With 39 Bills in hand, the UPA II is desperate to pass at least one of them gain the advantage in this fortnight-long session.
The last session of the 15th Lok Sabha starts today. With 39 Bills in hand, the UPA II is desperate to pass at least one of them gain the advantage in this fortnight-long session. For a government that has passed only 165 Bills in total in its over four and a half year period, it seems a bit ambitious.
The push that the UPA is giving to these Bills, urging all the parties to come together for their passage, is mainly due to its quest to garner votes. UPA is aware that the paralysis it has been facing in the parliament for so long is not going to end miraculously and that’s why it will take up important bills of great dividend variety in the parliament rather than going for all at once.
It will in fact be better if the parliament ends in a paralysis for UPA as it will be a fitting reply to its vote-mongering work. However, it will be interesting to watch it moving heaven and earth for getting what it desperately wants.
Except for the Vote of Account, or interim budget, which gives the spending ability to the government until next government is formed, none of the bills stand a chance to get past the parliament as of now as the opposition has a clear knowledge of UPA’s plans. Also, financial bills will not be able to fulfill this goal of UPA as they do not yield short term benefits.
Given the desire of UPA, the bills which will be pushed hard for passage are Telangana Bill, Communal Violence Bill and five anti-corruption Bills which Rahul Gandhi was very keen speaking about in all his rallies and interviews.
The Communal Violence Bill is, in fact, to be tabled in the parliament today. The Cabinet had cleared the proposed legislation with some changes in December. A clause that placed the onus of riots on the majority community, with victims of communal violence essentially being a person belonging to “religious or linguistic minority”, was dropped. Under the new Bill, the NHRC and the state human rights commissions will oversee functions related to maintaining communal harmony. But with BJP still in opposition of this legislation, it seems a bit tough to get this bill passed.
This brings us to another legislation important to UPA which is ‘T-Bill’. After facing embarrassment on the hands of its own chief minister Kiran Reddy, Congress will be very keen on passing the bill on Telangana as it holds key to 17 lok sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh. But with large number of Seemandhra MPs present in the Parliament, disruption of work is not denied.
Next in line will be anti-graft bills which will exonerate UPA to some extent if passed in parliament. Minister of State in the PMO V Narayanasamy is set to introduce two anti-graft legislations in the Lok Sabha — Right of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill, 2011, and the Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials and Officials of Public International Organisations Bill, 2011. Another bill of importance is Judicial Accountability Bill.
But UPA’s initiatives on all this are far too late and the opposition is all set to raise the matter of VVIP chopper deal from Augusta Westland to dampen its spirit.
The problem that UPA has comes from within and the opposition has a lesser role to play in it. The Bill on Telangana is sufficient to disrupt the parliament over and over again which will be an opposition coming from within UPA. BJP will be a silent spectator of UPA’s demise by its own hands.