The Winter Circus: Logjam in Parliament

The Winter Circus: Logjam in Parliament

The Winter Session of the parliament this year has been the most bizarre one. The logjam in the parliament has resulted in loss of valuable time and the taxpayer’s money. In a time where demonetization has hit hard on the pockets of the people and they are being requested to co-operate with the government, the logjam is mocking the current situation.

Protests in Rajya Sabha

Protests in Rajya Sabha

The Parliament operates for on an average 100 days in a year. The total estimated cost of running the Parliament is around Rs.600 Crores per year, accounting for Rs.6 Crores per day. The parliament has been disrupted for 16 days straight and the proceedings have come to a halt. It is bewildering that the situations so worsened that the Honorable President of India had to intervene, lashing out in harsh tone-“For God’s sake do your Work”.

Former PM Manmohan Singh speaking in Rajya Sabha over the demonetisation terming it a 'monumental management failure, and a case of organised loot, legalised plunder of the common people.'

Former PM Manmohan Singh speaking in Rajya Sabha over the demonetisation terming it a ‘monumental management failure, and a case of organised loot, legalised plunder of the common people.’

The Winter Session of the Parliament has turned into a battle of blames with each MP trying to pull down the other. Parliamentary Freedom is being misused and none of the MPs seem to bother.

The logjam in the winter session escalated way too much and was not absent in parliamentary sessions of the previous year. The Monsoon session too, earlier this year wasted way too many resources on the JNU incident and brought discussion over GST bill to a standstill. The Winter Session 2016 has left everyone gaping wide and questioning their choice of leaders.

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra MahajanThe Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha were created to discuss issues of national interest by the representatives of the people, never ever was it mentioned that they are the arenas for protests and raising slogans against each other. Instead of parliamentary discussions, SP, BSP, TMC and opposition Congress have resorted to way better means of getting their voices heard and effectively lead to adjournment of both the houses.

Chairman of Rajya Sabha Dr Hamid AnsariA logjam between the government and Opposition over the scrapping of 500 and 1000 rupee notes brought parliament to a standstill for one whole day; raucous protests have stalled the clearance of key reforms including the goods and services tax (GST) for almost a fortnight.

23 crucial Bills await introduction, including the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2016 and Divorce (Amendment) Bill 2016, consideration and passage during this ongoing winter session. Apart from the Central Goods and Services Tax Bill, two more legislation linked to this crucial Money Bill await Parliament’s consent- the Integrated Goods and Services Tax Bill and the Goods & Services Tax (Compensation for Loss of Revenue) Bill. The implementation of the much anticipated GST- that will replace a jumble of central, state and interstate sales taxes- would escalate investor confidence in Asia’s third-largest economy and enhance Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s image as a reform-minded leader.

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As much as 83% of the winter session has been disrupted as a result unprecedented proceedings and democracy is apparently failing. The winter session has now turned into nothing but a circus where the learned are giving a great performance and the viewers have paid a heavy price for this one.

-Jahnvi Gupta
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