The Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal was Friday chastised by President Pranab Mukherjee who expressed concern over growing tendency of some states to enact controversial legislations through ordinance.
Ordinances should be normally promulgated only in the event of immediate need. Some states,however,appear to be pushing through certain controversial legislations through ordinances. Such ordinances do not have the approval of the House and are not debated or discussed properly by legislators. Such ordinances should normally die a natural death if the Assembly fails to ratify them, Mukherjee said.
He was addressing the West Bengal Assembly on the occasion of valedictory ceremony of its Platinum Jubilee celebrations (1937-2012).
While he did not name the state government,political analysts said it was a statement on Mamata Banerjee government,which has promulgated several ordinances in its two-and-a-half years of rule.
Among others,it promulgated an ordinance on return of land of Singur to farmers who were reluctant to part with their land, another on anti-piracy and yet another on amendment of co-operative society Act. All these ordinances triggered controversy as their need was questioned especially when government could have passed a legislation to meet the purpose.
Speaking in Bengali,the President said that with the heightened complexity of administration,legislation must be preceded by adequate discussion and scrutiny. If not,it will fail to deliver the desired results or meet its objectives.
Mukherjee also cautioned against reduction in the number of sittings in Parliament and the state Assembly. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee,is infamous for bunking Assembly sessions
The first Lok Sabha (1952-57) had 677 sittings while the 14th Lok Sabha (2004-09) had only 332 sittings. Similarly,the first West Bengal Legislative Assembly (1952-57) sat for 326 days whereas the 14th Assembly (2006-11) sat for only 231 days. In 2011 it was 33 days,while in 2012 it came down to 41 days, President said.
He said the presiding officers conference recommended that there should be at least 100 days of sitting every years.
Referring to recurring disruptions of the House as a big menace,Mukherjee,whose parliamentary career spanned from 1969 to 2012,said,We had learnt that democracy had three Ds – debate,dissension and decision. Now,another D has emerged,disruption.
The President also reminded the Opposition of playing a constructive role. While the majority will rule,the minority will oppose,expose and if possible depose, he said.
Mamata hints at LBA Bill,says attempt to break federal structure
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Friday said the countrys federal structure should be strengthened.
Our federal structure should be maintained and strengthened. We have to stay united. There are national as well as regional aspirations,but all must work together, Mamata said at the valedictory ceremony of the platinum jubilee celebrations of the West Bengal Assembly.
In an oblique reference to communal violence Bill in parliament,the chief minister said that there has been an attempt to break the federal structure.
She appealed President Pranab Mukherjee,who was present on the occasion,to initiate electoral,judicial,political and administrative reforms in the country. We need complete transparency and accountability in our electoral system. We also need judicial,political and administrative reforms.
She also took to task the Opposition Congress and Left Front for boycotting the Platinum Jubilee celebrations of the state assembly saying it was the not the right thing to do and has brought disgrace to the institution.
They boycotted (House) for narrow political ends. It was quite unfortunate, Mamata said.
She said from 1972-1977 when late Siddhartha Shankar Roy of the Congress was the Chief Minister in the seventies,the CPM had boycotted the Assembly for five years.
We have never done this during celebrations. These occasions are important for our democracy, she said.
Former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee,expelled from the CPI(M) few years ago,was present in the Assembly as a guest. Expressing her gratitude towards Chatterjee for attending the celebrations,the Chief Minister said,He has scolded us and loved us,but has been with us.