White Day for Democracy

3 August 2015 was a white day for democracy and black day for mobocracy and anarchy in India. Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan suspended 25 Congress MPs under rule 374(A) for five days for disrupting the House.
For too long disruptions have gone on. Over the years suspensions had been rare. When majority of both ruling party/coalition and opposition parties agreed disrupting MPs were suspended.
BJP has disrupted proceedings in the past. Speakers of the time should have suspended disrupting MPs.
Disruptions had to stop at some time. Congress can retaliate in Karnataka, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and other states where it is in power when BJP MLAs disrupt proceedings. In Delhi, AAP government used marshals to throw out disrupting BJP MLAs. Speaker can suspend them.
TMC, CPI(M), JD(U), NCP, AAP boycotted Lok Sabha in solidarity with Congress. SP, RJD and some other MPs came to Lok Sabha and walked out. Why did AAP support Congress? Congress is critical of AAP in Delhi. In Punjab, AAP and Congress are rivals. ADMK, BJD, TDP, TRS, YSRCP did not join the boycott.
How much suspended MPs lose? Apart from daily allowance of Rs.2,000/- for attending Parliament they should lose part of salary and allowances. The total loss for suspended MP should not be less than 12,000 rupees per day. Boycotting MPs will lose their daily allowance unless they sign the attendance register. Many MPs will be privately grumbling about the loss of money. Boycotting MPs will blame party leaders for the foolish decision.
Congress wanted resignations of Sushma Swaraj, Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Vasundhara Raje Scindia. Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Vasundhara Raje Scindia are chief ministers. Prime Minister has no authority to seek their resignations. Demand for Sushma Swaraj’s resignation was justified. However Congress said “No discussion without resignations.” When the government did not yield, the right way would have been to move a no confidence motion against the government. Disrupting is not the answer.
On the first day of suspension itself there were rumours that suspension would be revoked. Not clear who in BJP wanted suspension revoked. Shatrughan Sinha tweeted against suspension but in recent days he has opposed many things his party and government have done. Other BJP MPs have not publicly opposed suspension. Pinaki Mishra of BJD said it is too little, too late.
Purno Albert Sangma once said he never adjourned the house when he was Speaker. MPs will shout for some time and become quiet. If they adjourn the House they go to the canteen and eat and should again when the House resumes.
People of India are disgusted with disruptions. They want no work no pay rule to apply to MPs. That will make MPs behave properly. They don’t want to lose money. Most of them oppose abolition of Parliament canteen subsidy. Once again they want to increase their salary and allowances. Narendra Modi should appeal to MPs to give up Parliament canteen subsidy. The video of appeal should appear on TV channels till the subsidy is abolished.
MPs are bound by laws they pass. There is law against smoking in public places. Parliament House is a public place. Speaker should not have provided a room for smokers in Parliament House. Too bad one of the smokers who wanted room for smoking was Kiran Rijuju, Minister of State for Home.

Updated: August 8, 2015 — 7:51 am

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