People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
April 29, 2001
AFTER the deadlock over the functioning of the parliament was broken, the union budget has been passed without a detailed discussion in parliament. Using the usual double-speak tactics, the prime minister seems to have duped the main oppostion party, the Congress by himself promising a JPC into the Tehelka expose on defence scam and getting his party, the BJP, to reject the prime ministers assurance.
Apart from the Tehelka expose on which the BJP-led government remain in the dock, the passing of the anti-people budget that has spelled ruin for the working people of the country, might have come as some relief for the beleagured finance minister, also having to explain the stock market scam.
It is shameful for any government to continue in office when the party chiefs of two parties who are the major constituents of the ruling alliance are seen on camera to accept bribes. It is still more shameful when the bribes purport to defence deals. The entire Opposition had unitedly demanded the governments resignation and action against those who were seen to have taken bribes. The government wanted to stonewall the entire issue by obfuscating the matter by appointing an enquiry. The responsibility for paralysing parliament was squarely that of the government which was flouting all democratic norms.
When a consensus seemed to have emerged on the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Tehlka expose, the budget proposals should have been discussed in the house in detail, where the Left and other Opposition parties could have critiqued them and exposed the pro-rich, pro-MNC character of the NDA government. The Congress as the main opposition party should not have become a party to scuttling a proper debate on the budget proposals.
The demand for the resignation of the government, action on the basis of camera evidence, a JPC into Tehlka expose, will continue to be voiced by the Opposition as the national sentiment. It will only be obduracy of the government that will be held responsible for any future deadlock in the functioning of the parliament.