Joint Statement by the Opposition Parties
The Monsoon session of the Parliament was deliberately derailed by the Government which has scant respect for the institution of Parliamentary democracy. At the outset, in the all-Party meeting convened by the Government, the combined opposition had unanimously conveyed that they proposed to discuss important national issues and matters of public concern which include :
• Pegasus spying and snooping scandal: which has serious implications for the national security;
• Farmers’ agitation: resulting from the three anti-farmer laws which were pushed through by the Government using its brute majority in utter disregard of the Parliamentary conventions;
• Inflation: the rising prices of essential commodities, food grains, petrol, diesel and LPG which has burdened the people, especially the poor and the underprivileged causing acute hardships and making life unsustainable for the vulnerable section of society;
• The deteriorating economic situation: continuous decline of growth, rising unemployment leading to loss of income and wages and the failure of the Government to make meaningful intervention and allocation of resources to stimulate growth for the revival of economy and jobs.
The Government stonewalled the Opposition demand for discussion. It has become abundantly clear that the present Government does not believe in Parliamentary accountability and was running away from debate on Pegasus which resulted in a deadlock. The Opposition had been repeatedly requesting the Government to sincerely engage with the Opposition parties to break the impasse, but the Government remained arrogant, insincere and obdurate. It is the Government, which is squarely responsible for the stalemate, has refused to accept the opposition’s demand for an informed debate in both the houses.
The Government used its brute majority to push through its legislative agenda in violation of established procedures, conventions and spirit of Parliamentary democracy. To divert attention from its own conduct and actions, the Government has unleashed a state-sponsored, malicious and misleading campaign by blaming the combined Opposition for the disruption of Parliament.
What happened in Rajya Sabha yesterday was shocking, unprecedented, sad and an insult to the very dignity of the House and humiliation of the members of the august House. Without any provocation from the Opposition, outsiders who were not part of Parliament security were brought in to manhandle the Opposition leaders and members, including women Parliamentarians who were only protesting against the Government’s conduct, highhandedness and muzzling of the voice.
The Opposition strongly condemns the authoritarian attitude and undemocratic actions of the Government. We remain committed to continue our struggle against the assault on Parliamentary democracy and agitate the issues of national importance and people’s concern.
- Sh. Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of Opposition, Rajya Sabha
- Sh. Sharad Pawar, NCP
- Sh. T R Baalu, DMK
- Sh. Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, INC
- Sh. Anand Sharma, INC
- Sh. Ramgopal Yadav, SP
- Sh. Sanjay Raut, SS
- Sh. Tiruchi Siva, DMK
- Sh. Manoj Jha, RJD
- Sh. Elamaram Kareem, CPI(M)
- Sh. ET Mohd. Basheer, IUML
- Sh. Binoy Viswam, CPI
- Sh. NK Premachandran, RSP
- Sh. Thomas Chazhikadan, Kerala Congress (M)