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Silencing the opposition, NDA shows the way

Silencing the opposition, NDA shows the way
Highlights

The NDA government has been using persuasion, some tough talk and some gentle arm-twisting as well to push important legislations Mahendra Ved.

The NDA government has been using persuasion, some tough talk and some gentle arm-twisting as well to push important legislations Mahendra Ved.

A direct benefit to the nation of electing a stable government with a clear mandate is that Parliament is running fairly smoothly. Debates are taking place and more importantly, legislations are being enacted.

We have hopefully left behind several years of stalled proceedings on flimsiest of issues, noisy disruptions and all that was counter-productive about the working of our parliamentary democracy.

The first session of the 16th Lok Sabha and opening week of the Winter Session seem reassuring and the nation can hope that this would continue.

The Monsoon Session had seen many debates and legislations taken up and now the Winter Session has opened on a promising note. The NDA government has been using persuasion, some tough talk and some gentle arm-twisting as well to push important legislations.

Last week, in the first four days, Parliament cleared three Bills, three more were approved by the Lok Sabha and now await passage by the Rajya Sabha. More important, the two vacancies in the Select Committee examining the contentious Insurance Bill were filled, raising hopes of an early report by December 12, facilitating the law’s early passage. Amidst all sound and fury, the government’s performance, and otherwise, on bringing home black money stashed abroad was discussed in both Houses. The government also agreed to a debate on the MGNREGA in the Rajya Sabha, where it assured the Opposition that the United Progressive Alliance’s flagship programme would not be diluted.
The government has had no problem in the Lok Sabha where it has the majority. But it has had negligible success in the Rajya Sabha.

Parliamentary tactics and floor coordination are in full play, and will remain so because the government does not enjoy adequate support in the Upper House. The Question Hour was not smooth. Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu has a tough task ahead. Only a conciliatory approach and coordination with junior ministers, Rajiv Pratap Rudy (Lok Sabha), Mukthar Abbas Naqvi (Rajya Sabha), and the whips can help the government carry the day.

Overall, the government has displayed eagerness to push through as many legislation it can, ready to accept opposition amendments. This may be needed with regard to the insurance bill. The two main parties, BJP and Congress, agree that this is needed to boost investor’s sentiment, but there are others who understand economic a little less.

The government continues to deny the Congress the Leader of the Opposition slot. It has ridden past a major hurdle with the regard to the Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Bill, 2014, that deals with the appointment of a CBI Director, pushing the necessary amendment that would mean choosing an important functionary with or without the role of the Leader of the Opposition. Samajwadi and BSP were assured that the law would not be misused in the states and won over. It would be interesting to watch if this sets the pattern of government’s functioning and how the opposition deals with when it comes to other heads of offices of the Union Government.

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