While four states and one Union Territory are getting ready for elections, with seemingly all action happening only there, today, the Budget session also begins.
This is the second part of the Budget session and naturally, getting the Finance Bill passed is highest on the agenda. But the Opposition led by Congress has politics on its agenda and plans to mark the first day with an adjournment motion, demanding a debate on the rising fuel prices in both houses of Parliament. It seems highly unlikely that a debate will happen; the Govt is yet to have a constructive debate with the protesting farmers; their strife has crossed over 100-days. And yes, there is another hot topic - new IT rules which gives more control to the Govt to curtail and regulate social media and Over The Top (OTT) platforms. Once again, its highly unlikely that any of this will be debated in this session.
It looks like Congress will hardly have any support as ministers of the states going to the polls from March 27 to April 29– West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry will be skipping the sessions.
In fact the Govt itself wants to curtail the Parliament session to two- weeks while it is originally scheduled to end on 8th April. The Govt wants to spend little time in the Parliament and devote more time to campaigning. The first half of the session was also cut short by two days. Is this ethically right? Isn’t it setting the wrong precedent? If elections are happening so that elected officers can work in the Parliament, is that happening at all?
Obviously, with so much happening on the political front, no constructive debate is expected to happen and like always, the Finance Bill will get passed without even a whimper or a voice of protest. There are some 25 other Bills too but all are likely to get passed on to the next session.
The Parliament is called as the “Temple of Democracy” but like many things, this has also become symbolic tokenism. For a Govt to become a legitimate Govt it needs the majority from the Parliament but sadly, once in power, the Parliament is used for only pushing through laws, never using the “temple” for any constructive debate.
Yes, the Parliament is about politics but sad that it is only and only politics today.