New Delhi: Alleging that the Modi government used Parliament as a “rubber stamp” during its previous tenure, the Congress on Monday hoped that this trend is reversed and key bills are not pushed without legislative scrutiny using “brute majority”.
The Congress’ assertion came in response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks ahead of the Monsoon Session that the opposition need not “bother about their numbers” as their every word is “valuable” to the government.
“Legislation through an ordinance is a very unhealthy practice in a democracy. It should only be used in extreme cases where there is an emergency requirement otherwise the due processes of lawmaking must be followed by the government in office,” senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said.
“We will now wait for the Prime Minister’s assurance in this regard and whether the practice that was followed in the last five years is reversed, because in the last five years what we have seen is disrespect to the Parliament, where the bills were brought by the government and because of its brute majority in the Lok Sabha, Parliament was treated as a rubber stamp,” he said.
“Most of the bills were not sent to the standing committee for legislative scrutiny which is important for any law to be made,” Sharma said.
“The Congress hopes that now this practice will be honoured and dependence of ordinance and pushing through the bills without scrutiny will not be repeated by the government,” he said.
Earlier in the day, addressing the media outside the Parliament before the commencement of the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha, Modi said, “When we come to Parliament, we should forget ‘paksh‘ (treasury) and ‘vipaksh’(opposition). We should think about issues with a ‘nishpaksh‘ (impartial) spirit and work in the larger interest of the nation.”
Underlining the importance of active opposition in a parliamentary democracy, Modi said he hopes the opposition “will speak actively and participate in House proceedings… I am hopeful that this session will be productive”.