Says Parliament dysfunctional; democracy gasping for breath in India
New Delhi, August 08, 2022
(KMS): As India bracing for its 75th Independence Day a week later, senior Congress leader and seasoned politician P Chidambaram has said he was veering to the conclusion that Parliament has become dysfunctional and democracy is gasping for breath in India with almost all institutions tamed, emasculated or captured.
He also said Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu “failed” to protect Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge last week from being summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) when the House was in session.
In a media interview, Chidambaram said, “Moreover, it was on August 5, 2019 that the illegal dismembering of Jammu and Kashmir took place!” Chidambaram said.
Asked about Kharge’s summoning by the ED during the working hours of Parliament last Thursday, he said it was a “sad day” for Rajya Sabha when the Chairman “failed to protect” the Leader of the Opposition from being summoned when the House was in session.
In our country, the Executive branch summoned the Leader of the Opposition when Rajya Sabha was in session and one of the two heads of the Legislative branch “pleaded helplessness”, he said, adding that it was a “sad day”. On ED probes against several Opposition leaders, Chidambaram said, “Institutions have been tamed or emasculated or captured. Democracy is gasping for breath. We may have the shell of democracy, but inside, the shell has been hollowed out. This applies to almost all institutions,” he said.
With Parliament unable to transact much business during the Monsoon session due to frequent adjournments amid Opposition protests over a host of issues including price rise, Chidambaram said he is “veering to the painful conclusion that Parliament has become dysfunctional”.
He asserted that the single big reason for this was that the treasury benches had “no interest” in dialogue, discussion and debate.