halted due to chaos and commotion. Politicians should debate, legislate, and work with reasoning and maturity. Politics of vengeance will never find resonance among people.
The 18-day Monsoon Session will cost 162 crores. How frivolously do our politicians waste our hard-earned money? So many crores lost today, just because Congress didn’t want to have a discussion on contentious issues. They wanted instant sacking.
It is amply clear what Congress’ agenda is. They cleverly kept the debate going around scams related to the Government. A lot of noise around Lalit Modi, Sushma Swaraj, Vasundhara…they also didn’t allow any Bill to see the light of day. Important Bills like the GST is waiting to be seen through but the Congress party is in no hurry.
Most parties are ready for debate, for discussion on the matter, except Congress. BJD, TMC and quite a few other parties are ready to hear Sushma and Company out. The Congress is treading on dangerous grounds, it is isolating itself by being unnecessarily vehement.
Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi are expected to lead the Congress battalion on Wednesday and they are likely to come out all guns blazing. Of course, the Government would be ready.