Ordinance Raj: President questions urgency behind Modi-govt issuing seven ordinances

Incidentally, President Pranab Mukherjee had asked the NDA government to explain the urgency behind the ordinance.

Written by Maneesh Chhibber | New Delhi | Updated: January 8, 2015 5:03 pm
narendra modi, Narendra Modi ordinance, Modi govt ordinance Narendra Modi during a rally in Bihar.

The Narendra Modi-led NDA government’s decision to take the ordinance route to circumvent the Parliamentary logjam by issuing seven ordinances within a fortnight of the end of the winter session was not without its share of drama.

Besides the fact that President Pranab Mukherjee asked the government to explain the urgency behind the ordinance amending the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, it now transpires that there were divisions within the Cabinet over the rationale behind so many ordinances.

At its meeting on December 29, when the Cabinet cleared a slew of ordinances, at least two senior ministers are learnt to have voiced their concern. They are said to have argued that the government risked “an image problem” by promulgating “too many” ordinances since that could effectively send the signal that the NDA government, like its predecessor Manmohan Singh-led UPA government, was unable to get key legislation passed in Parliament.

This was possibly the first Cabinet meeting in the current regime where a difference of opinion was so stark and openly voiced, forcing the Prime Minister to weigh in and over-rule the objections.

At least three senior ministers have confirmed to The Indian Express that there was a “heated discussion” over the lack of any pre-legislative discussion and prior consultation with states (about the proposed amendments) on the land acquisition ordinance. Incidentally, President Pranab Mukherjee had asked the NDA government to explain the urgency behind the ordinance.

Sources said at least two ministers voiced their concern over the possible fallout if the President returned any of the ordinances due to lack of clarity over urgency.

Another minister is learnt to have suggested that some of the “not-so important and urgent” ordinances could be kept pending and  passed in the Budget Session of Parliament.

At the January 5 Cabinet meeting, once again one of the three Ministers raised similar concerns when the mines ordinance was cleared.
“It was evident that not all ministers were comfortable with the timing and number of ordinances. But the majority view, backed by the Prime Minister, was that the ordinances were required to send out a positive signal to investors that the government would not allow legislative logjam to stall reforms,” said a minister. “There was also the issue of the amendments being effected before December 31, 2014,” said a minister.

It is learnt that the e-rickshaw ordinance had to face questions as well. Apart from the fact that Delhi is poll-bound and the ordinance could yield electoral benefits to the BJP, what titled the scale in favour of the ordinance was Minister Nitin Gadkari’s pitch that it would result in “safeguarding” the livelihood of thousands of poor people.

KEY CONCERNS RAISED
At least three Ministers flagged:
*What if President sits on or returns an ordinance?
* Why states not consulted again on changes in land law?
* Not an effective way to get around Parliament logjam
* How strong is a reforms signal if it is only via ordinance?

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  1. A
    Achuta Bhat
    Jan 8, 2015 at 10:45 am
    What is this 'two ministers voicing their concern...' 'another minister is learnt to have suggested....'? Are these ministers having no names?
    Reply
    1. A
      Amol K
      Jan 8, 2015 at 12:06 pm
      Its clearly says nothing going right for India,People need to face the consequences of electing Modi and now face Hitler raj.
      Reply
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        Anil
        Jan 7, 2015 at 10:36 pm
        No sane person can understand why the government did not control its hate monger MPs if it was so serious about reforms?? No hate monger speeches no Parliament logjam. Simple!
        Reply
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          Anirudha
          Jan 8, 2015 at 9:04 am
          We all know anti-national opposition held the RS to ransom. We people of india know that even if a BJP MP had f*rted in the RS or LS this anti-national opposition would have created a havoc and demanded an answer from PM.. So, please take your stupid argument somewhere else.. peanut head..
          Reply
          1. A
            arif
            Jan 8, 2015 at 4:43 pm
            Call me whatever name you want but that will noway, not for at-least now, change the ground reality. I may have lived under rock but then i'm well read to know the news of the news. You, my friend, need to understand the meaning of terms like current account deficit and fiscal deficit to know how they function .
            Reply
            1. A
              arif
              Jan 8, 2015 at 4:49 pm
              Economics has a cycle and inflation is a part of it. Don't simply accept figures as they are thrown, there are reason for them all. We are no longer isolated nation and if there is a globle economic crisis or dwindling, all nations, tiny or large are bound to shake up for certain period. As far as the Congress is concerned, there are multiple reasons for its loss. I don't want to talk politics but if UPA could heLP the economy, it would have. The new govt has spent over 200 days in power and nothing at all has changed.
              Reply
              1. A
                arif
                Jan 8, 2015 at 4:52 pm
                I may be track pony or complete blind but that will not change the reality. You want to blindly believe that a terrible economy was inherited, i'd say good luck with that. I hope your new govt with its arbitrary and anti-poor policy ,doesn't leave you gasping for air.
                Reply
                1. A
                  arif
                  Jan 8, 2015 at 4:56 pm
                  I'm not against any sort of development but when ordinance such as these are brought in just to help the big guys who survive on poor's blood, then I have my moments of discomfort with the ruling party.
                  Reply
                  1. A
                    arif
                    Jan 8, 2015 at 4:53 pm
                    If a certain law has provisions that are not good for common public then not just the Rajya Sabha but everyone of us must fight back.
                    Reply
                    1. A
                      arif
                      Jan 8, 2015 at 7:18 am
                      It has not inherited any terrible economic situation. Issue relating to land reforms need to be discussed with all concerned party. The terrible mistake this govt is doin will have lasting effect for coming years.
                      Reply
                      1. M
                        Mohammad Yousuf
                        Jan 8, 2015 at 10:40 am
                        Writing is clear on the WALL:Modi has to repay with compound interest the debt he took from the corporations.Only way for him is to grab the land from the land owners and gift it to his debtors.It is replay of what he did in Gujarat!Alas, the peasants and the providers are always the suckers as Modi is for the parasite, by the parasite, of the parasite!
                        Reply
                        1. V
                          Venkatesh
                          Jan 9, 2015 at 2:45 am
                          One should not forget as you sow so you reap. Jaise ko taisa mila. BJP pla a game when it was in opposition and didn't allow UPA to function and broke the record of stalling the proceedings in the parliament.
                          Reply
                          1. K
                            KayBee
                            Jan 8, 2015 at 5:13 am
                            Askyour favorite party goons to allow functioning of sansad
                            Reply
                            1. S
                              Sudeep Kanjilal
                              Jan 8, 2015 at 11:32 pm
                              Seriously? quoting unnamed 'union ministers'?You commies are capable of anything
                              Reply
                              1. R
                                Raj
                                Jan 8, 2015 at 2:00 pm
                                Again typical Indian Express "unnamed sources" and "anonymous ministers" journalism ??Such "gossip" and rumor mongering is ridiculous. Anybody can quote "Anonymous ministers" and "sources" and claim anything.PROOF ? Zero! Less than ZERO since not a single name or a single doent is provided by Indian Express to back up this entire page of gutter journalism.Clearly, "journalism" to Indian express is not about "courage" - but rather about "ma" based on conjecture and rumors. Like a unemplo fish monger's wife ping gossip and rumors is now ped off as journalism.
                                Reply
                                1. R
                                  Raj
                                  Jan 8, 2015 at 2:16 pm
                                  BJP are the winners, no time for the Losers.......Lets go for Ordinances!
                                  Reply
                                  1. R
                                    Raj
                                    Jan 8, 2015 at 2:13 pm
                                    Congress has been booted out - but clearly you are too ignorant to realize that the problems aren't taking place in the house where the recent elections have swept clean but in the nest of "appointed" sycophants and bootlickers - that Rajya Sabha.
                                    Reply
                                    1. R
                                      Raj
                                      Jan 8, 2015 at 2:05 pm
                                      JOKE OF THE DAY - Thinking Ordinances are something bad or illegal when the Scamgress chors ruled for 10 years on "ordinance raj" !!!Apparently bootlickers have memory loss since they only use their tongues - not their brain.
                                      Reply
                                      1. R
                                        Raj
                                        Jan 8, 2015 at 2:14 pm
                                        Not inherited any terrible economic situation ???????ROFL!! Do you live under a rock or are you some raving commie deluded about the near bankruptcy and twin threats of both fiscal and current account deficit that threatened (and still do to a great extent).
                                        Reply
                                        1. R
                                          Raj
                                          Jan 8, 2015 at 2:10 pm
                                          PM is not required to bark at the Opposition's command. The PM was not elected to dance to the tunes of the Opposition benches - pathetic losers who should reflect on the depths of their thrashing politically instead of turning the Lok Sabha into a fish market about asinine issues of ramzaada and the like. Apparently looting the nation blind and having their cabinet goons thrown behind bars by the courts has left them with the only option of raving impotently.Nobody in India can force anybody else to "speak", much less the PM of India. The PM speaks to those who listen - not this clown parade and their league of losers.
                                          Reply
                                          1. R
                                            Raj
                                            Jan 8, 2015 at 2:03 pm
                                            Yes - because we all blindly believe this communist rag called Indian express blindly.I'd vote for Modi Raj any day of the week - and so would MOST of India once again. That's why BJP is thrashing your parties from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.
                                            Reply
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