DC Edit | A spirit of cooperation will help govt in Parliament

Political Divide Deepens: Government faces scrutiny over critical issues as Opposition asserts relevance in Parliament's heated debate

The discussion on the motion thanking the President for her address to the joint session of Parliament showcased before the people the portraits of a government side which remains in denial mode on critical issues of national importance and an Opposition that has regained its strength, voice and relevance.

The BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi can be justifiably proud of their third successive electoral win, albeit with lesser numbers, but they might do well to remember that those who elected them do not have the luxury to celebrate with them forever. Far too many issues need urgent attention of the government. However, the Prime Minister, while replying to the motion, appeared not to be in a mood to address what has shaken the people’s trust in the nation’s institutions but played it safe by expatiating on platitudes and mouthing stale rhetoric.

Manipur has been on a boil for over a year. More than 200 people have died; thousands are still living in relief camps. Armed rebels engage each other in battle on a regular basis. In fact, the strife has of late spread to border villages with more than 2,000 having taken refuge in neighboring Assam last month fearing violence in the border district of Jiribam. While the President did not bring it up in her address, the Prime Minister, who has skirted Manipur in his speeches and electoral campaign, would now claim in the Rajya Sabha that the state is returning to normal, citing the reopening of schools and data on arrests and FIRs. He would even reprimand the Opposition for raising it. It is highly regrettable that the government refuses to acknowledge ground realities.

The government also appears to be in a state of denial when it comes to the mess related to the conduct of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test for medical education and other national competitive examinations and it looks to be unmindful of the death blow it has dealt to the foundations of institutional integrity. The President mentioned it in her address and the Prime Minister assured the nation in his reply that the government has been working on a war footing to fix the problem. However, it has not yet considered scrapping the tainted examination and ordering a retest despite the investigating agencies, including CBI, making several arrests across the country. No resolute action means allowing the cheats to get their way.

The Prime Minister was only stating the obvious when he tells the Congress Party that it was the NDA which won the election, and not the INDIA bloc. But Mr Modi and the BJP must keep in mind that it sought a mandate that will give it sufficient numbers to amend the Constitution but it got a number which won’t even allow it to pass a law without requiring the help of its allies. It must realise that the people have elected a Lower House unlike in the past two elections and ensured that it has an Opposition in substantial numbers and a Leader of Opposition who can lay legitimate claim to the post. It should perish the thought of sweeping contentious issues under the carpet or expelling Opposition MPs. Instead of painting their suggestions as imbecile, it should open its eyes to the reflection in them of popular demands. Picking out the actionable points, it should then proceed to frame policy and notify redress. A spirit of accommodation and cooperation is all that the people are asking for.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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