The dysjunction in functioning between the two Houses of Parliament has been a political reality for a quarter of a century now. But never before has the difference derailed the people's mandate as it is doing now
The Winter Session of Parliament ended with the customary lament over the dysfunctionality of Parliament. Both the Houses faced many disruptions over intractable political issues as a result of which, the Narendra Modi Government could not push through much of the legislative work it had placed on the agenda. The helplessness of the Government once again raised the question as to whether an obstinate Opposition, which is determined to obstruct Parliament, can virtually undo the mandate of 2014, by disrupting the legislative plans of a duly elected Government.
Though generally, statements by the Government and the opposition parties, on who was responsible for the singular failure of the country's apex legislative body to function with some modicum of efficiency and seriousness, become part of the blame-game that goes on after a session, there appeared to more than a grain of truth in the Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu's argument about what went wrong this time. He accused the Congress of coming up with "manufactured" excuses to disrupt proceedings in the two Houses on a day-to-day basis. The Congress's disruptive techniques resulted in nearly 50 per cent of the Rajya Sabha's time being lost to disruptions and adjournments.
The Bharatiya Janata Party is in a hopeless minority in the upper House and the Congress, which has close to 70 members in the House has been using its numbers to stall the legislative agenda of the ruling BJP. The Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Mr Hamid Ansari, has been voicing his concern over the poor output of the upper House in recent times. After the Winter Session, he said the Rajya Sabha seemed to be "singularly unproductive" in regard to legislative work during the Winter Session