If the opposition was really interested in getting to the bottom of the alleged ‘Pegasus snooping scandal’, it would have worked out a day and time for the debates with the presiding officers of the Lok and Rajya Sabhas. The discussions would have been completed by now, even as important legislation would have been passed properly, instead of ‘like making chaat papri’, as a TMC MP has described over the ‘real democratic forum’ – Twitter.
The truth is that the opposition, particularly the Congress, is fully aware it lacks debating firepower against the BJP in Parliament. Whenever a discussion has been held on any subject during the two tenures of the Modi Government, the speakers of the opposition have been blown out of the waters by the oratorical powers of BJP’s many battle-hardened debaters. Barring a few, like TMC’s Mahua Moitra and Derek O’Brien, most jousters of the opposition come out looking more like jesters. So, actual debates, as envisaged by the framers of the Indian Constitution, would deprive the opposition of the ammunition it needs to keep the Government under pressure.
The obvious thing, then, is to ensure the issues are kept simmering by deliberately not permitting any kind of a resolution. That has happened with the CAA, the farm related laws and, now, the snooping allegations. With passions kept running high by anarchical behaviour in Parliament and street protests outside it, the opposition is hoping to build a ‘wave’ against the BJP, keeping in mind the coming assembly elections in some important states. In fact, the situation has encouraged some leaders to try for leadership of a united opposition. TMC Supremo Mamata Banerjee intends to test the waters every couple of months in New Delhi in this regard, while Congress President-in-Waiting Rahul Gandhi is hoping to make an impression with his tractor and cycle rallies. On Tuesday, he even lectured leaders of 15 opposition parties at a ‘breakfast meet’ on how the country should be run. Kejriwal’s AAP and Mayawati’s BSP stayed out as they have plans of their own, while NCP’s Sharad Pawar took the wind out of the sails, somewhat, by calling on Home Minister Amit Shah on this very day. Those with limited ambitions, who can only survive by climbing someone else’s band wagon, are making their availability known, including Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. So, if anybody thinks it’s all about principles and the nation’s well-being, they better think again.