This Monsoon session of Parliament was supposed to be very important but it is heading day by day towards futility. A meaningful parliamentary debate was expected on many issues such as Corona epidemic, Afghan-crisis, India-China dispute, etc., but the Pegasus spying scandal has engulfed this session itself. The business of both the houses has come to a standstill for the last over two weeks. Both the houses get adjourned daily after continuous din and commotion. The cost of running Parliament for a day is Rs 44 crore. In this way, Rs 500 crore approximately have gone down the drain. This money is collected from those people who earn it through their blood and sweat day and night and pay the tax to the government. It seems that the Opposition does not care about running the session of Parliament. It is seemingly adamant on its take. However, in the beginning, it appeared that there might not be a hindrance, but the Pegasus espionage case suddenly emerged as such that the Opposition is now adamant on its stand. Why does the Opposition not allow the session of Parliament to function properly? The Opposition can ask questions, and move adjournment motions. They can also intervene in the middle. The new Information Minister told Parliament that there are laws and regulations regarding the covert surveillance of any person. The government always follows them. The allegations about Pegasus are baseless, he added. The real question here is whether the opposition will be able to gather solid evidence to prove its espionage allegations. Here it is worth mentioning that both the houses of our Parliament were adjourned on the very first day of the Monsoon session itself. So much so, the Prime Minister could not even introduce the new ministers, who were inducted into the Cabinet.
The way the Monsoon session of Parliament was met with uproar and unnecessary disruption, it not only resulted in wastage of money and time, but also reduced the trust of the people in political parties. This disruption is, in a way, ringing alarm bells for Indian democracy. If basic functions are not done in Parliament, then it is certain that the same countries, who give examples of Indian democracy, will ridicule it. Along with this, the people of the country will also express their disappointment over the attitude of the Opposition. This is substantiated by the fact that when the IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnav was reading his statement in the Rajya Sabha on snooping, TMC MPs tore papers and flung them in air, throwing Rajya Sabha into a bedlam. There is an irony that the discussion on the issues, on which there is a ruckus in Parliament, is deliberately avoided. Had there been a discussion, then the general public could have got to the bottom of these issues through the opinion of the Opposition. Today, when the need is far greater for Parliament to do its part properly, it is pathetic to see the Opposition is bent on disrupting Parliament. It is true that it is the responsibility of the ruling party that Parliament should run properly, but it is also the responsibility of the Opposition to provide their support in running Parliament. But it is doing the exact opposite, which is regretful.
By Deepak Kumar Rath
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