Tag: India

Abolition of Rajya Sabha

Shivraj Singh Chouhan suggested abolition of Rajya Sabha and later in face of opposition retracted. It was a good suggestion. Shivraj Singh Chouhan referred to businessmen buying votes to become Rajya Sabha members and mentioned Vijay Mallya. That put BJP in an embarrassing position because BJP had supported Vijay Mallya.

The constitution refers to Council of States which is known as Rajya Sabha. During British times Council of States represented princely states and had a membership of 216 members. There was no need to have Rajya Sabha when India became a republic.

Many times people who fail to win Lok Sabha elections get elected to Rajya Sabha. Twelve members can be nominated for their special knowledge and practical experience literature, art, science and social service. Political affiliation is the main consideration in such nominations. Mani Shankar Aiyar who lost Lok Sabha election was nominated to the Rajya Sabha. The requirement of residence of a state to be a Rajya Sabha member from that state was done away some years back.

Many countries have bicameral legislature. In UK, members of House of Lords are not elected. In USA, Senate has important functions like ratification of treaties and approval of important public appointments. In most countries Upper House has fewer powers than Lower House and can be done away with.

Lok Sabha can have fixed term of five years with election and swearing-in taking place on particular dates. We can have presidential system so that the government does not depend on the confidence of Lok Sabha.

We can also abolish Legislative Councils, Planning Commission, National Advisory Council, Animal Welfare Board and similar organizations. NTR and MGR had abolished Legislative Councils in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. They were revived by Congress and DMK.

Punish MPs

MPs have not allowed Parliament to function since 9/11/2010. A. Raja, telecom minister, resigned during the session. Opposition MPs wanted JPC. Congress MPs opposed JPC. Everyday there were disruptions and adjournments.

Parliament is a forum for debate and discussion with dignity and decorum. Disruption is unjustified.

MPs must be punished for non-functioning of Parliament. MPs of both sides are guilty. Opposition MPs disrupted. Ruling MPs allowed disruptions. Disrupting MPs should have been suspended for the rest of the session. If they refused to leave the house they should have been physically lifted and thrown out. If any opposition MP says disruption is a legitimate option he should be told suspension and throwing out is a more legitimate option.

MPs must lose their salaries and allowances for the period the Parliament did not function including Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. They must pay for water, electricity and other things they used for the period. They must refund money spent on air or other travel.

During the monsoon session MPs voted for increase and multiplication of their salaries and allowances. Their salary more than doubled. Daily allowance was doubled from Rs.1,000/- to Rs.2,000/-. Constituency allowance and other allowances and perquisites went up.

In 1995 winter session did not function because BJP and other MPs wanted the then telecom minister Sukh Ram to resign because of a scam. In 1996 BJP formed a government in Himachal Pradesh with Sukh Ram as deputy chief minister.

Sunil Gavaskar and BCCI

Sunil Gavaskar claims BCCI owes him money. BCCI disputes the claim. Sunil Gavaskar says he has not demanded dues from BCCI but has sent gentle reminders. If someone says I will pay you X and I say no and he says I will pay you X + Y and I say yes it is not a demand. The payment regards to membership of IPL Governing Council. How much was X and how much was Y? It seems X was one crore rupees per year and Y was four crore rupees per year. X was in writing. Y was promised orally by Sharad Pawar, then BCCI president. How to deliver Y was not decided because of logistics.

M. A. K. Pataudi and Ravi Shastri were also members of IPL Governing Council. When BCCI decided not to make payments to cricketer members M. A. K. Pataudi and Sunil Gavaskar chose to quit and Ravi Shastri chose to continue. How much M. A. K. Pataudi and Ravi Shastri were paid?

What were the logistics to deliver Y? Payment by cheque would have resulted in taxes. M. A. K. Pataudi and Ravi Shastri could have demanded equal payment. Paying four crore rupees of BCCI money in cash is not an easy thing. It can not be done by few vouchers.

Why did Sunil Gavaskar keep quiet all these years? Why did he not collect Y amount when Sharad Pawar was BCCI president? Shashank Manohar is not bound by oral commitments made by his predecessors. Sharad Pawar is not in a position to influence BCCI. His enemy Jagmohan Dalmiya is in favour with BCCI.

Sunil Gavaskar expects Sharad Pawar to hold a meeting with Shashank Manohar, possibly in Nagpur. A meeting is not necessary to tell that there was an oral commitment.