New Delhi, Nov 15: Parliament is all set to witness another stormy Winter Session when Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government will again lock horns with Opposition parties over the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes. A united Opposition is ready to confront the government over the problems faced by people following the demonetisation even as Narendra Modi, in BJP Parliamentary Party’s executive meet, rejected the opposition’s demand to roll back the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes.
Leader of Congress, TMC, JD(U) and other opposition parties joined hands in opposing the demonetisation of high-value currency notes and plan to hold another meeting on Tuesday to chalk out their strategy for Parliament’s winter session. The Opposition has been trying to corner the Modi government over several issues during discussion on intolerance, Kashmir unrest, Dalit atrocity and GST bill. However the strategy hasn’t been so effective so far.
For instance, in the last monsoon session of the Parliament, which began on July 18, and concluded on August 12, Modi government and Opposition debated violence in Kashmir and Dalit atrocities extensively. Opposition leaders in Lok Sabha and Rajya like Ghulam Nabi Azad, Sitaram Yechury, Mayawati, Derek O’Brien, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Mallikarjun Kharge participated in debates, putting serious allegations on the government. But at the end, the Monsoon Session of the Parliament turned ‘highly productive’.
The fact of the matter is, despite losing over 6 hours and 33 minutes of time due to interruptions followed by forced adjournments, the Modi government was able to clear 13 legislations in the Lower House, while the Upper House approved 14 laws. Besides the GST Constitutional Amendment, the Bills which were passed include Benami Transactions (Prohibition) bill, Taxation laws (Amendment) bill, Factories (Amendment) bill, Employee’s Compensation (Amendment) Bill and the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) bill. Both the Houses also passed a unanimous resolution on prevailing situation in Kashmir Valley.
So the Opposition’s strategy of disruption the Parliament proceedings raising number of issues didn’t work very well. While the Modi government participated in all the debates, which often end without conclusion, and countered the allegations, it also managed to clear key Bills in the last Monsoon Session of the Parliament.
The Opposition seems to have adopted similar strategy again ahead of the Winter Session of the Parliament. While the Modi- government is likely to push its legislative agenda, that includes passage of pending legislations for rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the surrogacy regulation bill, the Opposition is adamant on holding discussion over demonetisation order. Though the discussion over the inconvenience faced by common man following ban on Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes should be conducted, but Opposition’s strategy of wasting time rather than taking up key Bills is not in the national interest.
The Congress and Trinamool Congress have given notices for suspension of business in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on the opening day of the winter session to discuss demonetisation. Janata Dal-United leader K.C. Tyagi also said that demonetisation will be a top issue for the party. The Opposition has been vocal in opposing demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes on November 8 night, which has left people slogging in long queues outside banks and ATMs, with many complaining they do not have enough money even to buy essential items. But they must also understand that key reform Bill shouldn’t be stalled because of these political debates.