Thursday, 29 December 2011

Mamta Banerjee ----- a game changer today

Mamata Banerjee of the TMC  has turned out to be the "game changer" in the fight for the Lokpal Bill. The Congress has fulfilled its commitment towards bringing a strong Lokpal Bill, which it made towards the Anna team. After having successfully passed the Lok pal Bill through the Lok Sabha, now it was the turn of the Rajya Sabha. It is well-known that the Congress party does not have the required numbers to get the bill passed from the Rajya Sabha. It was now therefore upto the opposition parties, as well as the allies of the government to get the bill through. But now it seems that the bill has been caught up in a large number of problems. Starting with the issue of reservation for minorities  being provided in the Lokpal panel, we have the problem of State Lokayuktas" being appointed under the Lokpal bill, which was opposed by all the regional parties including TMC, as well as the principal opposition party the BJP. A large number of amendments to the bill have been moved by the TMC, the BJP, the Samajwadi party, the BSP and other regional parties. It is quite ironical that the same parties who had supported the government in helping the bill pass through the Lok Sabha, should block the bill in the Rajya Sabha. Parties like BSP, TMC, RJD had staged a walkout in the Lok Sabha so as to enable the government to get the bill passed in the Lok Sabha. The same parties have taken a different stand and moved amendments on several clauses of the Lokpal bill. Majority of these amendments relate to the reservation clause, the Lok Ayukta being appointed under the Lokpal bill, and the bill being brought under Article 253 instead of Article 252 of the Constitution of India, greater autonomy to the CBI  and so on.

The whole exercise seems to be to discredit the Congress party who have taken the initiative to get the Lokpal bill passed through the Lok Sabha, and present to the people that it was because of the faulty bill brought about by the government that it could not muster support to get it passed through the Rajya Sabha. As it is the elections have been announced to the five state assemblies which are scheduled to vote in the month of February 20 12. In the event of the Lokpal bill being passed by both the Houses of Parliament, it would have been a dream come true for the Congress party to be able to tell its voters, that it has delivered on its promise of fighting corruption. Now the game adopted by the opposition parties, mainly the BJP seems to be to get the bill defeated somehow on the floor of the house and put the blame on the Congress party that it was not able to muster enough support to get the bill through the Rajya Sabha because of the faulty clauses put in the bill. The BJP has been known to block all the legislation introduced by the Congress in the past like the bill relating to FDI and other bills relating to reforms sought to be introduced by the government. It is small wonder then that the BJP would be the first party to block all attempts to get the bill through the Rajya Sabha where it is in majority. As it is, the regional parties do not want the Lokpal bill to be passed because of the fear psychosis it has created in the minds of the politicos that they would no longer be free to carry out their uninterrupted corrupt practices, which were being indulged in till now. The Lok Sabha having been adjourned sine die, no joint session of Parliament can now be called to introduce any amendments to the Lokpal bill in the Lok Sabha. The last day of the Rajya Sabha is in progress and therefore it would not be possible for the government to get the bill passed in the Rajya Sabha in its present form. It would therefore be in the interest of all that voting does not take place today in the Rajya Sabha and the bill is deferred till the budget session of Parliament. Till then the government would have taken into consideration the various amendments suggested by members of Parliament of various parties, and perhaps a more comprehensive bill would emerge which satisfies most of the parties who are playing politics today. Let's not agree to disagree every time and create confusion and chaos for the ruling party. It would be in the fitness of things for all parties to cooperate with the ruling party and act in the interest of the country as a whole. The government has made a Herculean effort and brought in a Lokpal bill which is quite comprehensive and has been able to pass it through the Lok Sabha. Unfortunately because of the diminished numbers in the Rajya Sabha it is not possible for them to get the bill passed on their own over there. It therefore becomes the duty of all opposition parties not to play petty politics at this stage and to bail out the government in its hour of difficulty. Today it is the Congress, tomorrow it may be the BJP which may be the ruling party, and I'm sure they would not like to face the same situation in which the ruling party finds itself today in. After all there is nothing wrong in getting a comprehensive Lokpal bill passed which is in the interest of all people, rather than cause the huge embarrassment for the ruling party which is catering to the whims and fancies of all concerned like the Anna team, as well as whimsical parties including its own allies. Hope the parties will see reason and bail out the government in its hour of difficulty. Cheers!

1 comment:

  1. I would like to believe that the Govt saw reason in my suggestions and accepted them. The Bill was actually not put to vote and the Govt was saved of the huge embarrassment the BJP was planning for them in the event the Bill would have been defeated on the floor of the House. Cheers!