Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Anarchy in Parliament

For decades MPs have disrupted Parliament. Anarchy in Parliament is a regular feature. Sessions get washed out. Presiding officers i.e., Speaker of Lok Sabha and Chairman of Rajya Sabha have failed in their duties. MPs who should be suspended are allowed to disrupt houses. Sometimes foreign delegates are present to witness how Indian Parliament functions and they go back by witnessing anarchy.
On 13/2/2014 Vijayawada MP Lagadapati Rajagopal sprayed pepper in Lok Sabha. The house was adjourned. Some MPs had to be taken to hospital. What next? An MP coming with AK-47 and shooting fellow MPs and walking out? Three decades back in Inquilab, Amitabh Bachchan played a chief minister who shoots all his ministers.
Besides Rajagopal there were other MPs who engaged in vandalism in Lok Sabha. Later Speaker Meira Kumar under rule 374A suspended 16 MPs for next five consecutive sittings. The suspended MPs were Anantha Venkatarammi Reddy, A. Sai Pratap, Gutha Sukehnder Reddy, K. G. Reddy, Lagadapati Rajagopal, R. Sambasiva Rao, M. Sreenivasulu Reddy, Sabbam Hari, V. Aruna Kumar of Congress; K. Narayana Rao, Modugula Venugopala Reddy, Nimmala Kristappa, Nirmalli Sivaprasad of TDP; and M. Rajamohan Reddy, S. P. Y. Reddy, Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy of YSR Congress.
Arun Jaitley said “What has happened in Parliament has brought a bad name to Indian democracy.” Meira Kumar said “This has shamed us. Our parliamentary democracy is admired throughout the world.” Sushma Swaraj said “Whatever happened, it has crossed all limits.”
Indian democracy had a bad name for a long time. If there was admiration it was by ignorant people. Limits are crossed every time there is adjournment due to disruption.
L. Rajagopal committed a crime by injuring others. FIR must be registered against him. Those who damaged Lok Sabha property should be asked to pay for damage.
Purno Albert Sangma once said when he was Speaker he never adjourned the house. Meira Kumar used rule 374A to suspend MPs. That means that rule could have been used by her and other Speakers before and they did not use it. They are guilty.
Leaders have lost moral authority by asking party members to disrupt. Opposition members disrupting is bad. Ruling members disrupting is worse. Once when Sushma Swaraj spoke Sonia Gandhi told her party members not to allow her to speak. Congress members stood up and shouted. Among them was Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath whose responsibility was it to see Parliament functions without disruptions.
BJP stand is ambivalent. They say they want the house to function but do not want marshals. BJP cannot have it both ways.
What did Pranab Mukherjee do when he was leader of the house to put an end to anarchy in Lok Sabha? What has he done as President to end anarchy in Parliament? He has taken oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. Under Article 86 did he address or send messages to both Houses of Parliament not to disrupt proceedings and throw out any member who disrupts? He did not. He can and he should.

Updated: February 15, 2014 — 7:36 am

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