Ultimately Parliament “dysfunctional”; Democracy gasps: Chidambaram

The executive summoned the opposition leader when the Rajya Sabha was in session, and one of the two heads of the legislature “protested helplessness,” he said, adding that it was a “sad day.”

The executive summoned the opposition leader when the Rajya Sabha was in session, and one of the two heads of the legislature “protested helplessness,” he said, adding that it was a “sad day.”

Senior Congress Chairman P. Chidambaram said on August 7 he had concluded that parliament had become “dysfunctional” and claimed that democracy in India was “gasping” as nearly all institutions were tamed, emasculated or emasculated would be conquered.

He also said Rajya Sabha leader M. Venkaiah Naidu “failed” to protect opposition leader Mallikarjun Kharge from being subpoenaed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) last week when the House of Representatives was in session.

Rejects Shah’s statements

In conversation with PTIMr Chidambaram also dismissed comments by Home Secretary Amit Shah linking Friday’s congressional demonstration against the price hike to the founding day of the Ram Temple, saying the anniversary of the “Shilanyas” was “far from our thoughts”. , as the date for the protest was Fest.

It was set taking into account the fact that all MPs will be in Delhi on Friday as voting for the vice presidential election took place on Saturday, he said, adding that one can always twist logic to put the blame on someone.

“Also, on August 5, 2019, the illegal dismemberment of Jammu and Kashmir took place! Let’s put those aside if we are talking about a serious issue,” Mr Chidambaram said.

Mr Shah had linked the protest by black-clad congressional leaders over price hikes, unemployment and GST hike to the party’s policy of appeasement to express their opposition to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s groundbreaking ceremony of the Ram Temple on August 5, 2020.

Mr Chidambaram also dismissed the BJP leadership’s accusation that the August 5 congressional protest was an attempt to rescue the party’s top leadership, who is being questioned by the ED in the National Herald case.

“We announced and made it clear that the August 5 protests were all about inflation, unemployment and Agnipath. If people are acting like they’re deaf and blind to the announcement, what can we do?” he said.

The leaders summoned in the National Herald case are strong enough to defend themselves and they also have the full support of the party’s grass roots, Mr Chidambaram assured.

Kharge Summon by ED

Asked about the ED’s summons of Mr Kharge during Parliament’s working hours last Thursday, he said it was a “sad day” for the Rajya Sabha as the leader “failed to protect” the opposition leader before he in the House of Representatives was in session.

“Compare the support given by the US government to Ms. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, during her visit to Taiwan. The executive respected the authority and autonomy of the legislature. The US government sent its aircraft carrier to the seas off Taiwan and also provided air support,” he said.

In our country, the executive summoned the opposition leader when the Rajya Sabha was in session, and one of the two heads of the legislature “protested helplessness,” he said, adding it was a “sad day.”

Regarding ED investigations into several opposition leaders, Mr Chidambaram declined to comment on a specific case, but claimed it was becoming increasingly clear that the investigative powers and the laws were aimed only at members of the opposition.

“Institutions have been tamed or emasculated or captured. Democracy gasps. We may have the shell of democracy, but inside the shell has been hollowed out. This applies to almost all institutions, as Shri Rahul Gandhi alluded to in his answer [at the press conference on Friday],” he said.

With Parliament unable to do much business during the monsoon session due to frequent adjournments amid deadlocks between opposition banks and the Treasury over a variety of issues including price hikes, Mr Chidambaram said he was “moving to the painful conclusion that Parliament has become dysfunctional”.

He claimed the only big reason for this was that financial banks had “no interest” in dialogue, discussion and debate.

“Let me ask, what misfortune would have happened if the government had agreed to a Rule 267 debate on price increases on the first day? The debate would have ended in a day. Instead, we wasted two weeks,” he said.

price increase

Mr Chidambaram also proposed Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for her response to the price hike debate in Parliament, where she said India faces neither recession nor stagflation as its macroeconomic fundamentals are “perfect”.

No one in the opposition has hinted at an impending recession or stagflation, and these have been set up by the government like ‘straw men’ for the government to shoot down, he said.

“Our concerns were rising prices and rampant unemployment. The two factors have placed an unbearable burden on the poor and middle class. The finance minister was required to outline the government’s intended measures to lower prices and create jobs. FM doesn’t,” he said.

Mr Chidambaram also criticized Ms Sitharaman’s comparisons to other countries, saying they were “abhorrent”.

“The inflationary burden is always relative to income and savings. If a country like the US has high inflation, please remember that Americans also have high per capita income and savings. In a country like India with low per capita income [less than $2,000] and low savings, high inflation puts an unbearable burden on people,” he said.

Mr Chidambaram said he was surprised that Ms Sitharaman failed to notice the crucial difference between a country like the US and India.

“To give a banal example, if an Indian patient has a fever of 41 degrees, what is the satisfaction of saying that the American patient has a fever of 103 degrees? Both are very ill,” he said.

Members of the opposition in parliament blamed the policies of the BJP-led central government for the rise in prices and accused it of ignoring the plight of ordinary people.

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