Congress has accused the government of trying to ‘bulldoze’ Parliament, bypass legislative scrutiny of bills and wrongly name some bills such as the black money bill as ‘money bill’ to escape the Rajya Sabha test during the just-concluded budget session. It also alleged that the style of working of the prime minister resulted in the ruling side’s floor mangers lacking authority in engaging Opposition to conduct wider consultations on bills during the session.
Addressing a joint press conference, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, and Congress floor leader in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, said, “the NDA government tried to bulldoze Parliament, bypass house committees, circumvented parliamentary procedures and dishonoured agreement on agenda decided by the business advisory committee.”
“Why was it that neither the PM nor the Parliamentary Affairs Minister cared to adhere to time-honoured tradition of consultation with all opposition parties on legislative and policy agenda? Congress feels the reason was lack of authority with political floor managers in the Parliament to either decide or take a call on various important issues. More often than not, the government’s floor leaders discussed an issue with Opposition, arrived at a conclusion, yet were later over-ruled by the PM. This lack of co-ordination in the ruling party led to wastage of time and effort,” Azad said.
“At least external affairs minister was honest enough to tell both the Houses that the Indo-Bangladesh landswapping bill could be passed only after the government agreed to the Congress demand by bringing back the Assam areas in its purview. At least Sushma Swaraj remains one of the few ministers in this government who speaks the truth,” he quipped.