As the monsoon session of Parliament came to an abrupt and tempestuous end amid accusations and counter-accusations between the government and opposition, the Trinamool Congress has come up with seven questions that it wants the Centre to answer.
1. “Where were the Prime Minister and the Home Minister? Why couldn’t they find time to come and be present in Parliament to listen to us? Two former PMs, Shri Manmohan Singh and Shri HD Deve Gowda, were present in the houses and actively participated in it.”
2.”The opposition wanted a discussion on internal security, Pegasus and the NSO connection but the government did not allow it. We also wanted a debate on farmers’ protests, but even that did not happen. Why?”
3. “A total of 39 bills were passed in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, without any debate. This is not how a democratic country works. The average time of passing a bill was 10 minutes and then you say that the opposition is disrupting the session?”
4. “Even in 2014, 60-70% of the bills were sent to a parliamentary committee for review. However, now only 11% of the bills are sent to the committee for scrutinisation.”
5. “Ordinance is used for passing extremely important bills on an emergency basis. In the first 30 years since our independence, only one ordinance was used for every 10 bills – now almost 4 ordinances are used for every 10 bills. The BJP government is treating the emergency legislation to be a normal legislation.”
6. “The PM is avoiding the Parliament. Even Manmohan Singh was never that comfortable with the parliamentary system — but he used to answer our questions on a designated day. However, ever since BJP came to power, Modi has never answered any questions. This is hooliganism.”
7. “Government says they have a huge majority in RS. It’s been two years — where is the Deputy Speaker of Rajya Sabha, why has no one been appointed yet?”
TMC leaders Derek O’Brien, Saugata Roy and Yashwant Sinha prepared the questions, say sources.
The monsoon session of Parliament, which began on July 19 and was scheduled to go on until August 13, was declared closed on Wednesday after furious opposition protests led to several adjournments daily. According to the government, the Lok Sabha functioned at only 22 per cent productivity and the Rajya Sabha at 28 per cent.
The opposition accused the government of being heavy-handed and ignoring repeated requests for discussions on issues like the farmers’ protests and the Pegasus snooping scandal. The Centre hit back, blaming the opposition for stalling important business and indulging in unparliamentary behaviour.