Farmers’ distress, job losses to figure in Winter session

Shameem Faizee

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he last Winter Session of this Lok Sabha will start on December 11. Normally the last full session of the House is utilised by the Opposition to set the political agenda for the coming general elections and the ruling party tries to list its achievements during the tenure. But that happens in the normal circumstances. Under the Narendra Modi regime, we are facing an extra-ordinary situation. During the past four and half years, more than the Opposition, it was the ruling combination that caused disruption of the proceedings of the House, particularly in the Lower House.

Under Modi, it is the BJP-led NDA that caused the maximum disruption of the proceedings of the House. Rajya Sabha, where the ruling combination does not have majority on its own, no serious debate on important socio-political and economic issues was allowed. The members of the ruling party behaved like opposition. Besides, the government misused different rules and norms to by-pass the Upper House. Important legislations like Aadhaar Act were converted into money bill to avoid their presentation in the Upper House. Office of the Speaker was misused to deprive Opposition any opportunity to enlist the failures and miss-management of the government. During the last session, even a no-confidence motion was not allowed though it had the support of the requisite numbers.

[box type=”shadow” align=”aligncenter” class=”” width=””]Govt will try to block talk on corruption issues

The Winter Session of the Parliament is not going to be different as far as the issues to be debated are concerned. As number of cases of corruption and mismanagement of economy have come to light during the past few months, government will try to see that these issues are not even mentioned in the House. Rafale deal is one such corruption case in which the prime minister himself is directly involved. [/box]

Besides, to avoid discussion on serious socio-economic issues, the ruling combination always wrecked up sentimental issues pertaining to caste and communal differences. For the Narendra Modi government, the issue of triple talaq among Muslims was a more important gender equality issue than the passage of the bill for 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and assemblies.

The Winter Session of the Parliament is not going to be different as far as the issues to be debated are concerned. As number of cases of corruption and mismanagement of economy have come to light during the past few months, government will try to see that these issues are not even mentioned in the House. Rafale deal is one such corruption case in which the prime minister himself is directly involved.

He is avoiding answering two simple questions about the corruption. Why he decided to pay three times the price for Rafale jet than what was finalised by the previous government. Similarly by dropping a public sector company HAL and favouring crony capitalist Anil Ambani for looting Rs 30,000 crore of the public money, Modi has committed another crime. There is a list of A to Z of the corruption cases of the BJP governments at the centre and in states.

Then there are revelations about the two economic blunders of the Modi regime. Now even those who were part of the government including various government departments and ministries have started admitting that the demonetisation was a disaster and had nothing to do with the claims made about unearthing black money or blocking funding of terrorism. Demonetisation has been used to whiten the black money of the ruling party and its cronies.

Similarly, the hasty implementation of the GST has resulted in more hardships on small and medium traders as well as imposition of undue taxes on common people. While the corporate houses have been given concessions by reducing income tax rates for them, the common people have been burdened with GST, that is the biggest onslaught in the form of indirect taxes.

Last week, farmers from all over the country were on the streets of the national capital to draw the attention to the disaster faced by agriculture. Though the captive media ignored this farmers’ march, the social media did the justice and the people echoed the demand that there should be a special session of Parliament to discuss the agriculture crisis. Will Modi government allow the winter session of Parliament to debate these crucial issues that affects majority?

Similarly, the issue of unemployment is getting focussed but there is no organised move to draw the nations’ attention to this burning issue affecting our younger generation. There are scores of such issues that need urgent debate in Parliament.

But Modi government has made it clear that it will continue to distract people’s attention from serious socio-economic issues by using the weapon of political sentimentalism or sentimental politics. Its mentor, RSS and its various wings, have already created the issue of Bulandshahar. The murder of a police inspector by the Sanghi mob needs to be treated as a conspiracy and exposed. But it should not be at the cost of debate on much more serious socio-economic issues in the Winter Session of Parliament.

(The author is a political commentator)