17-Dec-2011

Is The Government Sidelining Parliament?

Yes, says Prakash Karat in this The Hindu report:  Government unwilling to abide by tenets of parliamentary democracy: Karat
Referring to the Cabinet decision of allowing 51 per cent foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail, Mr. Karat said Parliament got stalled on the issue as the government refused to accept the adjournment motion of the Opposition as it was not willing to face any censure, with partners Trinamool Congress and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam opposing the policy and uncertainty about neutralising the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party.
Certain Congress ministers advanced absurd arguments that policy decision was the right of the executive and a parliamentary vote was an encroachment on its legitimate right. While conceding that executive had the right to take decisions in certain policy matters, he said how can the Parliament's right to scrutinise such policy decisions and for the Opposition to seek to reverse such a decision through a parliamentary vote be denied.
“It goes against the elementary principle of the accountability of the executive to Parliament in our political set-up. If the government wishes to push through an unpopular and harmful policy, it must be willing to face the consequences of that in Parliament.”

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