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Trust-deficit ‘voted’

Editorial |

By all calculations of how the numbers crunch in the Lok Sabha, the NDA government will have no difficulties in defeating the no-confidence motions ~ if and when they are taken up.

And that reality triggers the query about why the ruling entity is turning established parliamentary procedure on its head, encouraging its proxies to continue the disruption tactics initiated by friend-turned-foe, the TDP and other Opposition groups.

The NDA insists it is not “scared”, but declines to answer why it is pressing its allies in the “friendly Opposition” to sustain the uproar. The role of the Speaker is also being queried.

If amidst the din she could discern a “majority” approving the Finance Bill, why cannot she take a head-count to establish if the no-confidence motions are backed by the minimum numbers required? If the Chair indeed has difficulties in conducting a head count what prevents the marshals being directed to remove the trouble-makers? The House has been reduced to a sick joke by the manner in which the no-confidence motions are being ducked.

One popular conclusion is that the NDA wants to deny its critics the televised floor from which they will mount an attack, even though that might eventually prove unsuccessful.

Another view is that the NDA is wary of the numbers actually serving as a pointer to the extent to which its popularity has declined since 2014 ~ an early indication of the direction in which the wind may blow in 2019? Either way, to use popular parlance, “something’s gotta give”. The more the matter is protracted the more the NDA loses face.

Popular parlance also sometimes dubs a no-confidence motion a “no-trust” vote. Yet if that were extended to an evaluation of how the people perceive the parliamentary system ~ as it presently manifests itself ~ there would be little doubt the outcome would be unfavourable.

And not just because the second phase of the Budget Session has been a washout. The institution has been reduced to a no-holds-barred akhara; debate and discussion sacrificed at the altar of political expediency.

Even major legislative moves are adopted without any discussion ~ which negates the very purpose of the legislature. When last did a presentation in either House prove inspirational? Tradition demands that the ruling entity set the standard, draw upon the “voice of the people” to guide the governance process.

And the “collective wisdom” of the House should influence the way the country is run. The prevailing reality is that the legislature is a mere rubber-stamp, MPs lose their value as soon as a majority is mustered.

And the Opposition is equated with vermin for thinking differently. Democracy itself, not just parliamentary institutions stand endangered by an arrogant government and an inept Opposition. The trust-deficit has been voted.