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Impressive Debates


The debate held on the Delhi Services Bill in the Rajya Sabha was a good example of why it is important for Parliament to function as it should, without all the disturbances and grandstanding. This also became evident in the Lok Sabha when Gaurav Gogoi launched the No Confidence Motion of the INDI Alliance against the Modi Government. It was certainly a quality performance, better than anything that Rahul Gandhi, who was earlier supposed to initiate the debate, could have delivered. It was countered by the BJP’s Nishikant Dube most adroitly through a flank attack targeting the biggest asset and liability of the Congress, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, respectively. It can be expected that the Indian people will get a complete look at the state of Indian politics as the debate progresses.

This is necessary if the voters are to make well considered choices in the elections to the assemblies and the Lok Sabha that are due soon.

This also indicates how capable are India’s parliamentarians of bringing to the fore the complex issues involved in governance. They need only to be given the opportunity by creating the right atmosphere and enforcing the parliamentary rules and conventions. The suspensions of Sanjay Singh and Derek O’Brien from the Rajya Sabha are the kind of hard decisions that presiding officers need to take.

Going by Gogoi’s speech, it becomes obvious the opposition believes the Manipur crisis is the best opportunity it has had for some time to target the Modi Government. As alleged by Gogoi, there is not enough of a nuanced understanding of the North-East’s problems in other parts of the country for people to obtain a proper perspective. So, an articulate presentation of how the BJP’s approach has caused the troubles is possible. Although Nishikant Dube made a good start at undercutting this narrative, some of the allegations are bound to stick.

Hopefully, such vigorous exchanges will also help build a consensus, at least, on how this and other serious challenges facing the country can be tackled, as that is the fundamental purpose of a parliament. No matter how much members might stick to their official positions, good arguments are bound to make an impression and influence decision making. All the more reason to have fruitful parliamentary sessions instead of walkouts and adjournments!