Political parties on Thursday closed ranks to call for legislative measures to counter two recent judgements of the Supreme Court that barred jailed politicians from contesting polls and sought immediate disqualification of convicted ones.
In a rare show of unity, leaders of Left, Right and Centre, as well as regional satraps, decried this erosion of Parliamentary supremacy and asked the Government to take measures to nullify the impact of these judicial pronouncements.They also asked the Centre to bring the National Judicial Commission Bill, which abolishes the collegium system of appointment of judges, in the Monsoon Session of Parliament for passage.
At an all-party meeting called by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath, ahead of the session starting from August 5, political parties expressed their resentment over the court’s verdicts debarring jailed politicians from contesting elections and automatic disqualification of MPs and MLAs handed conviction of two years and more.
Parties like Janata Dal (U) also expressed annoyance over the Supreme Court judgement not allowing reservation for SC/ST/OBCs in AIIMS faculty. “The all-party meeting expressed concern over erosion of supremacy of Parliament in the wake of the SC’s judgements on reservation and contesting polls,” Nath said after the meeting.
Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said: “There should be a review of such decisions and if there is need for some amendment regarding it, those amendments should come.”CPI leader D Raja said there was near consensus among parties to bring suitable amendments to nullify the impact of these judicial pronouncements.
Unlike in the recent past when the 2G scam, Coalgate, Railgate and charges of CBI misuse, led to frequent disruption, the parties appeared willing to allow smooth running of the Monsoon Session.Nath said the parties are willing to sit late and even extend the session to allow the Government to complete its legislative business.
However, Sushma asked the Government to be realistic, as despite its noble intentions, how could it hope to pass 64 Bills during the short session of 16 days.She asked the Government to get the Food Security Ordinance and Land Acquisition Bill passed by incorporating amendments suggested by the Opposition.
Extending support to creation of Telangana, BJP asked the Government to bring the Bill creating the separate State in the Monsoon Session itself. But Trinamool Congress and Asom Gana Parishad criticized the Government for fuelling demands for smaller States in many parts of the country due to its decision on Telangana.
Trinamool Congress leader KD Singh criticized the Government for bypassing the West Bengal Government to hold talks with leaders of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration. Trinamool also opposed the Land Acquisition Bill but supported the Food Security Ordinance.Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said that the BJP would demand a debate on the differences between the CBI and Intelligence Bureau as was revealed during the Ishrat Jahan case and wants a debate on the disaster in Uttarakhand.
The Opposition would corner the Government over the prevailing economic situation especially the falling value of the rupee. It is also likely to thwart efforts to pass economic reform legislations like Pension and Insurance Bill, with Left parties staunchly against it. They also flayed the Government for taking the decision regarding extending FDI limits without consulting the Opposition.
Even though the LTTE has been defeated on the ground, there is a real danger of the organisation trying to re-group.
UPA is gone. Era of anti-Congressism is over with BJP at the helm. A new political idiom is needed.
The ‘surrender and rehabilitation’ policy for former militants is a threat to national security. It must be scrapped.