Left, BSP, TDP meet president, protest parliament session delay (Lead)September 9th, 2008 - 6:03 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Sep 9 (IANS) A delegation of MPs from the Left parties, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Telegu Desam Party (TDP) Tuesday met President Pratibha Patil to protest the government’s decision to postpone the second half of the 14th session of parliament to October.The next session of parliament is scheduled Oct 17-Nov 21.
Accusing the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government of sabotaging the Constitution and the parliamentary democratic system, the delegation submitted a memorandum to the president appealing for her immediate intervention to prevent the subversion of the country’s constitutional scheme.
“We demand that the monsoon session of parliament be immediately convened. The winter session must, as is the practice, convene in the second half of November,” the parties said in the memorandum.
“It (the decision) violates the basic principle of governance established under our system. Central to India’s constitutional structure is that the sovereignty rests solely with the people,” they said.
“The absence of the parliament session negates the legislature’s right and executive obligations,” the memorandum added.
As the president is the custodian of the Constitution, she has to defend it, said Sitaram Yechury, leader of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) in Rajya Sabha, after meeting Patil.
“The government is answerable to parliament and parliament is answerable to the people. Had the monsoon session of the parliament been held on time, it could have solved the burning issues of the people including soaring inflation, Bihar floods, communal violence in Orissa and troubles in Jammu and Kashmir,” Yechury said.
“If they (UPA) have majority in the parliament, why are they running away from it,” asked BSP’s Rajya Sabha leader Satish Chandra Mishra, who represented his party in the delegation along with the party’s leader in Lok Sabha Rajesh Verma.
“A minority government is oppressing the majority,” he charged.
CPI leader Gurudas Das Gupta, who is the leader of the party in Lok Sabha, alleged that the government was deliberately shortening the session.
Parliament should be in session for at least 100 days in a year, he said.
“The government is going with the agenda of the US. The US is taking decision regarding when the parliament of India is to be convened,” TDP’s leader in the Lok Sabha Yerran Naidu charged.
Janata Dal (Secular) leader Danish Ali was also a member of the delegation.