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Mukherjee blames Opposition for dishonouring Parliamentary democracy

December 25, 2010 - Kolkata

Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday blamed the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Left Front for disrespecting the norms of democracy and the faith bestowed by the people of the nation in the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government at the Centre.

Criticizing the BJP, Mukherjee said the Opposition has given birth to a peculiar situation by depriving the Parliament to conduct any sort of business during the recently concluded winter Session of Parliament.

"Parliamentary democracy essentially is meant for debate, discussion and decision. Parliamentary democracy's fundamental principal is this, who will get majority they will rule and those who does not get majority, who are minority they may oppose the principals and policies of the government," Mukherjee told reporters.

"But that will have to be done in the house. Now, a very peculiar situation has been created when Parliament opens just 11 a.m. in the morning even before the chair assumes his or her seat, a group of members rush to the house raise slogans, wave placards and create a situation in which there is forced adjournment. Entire winter session has been completely washed out without transacting any business," he added.

Mukherjee further stated that a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is no different from a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) by contending that the former is also a Parliamentary Committee and therefore there seems no logic in constituting another Committee under the supervision of Parliament.

"Process of investigation had started from 2009, the first FIR was filed in October 2009. So what else they will achieve through Joint Parliamentary Committee. I suggested to them that let there be a debate then people will come to know and they will arrive at a decision," said Mukherjee.

"What is JPC is it coming from heaven? Therefore, I do not find any justification or logic of JPC. They should comeback to the session and bring back normalcy. They should cooperate, we are always ready to discuss any eventual," he added.

The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government at the Centre is expected to face an aggressive Opposition during the 'Budget Session' of Parliament, which will kick off on February 22, 2011.

The BJP, the Left and other parties have demanded for a discussion on the rising prices in the Parliament.

Other issues like Indo-Pak talks, Bt brinjal, the Pune terror attack, the Maoist menace and the Telangana agitation are also likely to be discussed.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) created a logjam during the Winter Session of Parliament over the demand for setting up of a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into 2G-spectrum scam.

Former Telecom Minister A. Raja was forced to resign last month after a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) faulted him for undervaluing spectrum to favour companies who were largely ineligible for 2G spectrum, and added that the government had probably lost Rs.1.76 lakh crore in estimated revenue.


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