PM slams BJP for negating democracy by stalling parliament (Lead)

September 7th, 2012 - 5:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, Sep 7 (IANS) Hitting out at the BJP for disrupting parliament, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Friday what was witnessed dduring the mosoon session was a “total negation” of democracy and urged all “right thinking people” to stand up to say that institutions should be allowed to function.

“We take pride in the fact we had a functional democracy. But what we have witnessed in this session is total negation of that,” he told reporters outside the parliament.

“And all right thinking people in this country should stand up and unitedly voice that come what may parliamentary institutions must be allowed to function with the norms as we have known them since India became independent,” said Manmohan Singh.

Parliament was adjourned sine die Friday, after a month-long monsoon session that witnessed 13 days of disruption in the 20-day sitting, overwhelmingly by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over coal block allocations.

The BJP has been demanding prime minister’s resignation as they have alleged that the allocations were made when he was coal minister.

On the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report that became the basis for the BJP to demand his resignation, Manmohan Singh said there was “great respect” for India’s official auditor but its findings have to be discussed in parliament.

“We have great respect for the institution of the CAG and we do respect this institution. We must be willing to debate its finding in the Publics Accounts Committee and even on the floor of parliament which we have always been willing,” he said.

The prime minister was referring to the CAG report on coal block allocations that slammed the government for not auctioning the blocks and causing a presumptive loss of Rs.1.86 lakh crore ($37 billion) to the union exchequer.

The BJP had not allowed parliament to function for the past two weeks over its demand for the prime minister’s resignation over the allocations.

Continuing his attack on the BJP, the prime minister said: “The opposition chose not to take advantage of the settled institutional practices dealing with the reports of the CAG and insisted on disrupting the parliament.

“This is negation of democracy. If this thought process is allowed to gain momentum, that will be a grave violations of the norms of the parliamentary democracy,” Manmohan Singh stressed.

“India is faced with many problems. There are problems of rising communal tensions; there are problems of regional and ethnic tensions. There are problems of terrorism and there are problems of Naxalism (Maoism).”

He said parliament should have debated these issues but it was not allowed to discuss these “very important” issues before the country.

The prime minister also said that “the world as a whole is faced with serious economic difficulties grappling with recession and we are trying to prevent India getting affected by what is happening in the outside world”.

“Parliament should have discussed these issues… what is our economic strategy to deal with these global tensions and development.”

“Parliament was not allowed to do any of these things. The result is parliament, which is the forum where we articulate our people’s felt need and grudges, was totally paralysed,” he added.

–Indo-Asian News Service
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