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Congress can't win the people's trust by disrupting Parliament

By Virendra Kapoor
July 23, 2015 15:23 IST
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'The Congress has no moral right to throw mud at others. The Gandhis talking of corruption sounds worse than the devil quoting scripture,' argues Virendra Kapoor.

Whether or not you realise it, those indulging in unparliamentary conduct inside Parliament would like you to believe that they do so for your good.

The determined disruption, ugly name-calling, storming into the well of the House, brandishing placards, etc, dear people, is all being done in your name, for your sake.

If the Congress party leadership has such a low opinion of the collective intelligence of the Indian people, it is in for a shock.

Its antics do not endear it to anyone. Its partisans do not require such a display in the sanctum sanctorum of democracy for them to stay loyal to it. The damage it does to the health of our parliamentary democracy is immense.

Such cynical abuse of the parliamentary forum for airing one's pique for the ruling regime can only erode people's faith in the system.

As it is, ordinary people have nothing but contempt for their elected representatives. When they see them on their televisions inside Parliament behaving worse than school children, can they be expected to have any respect for the honourable MPs?

The argument that the current ruling party while in the Opposition too had resorted to such obstructionist tactics is wrong on two counts.

One, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at worst is guilty of an impropriety, nothing more. No financial loss to the exchequer has been caused by her action in helping the London-based Lalit Modi secure travel papers.

Two, there are no serious charges against any central minister which the ruling party is refusing to investigate.

What do you investigate in Swaraj's intervention with the British authorities for travel documents for the former Indian Premier League boss? She has not denied that she interceded on Lalit Modi's behalf with the British government.

As for the Vyapam scam and the deaths associated with it, not only is its operation said to be concentrated in Madhya Pradesh, but after the institution of a Central Bureau of Investigation probe there is not very much the central government can do in the matter.

In Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje's case, her affidavit to the British authorities supporting Lalit Modi's case for being permitted to stay on in the UK pertains to the period when she was out of power. Again, it is certainly not a case of abuse of power or even of a grave impropriety that she should be made to resign as chief minister.

Besides, if the Congress leadership cared to look itself in the mirror, it will find that its record in power is replete with scams which leave it with zero moral authority to talk of corruption and wrong-doing.

Only a couple of days ago, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat's trusted aide was heard negotiating with the representative of the liquor lobby the quantum of bribes -- which obviously runs into millions of rupees -- for fixing the state excise policy.

Is that the reason why Congress chief ministers collectively insist on keeping the duty on alcohol out of the proposed Goods and Services Tax?

The Congress has no moral right to throw mud at others. The Gandhis talking of corruption sounds worse than the devil quoting scripture.

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan needs to be commended for reminding members that she is duly empowered to take disciplinary action against those indulging in undignified and unruly behaviour. The presiding officers in both Houses ought to draw a red line and warn members that breaching it would result in strict disciplinary action.

Parliament cannot be held to ransom merely because a section of the Opposition has got into its head that the only way it can win back the trust of the people is in this manner.

It says a lot about the intellectual bankruptcy of the Left that Sitaram Yechury, the newly-minted boss of the Communist Party of India-Marxist, is being led by the nose by the Gandhis. His predecessor Prakash Karat had better sense than to be a camp follower of the Congress leadership.

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