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Flimsy ritual in Lok Sabha

Flimsy ritual in Lok Sabha
Highlights

Lok Sabha’s proceedings have become a comedy of errors with TDP and YSRC, driven by the compulsions of competitive politics, trying to pip each other on the issue of no-confidence motion against the NDA for failing to deliver Special Category Status to AP. On Friday, the Congress too joined them in moving a notice for no-confidence on the same issue, adding to the confusion that is reining high in

Lok Sabha’s proceedings have become a comedy of errors with TDP and YSRC, driven by the compulsions of competitive politics, trying to pip each other on the issue of no-confidence motion against the NDA for failing to deliver Special Category Status to AP. On Friday, the Congress too joined them in moving a notice for no-confidence on the same issue, adding to the confusion that is reining high in the Lower House.

Interestingly, the issue is the same, but they moved the notices separately as no one wants to be a follower to anyone. In their anxiety to earn brownie points with their electors, the leaders of these parties are forgetting that they are the fortunate few with a great opportunity to sit in a House which shows the direction to the entire nation.

As the three parties push their own brands of non-confidence motions, other parties – some NDA constituents and some not – rake up their own issues, creating trouble in the House. One should watch or listen to believe the kind of noise the members make. The continuous howling reminds one of eerie sonic affects that one gets to hear in horror films.

The ritual has become so hackneyed that it is not difficult to predict what will happen next when the Speaker begins asking the members to exercise restraint. Even before the Speaker adjourns the house, you know that it is going to be. It is as plain and as obvious.

The reason that the Speaker comes up with every day for adjourning the House is that she cannot take head count to ascertain if those who had served notices for non-confidence motion have the support of a minimum of 50 members. As the Speaker comes up with the same reason repeatedly, one wonders if it is all that difficult to take the head count if the House is not in order.

Former Speakers maintain that it is not difficult for a Speaker to take the head count even if House is not in order. If there is din in the house, the Speaker could always seek the help of the government. It is the joint responsibility of the Speaker, Leader of the House and Parliamentary Affairs Minister to ensure order in the house. Even if there is disturbance, head count could be taken.

The officers can tick the names in their registers and report back to the speaker. Even when Lok Sabha was in turmoil while passing AP State Re-Organisation Bill the then Speaker Meira Kumar did manage to take head count of members. Then why not now?

It is not as if NDA cannot ride the no-trust motion since it has brute majority. But replying to debate on no-confidence is a prospect that it does not like since it would be like defending itself for “wrong-doing.” The result is that NDA constituents like AIADMK are creating ruckus and perpetuating pandemonium in House.

Surprisingly TRS, which is at loggerheads with BJP, is also helping the saffron party in a way by creating trouble on the issue of enhancement of reservations for minorities and tribals.

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