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Legislative decline

Legislative decline
Highlights

The ugly scenes in Telangana legislature that rocked the Governor’s address are not uncommon. It has once again demonstrated how the political prior- ities can hold the legislative standards to ransom. Legislature is an embodiment of hopes and aspirations of crores of people.

The TRS may be strategically correct in teaching Congress in its own idiom, but it is certainly not a happy augury for democratic polity in the new state which should have started its journey on a clean slate

The ugly scenes in Telangana legislature that rocked the Governor’s address are not uncommon. It has once again demonstrated how the political prior- ities can hold the legislative standards to ransom. Legislature is an embodiment of hopes and aspirations of crores of people.

The steep degeneration in political values is fast laying the democratic aspirations and constitutional dreams to rest. The prevailing political culture makes it difficult to judge the culpability for this onslaught on legislative decorum.

The opposition parties, TDP and Con- gress, have a valid ground to protest though the form of protest is certainly abominable. The Tenth Schedule of the Constitution which defines the provisions regarding the Anti-Defection Law are not just violated but butchered by the party in power. The legislature is a witness to this perversion. The Governor by admin- istering the oath of office to a minister who is still technically an opposition member has indirectly either endorsed the defection or remained helpless.

Thus, opposition has a reason to protest at the institution that failed to deliver political justice. But, the TRS is not the first or the last to indulge in such kind of politics of defections. The TRS argues that nei- ther TDP nor Congress have moral right to question.

TRS is correct in levying such a criticism on these two opposition parties. The TDP, which is crying foul in Telangana, is resorting to similar politics in Andhra Pradesh where it is in power. The Congress has the dubious distinction of engineering defections.

But, the civil society questions TRS whether it wants to emulate Congress. Did the people of Telangana give such a mandate to it to carry forward the Congress political legacy. The TRS owes explanation to the electorate rather than the op- position. The TRS may be strategically correct in teaching Congress in its own language and idiom, but it is certainly not a happy augury for democratic polity in the new state which should have started its journey on a clean slate.

Meanwhile, the intensity and the manner in which opposition displayed its genuine frustration is unwarranted as it would only entail legislative decline rather than yielding any political dividend. But, the ruling party members have also committed a grave mistake by physically resisting the protesting opposition members.

They cannot assume to themselves the responsibility of marshals. The overwhelming presence of marshals that too in civil dress raises doubts over the entire episode. It gives a feeling that the ruling party is hell-bent on silencing the opposition both inside and outside the House. The Supreme Court of India emphasising the role of the opposition in legislative institutions said that it rep- resents a voice different from that of the ruling party.

Stifling opposition voice is detrimental to healthy democracy and shall even prove to be counterproductive to the ruling party in the long run. The time has come to save legislature from the belligerent politics.

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