When Jaitley saw ?benefits to the country? in
Indian Express, July 26, 2015
Over the last week,
leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley has
repeatedly criticised the Congress for disrupting Parliament and
accused it of running away from a debate on the Lalit Modi
controversy as it insists that Union minister Sushma Swaraj
During the previous
regime, it was Jaitley and, ironically, Sushma who had led the
then Opposition?s offensive over various issues, leading to a
series of disruptions that both had justified then.
oil-for-food scandal broke during UPA-I, Jaswant Singh headed
the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha but Jaitley and Sushma were
the BJP faces who led the offensive, resulting in disruption of
Parliament in winter 2005 and external affairs minister Natwar
Singh?s eventual resignation.
ministerial resignations during UPA-II ? from A Raja to
Dayanidhi Maran and Shashi Tharoor to P K Bansal and Ashwani
Kumar ? followed vociferous demands led again by Jaitley and
Sushma, leaders of the opposition in the two Houses.
The Congress is now
recalling the statements Jaitley and Sushma had made, arguing
that the BJP had set the precedent for disruption.
They point out that
the entire winter session of 2010 was washed out when the BJP
set the constitution of a joint parliamentary committee as a
precondition for allowing Parliament to function.
Productivity of the
15th Lok Sabha (2009-14) has been the worst in the last 50
years, the Lok Sabha working 61 per cent of its scheduled time
and the Rajya Sabha 66 per cent, according to PRS Legislative
Research. The BJP disrupted Parliament over the 2G scam in 2010,
the CVC?s appointment in 2011 and coal block allocation in 2012.
November 4, 2005
(outside Parliament): ?It was only due to the pressure
mounted by the Opposition that the government yesterday talked
about probing the issue? But no probe can be impartial without
Natwar Singh quitting office.?
September 7, 2012
(at end of monsoon session, disrupted over coal allocations):
?Not allowing Parliament to function is a form of democracy like
any other form? They asked us to hold a debate either under an
adjournment motion, rule 184, or rule 93. Under adjournment
motion, debate is taken up after adjourning question hour,
followed by voting by voice vote? Debate under 193 would mean a
?talkout? by the government and walkout by Opposition. If we had
taken debate under 184, they would have won because they have
numbers. Numbers do not give a licence to loot the country.?
Arub Jaitley, Then?
January 30, 2011
(quoted by ANI as having said in Ranchi): ?Parliament?s job
is to conduct discussions. But many a time, Parliament is used
to ignore issues and in such situations, obstruction of
Parliament is in the favour of democracy. Therefore
parliamentary obstruction is not undemocratic.?
August 22, 2012
(interview to Times Now): ?We are not interested in a
debate. What is there to debate? We have had bad experiences on
these discussions in the past with the 2G scam.?
August 26, 2012
(outside Parliament): ?There are occasions when obstruction
in Parliament brings greater benefits to the country? Our
strategy does not permit us to allow the government to use
Parliament (for debate) without being held accountable? we do
not want to give government an escape route through debate.?
August 28, 2012
(article in The Hindu): ?Parliamentary obstructionism should
be avoided. It is a weapon to be used in the rarest of the rare
cases. Parliamentary accountability is as important as
parliamentary debate. Both must coexist. If parliamentary
accountability is subverted and a debate is intended to be used
merely to put a lid on parliamentary accountability, it is then
a legitimate tactic for the Opposition to expose the government
through parliamentary instruments available at its command.?
August 26, 2012
(article issued by BJP): ?Suggestions that the issue should
be debated only in Parliament will put a lid on one of the
greatest scandals in Indian history (coal blocks allocation).
We, in the Opposition, are not interested in merely the issue
being talked out through a one-day debate in Parliament?
Parliamentary obstructionism should ordinarily be avoided.
However, in the rarest of rare cases, obstructionism also brings
September 7, 2012
(after disrupted session): ?One session of Parliament has
earlier been lost on account of corruption in allotment of 2G
spectrum. That helped this country cleanse the telecom sector.
Hopefully, the long-term gains of this session may enable future
governments to clean up the process of allocation of natural
Arun Jaitley, Now?
July 21, 2015 (Rajya
Sabha): ?We are ready for discussion? Why are you
(Opposition) running away from a discussion?? If they want the
external affairs minister to make a statement, we are ready for
that? you are scared of a discussion.?
July 21 (outside
the House): ?We get a distinct and clear impression that the
Opposition wants disturbance for some time? Obviously state
issues can?t be discussed? But as far as other issues are
concerned, we offered that we are ready for discussions and we
are ready right now for a discussion.?
July 22 (Rajya
Sabha): ?If the Opposition wants the rules to be changed and
state issues are to be discussed, we will discuss issues of
various states and we are ready for that. We will discuss so
that we set a new precedent that all state issues ranging from
what has been happening in Kerala, in Himachal Pradesh, Assam
and Goa, and all such state issues can be discussed? If they
want to discuss the issue relating to Sushma Swaraj, please
start the discussion right now?
?I dare you to start
the discussion. You don?t have a single fact. Therefore,
noise-making is all that you want to do, and you don?t want to
(outside): ?Opposition is weak on arguments but strong on
disturbance. We want the entire nation to hear Sushma Swaraj?s
views but the Opposition does not want the House to run.?
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