Turning away from the House

FDI in multi-brand retail is another area of concern. It could decide the fate of the government. The majority of parties have expressed their objection in public. The CPM submitted a notice for a discussion and a vote on the issue. On this, the government does not seem to have a majority in the House and might itself be washed away in the incoming mighty storm. This necessarily provokes us to raise the issue of whether UPA will allow the House to function and discuss this issue as per procedure. Or, will it follow the same substandard script it had adopted during the discussion of the Lokpal bill in the upper House? If the approach is similar, this winter session will go the same way as last year's.

Nobody can predict what will happen. But legislators and political parties need to remember that the people of the country are cautiously watching them. If Parliament fails to discuss these issues, the relevance of the parliamentary system itself will be questioned. Parliament is the custodian of the Constitution. Thus, Parliament should discuss the issues of the day under the pertinent rules and regulations. All major policy decisions should have the approval and concurrence of the country's highest democratic body. But the major political parties claiming to be the champions of democracy are trying to thwart this constitutional ideal. Unfortunately, this situation cedes space to so-called civil society organisations. It is time for the lawmakers of this country to perform their constitutional obligations, lest furious tycoons may wash away the system itself.

The writer is a CPM MP in Rajya Sabha

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