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From the gallery: Five questions M B Rajesh of CPM

CPM Lok Sabha member M B Rajesh speaks to Liz Mathew on how controversial bills have united the opposition.

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi |
March 5, 2015 1:25:21 am
M B Rajesh. M B Rajesh.

The insurance bill, pending before the Rajya Sabha, got passed in Lok Sabha today. Your comment?

It has never happened in the 65 years of Parliament. The government was in such a hurry that they did not bother about the procedures or even constitutional provisions. They were intolerant towards criticism. Minister Jayant Sinha, while replying, was mocking at the opposition members. He said we exhibited “inadequate knowledge”. He has forgotten that the Standing Committee headed by his father Yashwant Sinha had recommended not to increase FDI in insurance to 49%.

What were the objections raised by you while speaking on the bill?

The global financial crisis has showed us that we should strengthen regulatory mechanism. Secondly, the same firms who were the culprits in the global financial crisis were allowed entry here.

The government said passage of the bill in one house would clear way for taking it to a joint session if it is failed in Rajya Sabha.

The ruling party is not so confident about Rajya Sabha because of its experience in the issue of Thanks Motion (in which the government lost the vote). They will have to resort to unprecedented ways to get it cleared because they have committed to the corporates.

Will the opposition be united in opposing the insurance bill in RS?

At least on the issue of procedural flaws the opposition can be united. So I don’t think the passage is easy for the government.
Do you think the opposition can make its mark on the legislation as the government keeps getting them passed despite objections?
The opposition has been able to put up a spirited fight on issues though we are less in number. The morale is high.

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