The Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Thursday accused the government of running away from the opposition over a range of issues, including the Pegasus surveillance controversy and farmers’ protest against the three farm laws passed by Parliament last year.
Contrasting the current administration with the 2004-2014 Manmohan Singh government, the party said Prime Minister Narendra Modi “is avoiding Parliament”.
The TMC said Manmohan Singh was not comfortable with the parliamentary system but nonetheless answered the opposition’s questions.
The party put forward seven questions to the government:
- “Where were the prime minister and the home minister? Why couldn’t they find time to come and be present in Parliament to listen to us? Two former PMs, Manmohan Singh and HD Deve Gowda, were present in the houses and actively participated in it.”
- “The opposition wanted a discussion on internal security — Pegasus and the NSO connection — but the government did not allow it. We also wanted a debate on farmers’ protests, but even that did not happen. Why?”
- “A total of 39 bills were passed in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha without any debate. This is not how a democratic country works. The average time of passing a bill was 10 minutes and then you say that the opposition is disrupting the session?”
- “Even in 2014, 60-70 per cent of the bills were sent to a parliamentary committee for review. However, now only 11 per cent of the bills are sent to the committee for scrutinisation.”
- “Ordinance is used for passing extremely important bills on an emergency basis. In the first 30 years since our Independence, only one ordinance was used for every 10 bills — now almost four ordinances are used for every 10 bills. The BJP government is treating the emergency legislation to be normal legislation.”
- “The PM is avoiding the Parliament. Even Manmohan Singh was never that comfortable with the parliamentary system — but he used to answer our questions on a designated day. However, ever since BJP came to power, PM Modi has never answered any questions. This is hooliganism.”
- “Government says they have a huge majority in the Rajya Sabha. It’s been two years — where is the deputy speaker of Rajya Sabha, why has no one been appointed yet?”
The TMC’s move came a day after the Monsoon Session of Parliament ended prematurely amid commotion in both houses.
Earlier, opposition leaders from the Congress, the Shiv Sena and the TMC met Vice-President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu over the ruckus in Parliament.