Twelve Members of the Rajya Sabha have been suspended for the entire winter session of the House and the suspension for their alleged disorderly conduct in the previous session has raised apprehension over the conduct of parliament.
This is the first time members of Rajya Sabha have been suspended for misconduct during the previous session. Opposition parties described it as “authoritarian”, “unwarranted” and “undemocratic”.
First of all, political pundits are quite doubtful about the timing of the suspension as they raised the question of invoking suspension for an alleged act in the previous session.
Then comes the question of apologising on the floor of the House for revoking their suspension. The government is firm that the suspension would only be revoked after the MPS tender an apology. Meanwhile, the opposition parties and the MPS are also stern enough to say that they would not beg pardon.
NO DISCUSSION AND BJP ADVANTAGEOUS
As the tug of war goes on between the Ruling BJP and the opposition parties, leading to adjournments of the House, the ruling party is having an upper hand in passing the bills of their choice and interest. The Parliament is responsible to the people. With the opposition creating ruckus, the ruling BJP front is in an advantageous position to pass the bills without any discussion. Moreover, the BJP also wishes the same, which is quite evident from the passage of the three controversial farm laws (these bills have now been revoked) last year. Debates and discussion are needed for the success of parliamentary democracy. Debates and discussions can only bring forth productive ideas and solutions.
RESTRICTING VOICE OF THE PEOPLE
The elected representatives have a responsibility to the people. These elected members raise matters of public concern or any serious issue in parliament. Nevertheless, here the suspension raises the question of denying the 12 MPs the right to raise such issues before the government in this winter session. Denying the MPs an opportunity to talk for the people that they represent undermines the true spirit of parliament. The government denying the MPs their due right is in fact curtailing the voice of the people (the MPs raise issues of interest to the society).
RULING AND OPPOSITION
The Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have only seen frequent adjournments from day one of the session (November 29). Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge pointed out that the suspension was illegal on technical grounds. He noted that that the two essential parameters essential under the rules were ignored. First, the Chairman had to name a member, if he was of the view that the member had disregarded the authority of the Chair or abused the rules of the Council by persistently and wilfully obstructing the business of the House. A motion can be moved only after the member is named, he said and added that this procedure was relevant only on the date of occurrence of the alleged disregard or disorderly conduct of a member.
Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu stressed that Rajya Sabha was a continuing institution and that taking action against some members on the first day of the current winter session for their acts of misconduct on the last day of the last monsoon session was in order.
The opposition alleged that the ruling BJP was only running away from debates. They alleged that the BJP did not want any discussion but only want to rush sway with passing bills. All these against parliamentary democracy, they alleged and said that it was against parliamentary democracy. They also blamed the government of not focussing on the present session but only diverting the attention by dragging in an issue of a previous session.
Disruption of the House can never be excuse. The government as well as the opposition have equal responsibility to the people. Both the ruling and the opposition are accountable to the people and solutions need to be arrived at.