Working overtime to finish democracy
Lok Sabha Speaker, Somnath Chatterjee, has said that MPs are “working overtime to finish democracy”. This observation came out during slogan shouting members of parliament which stopped business of the house. Slogan shouting is not a new thing for parliament. Forcefully stopping business of the house is also not new. Mr. Chatterjii is presiding over this Lok Sabha for the past four years but did not make any such comment.Is it due to the fact that a newspaper has taken up this issue, first for Delhi Assembly and now for Lok Sabha?
Let us see some statistics. Time lost to interruptions during budget session in past seven years has varied from 13 hours to 74 hours. Talking of all sessions in Lok Sabha, number of sittings has come down from an yearly average of 124 in the first decade of 1952-1961 to 81 between 1992 and 2001. This is a decline of 34 percent. This means that most of the Govt’s expenditure plans and policy initiatives are being passed without any discussion whatsoever.
To all standards, it is a very harsh comment for those who have been elected to Lok Sabha by the people to represent them but the donot seem to bother about it. People did not elect them to shout slogans in the house and to work to stop the business of the house. It is something these MPs are doing not mandated by the people to do. Mr. Chatterjii has suggested that MPs who disrupt House Proceedings be docked a day’s pay. But why he is not pushing this suggestion to become a legal provision?