The third day of Parliament has also been washed out and there are no signs that the Monsoon Session will be able to transact any business. An unrelenting Opposition has now coined a new phrase – “no resignation, no discussion”. The battlelines are drawn and terms of engagement between the government and Opposition fine tuned.
In a post dated July 21, Vadra wrote, “Parliament begins and so do their petty diversion political tactics… People of India are not fooled. Regret to see India led by such so called leaders.”
When BJP member Prahlad Joshi mentioned the name of Vadra, a weak spot for the Congress, a visibly angry Sonia Gandhi led the charge in Lok Sabha which was already paralysed over demands of resignation of foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje.
The BJP’s strategy is now clear: it won’t let the Congress get away with the allegations. A cue on this was given by PM Narendra Modi when he ruled out resignations of any minister.
In its second year, the Modi government seems to be getting stuck in problems similar to what the UPA faced for most of its second stint. Marred by corruption allegations, the Manmohan Singh government was brought to its knees by protest within and outside Parliament. The logjam in Parliament continued for most of the sessions. Emboldened by public anger, the BJP-led opposition stalled House proceedings repeatedly. Leaders from both the parties engaged in verbal duals in TV studios and debate in Parliament was a forgone conclusion.
The BJP even justified the disruptions. On August 25, 2012, Arun Jaitley, then Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, said, “There are occasions when obstruction in Parliament brings greater benefit to the country.”
The clock has now turned full circle. Once in Opposition, the BJP is now in government. There are charges of impropriety and corruption against its leaders. The Congress-led Opposition is demanding answers and asking to fix accountability. The baton has been passed on and they have the example of BJP as an opposition to follow.
But, here is the subtext of this: can disruption be substitute for debate in a democracy?