New Delhi: In a tricky reversal of roles, the ruling party MPs today stalled the conduct in both the Houses of Parliament much before the opposition parties could. This preemptive stalling by the UPA camp caught the opposition benches by surprise that they were left wondering how to seek an adjournment of an already adjourned House.
In the Lok Sabha, this morning as soon as the House convened, the opposition parties, in the time-honoured traditions of the august institution, started trooping down to the well of the House to protest and perhaps decide en route what matter to protest.
As it happened, they got the shock of their lives when they found the ruling party MPs all bunched up at the well of the House, having already successfully stalled the proceedings of the House.
Undeterred, the Opposition parties said that they too would stall the proceedings. But the Speaker, citing Constitutional precedents, ruled that since the ruling combine MPs had caused the first disruption, the day’s adjournment would be attributed to them.
‘Only their disruption is official. The opposition should realise that there is no room in the Constitution to disrupt an already disrupted House,’ the Speaker explained and added ‘to disrupt an disruption would amount to peaceful and dignified conduct of the House. Now, that’s unheard of in our annals’.
Later in her chamber, the Speaker said the ruling party itself halting the functioning of the House is nothing unique or new.’ Away from Parliament, you have had Left parties in West Bengal and Kerala regularly organising hartals and bandhs against the State governments headed by the Left parties. Ok, that may be classic case of Communism. But still, they are historical precedents,’ the Speaker pointed out.
The Speaker also said there was nothing in the Constitution to stop the Chair itself from preventing the House from conducting its business. ‘The Speaker too can storm the well. So stay warned,’ she added.
Meanwhile, the UPA MPs, talking to media personnel many of whose only skill is to thrust a mike into the face of any one emerging out of Parliament including the waiters at the canteen, said: ‘we cannot remain silent when someone else is murdering democracy. We are responsible enough to do those ourselves. We thank Sonia Gandhi for showing us the way in this matter’.
Stating that the opposition parties have a sinister and vested interest in seeking a probe by a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), the UPA MPs said there was a huge scandal behind their (opposition) charge that there was a scandal in 2G allocation.
‘Why should the 2G allocation bother the MPs when none of us are required to even pay our monthly mobile bills,’ asked the UPA members.
‘Our demand now is a JPC probe to get into the bottom of the demand of a JPC probe by the opposition parties,’ the UPA MPs said and added ‘if they (opposition) claim that the 2G allocation is the mother of all scams, we see the grandmother of all scams in their charge’.
Hoisted on their own petard, the opposition MPs were heard dolefully saying: ‘disruption is the essence of democracy. If they don’t allow us to carry out our duty inside, we may have to practice disruption from outside’.
Meanwhile, the PMO has reacted with surprise to the charge made by the Supreme Court in the 2G allocation case. The Apex Court yesterday wondered as to why the Prime Minister had remained silent on the matter even though the whole issue was taken to him nearly 11 months back.
The PMO, after consulting the top legal brains in the country, said that it was baffling that the Supreme Court could make comments on a matter that is clearly sub judice. ‘No one has any right to make any remarks in a matter that is already under the purview of the Supreme Court. This rule applies to every one, and that includes the Supreme Court also,’ a source in the PMO said.
Forget the judiciary undermining Parliament. We should be worried about judiciary undermining the judiciary,’ the source said and added ‘the legally accepted position is that the apex court can pass orders but cannot give opinions before passing the orders’.
‘Ipso facto that becomes a fait accompli, which is a mea culpa, post facto,’ the PMO source said dangerously mixing phrases and languages.
Asked when the media was full of stories on the alleged scam in 2G allocation, how could have the Prime Minister remained silent, the PMO source argued that the Prime Minister may not have been aware that there was scam as the media had never referred to it as ‘Spectrumgate’. ‘In India, nothing is deemed a scandal unless the media appends ‘gate’ to it, nah?’ the PMO source wondered.
(Disclaimer: Anything goes in the name of democracy, no? So why not this? By this, we mean this piece)