Dissolution of Lok Sabha

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Press Statement

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) meeting at Hyderabad has issued the following statement:

The manner in which the Vajpayee government announced its decision recommending the dissolution of the Lok Sabha on February 6 constitutes a grave constitutional impropriety. Throwing to the winds all norms of parliamentary democracy the government did not even wait for the winter session that it itself had convened to begin from January 29. The prerogative of the Prime Minister and the government to recommend dissolution and go in for early polls could have been exercised during the course of the session that they had convened. It is a mockery of parliamentary functioning to convene a session and to announce before the formal commencement of the session that the house would be dissolved.

The Prime Minister and the government may have the prerogative to dissolve the house but they need to explain to the people and the country the reasons for dissolving the house and advancing the elections. This is particularly so of a government that has constantly argued in favour of a fixed five-year tenure for the Lok Sabha in the past. It is clear that the government is abdicating its responsibility and accountability to parliament and the country on the state of the economy. Normally the budget session takes stock of the economic situation since the last budget and on the basis of the revenue and expenditures of the government decides on new measures. Without undertaking such an exercise this government has already announced a series of measures entailing expenditures of anywhere around Rs. 12,000 crores as sops to sections of people in return for their electoral support. Similarly, the vote on account to be placed on February 3, is likely to contain yet another set of sops. These constitute both constitutional and moral impropriety since the expenditures on these would have to be borne eventually by the people after the elections.
Such political chicanery is being resorted to at a time when no threat exists to the continuation of this government warranting an early mandate to be taken from the people. The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) is confident that the Indian people will see through such political subterfuge and give a proper rebuff to such manipulators in the forthcoming elections.