Every session of the Parliament generally ends up with sinking into the pandemonium, but the monsoon session seems to witness more chaos and turmoil. The Opposition is continuously appearing more vehement in firing its salvo at the Centre as it has not lived up to expectations of people on many counts. The ruling government has already been pushed to corner in the Parliament owing to irregularities in CWG case and 2G spectrum scam. The winter session was stalled out because the government neither wanted to give nod for the JPC probe into 2G spectrum scam nor to annoy its ally DMK by taking strong action against A Raja. Now, Raja and Kalmadi together are in jail. However, the Central government is trying to facelift its image, but no one knows, how long the investigation of scams will go on and whether the guilty will be awarded punishment?

In the monsoon session, the ruling party will face more criticism as the CAG reports regarding different scams will come up. The moot point is that the allegation has also been levied on the Prime Minister alongwith the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Attorney General. The spin-doctors of the Congress are bit concerned with the attacking mood of Raja. The irregularities found during the CWG games will also create problem for the Congress. If Kalmadi also spills the beans in the manner Raja did, the Congress will be put on toss. However, the BJP is in trouble because Karnataka Chief Minister Yedyyurappa has agreed to give up his post after certain terms and conditions. After Lokayukta Santosh Hegde’s investigation report regarding the mining scams came up, the BJP ordered Yedyyurappa to step down, but the way he stuck to the choice of his successor and delayed putting in papers, the saffron party faces lots of hiccups. It is certain, when the BJP pulls up the Congress in the Parliament, the ruling leaders will also reciprocate citing the Karnataka melodrama.

In a bid to boost its image, the Central government is going to table the Lokpal Bill. Moreover, Food Security and Land Acquisition Bill would also be presented in the Parliament. The Land Acquisition Bill is being waited with bated breath as the lands acquired from farmers are being sold to builders at throwaway prices. This issue is gearing up in Uttar Pradesh and the Mayawati government is bearing the brunt. The land acquisition row has sent its ripples to other states also and it will not be hyperbolic to say that the farmers are unhappy with the present policy of land acquisition. It is expected that there will be an extensive discussion on the draft of land acquisition bill to bring a balance and concrete law in this regard. If it does not happen, both the process of development and industrialization could be affected. There will be a spotlight on the Lokpal Bill in this session of the Parliament. All political parties are of the firm opinion that there should be a meaningful talk on this Bill in the Parliament. It seems that political parties do not want to attach importance to civil society regarding Lokpal.

Undoubtedly, the Parliament is a supreme legislative body in the country, but it does not mean that the feelings of common people or civil society should be ignored. The draft of Lokpal Bill to which the Cabinet gave its nod has excluded Judiciary and further the Prime Minister from its ambit. The civil society has protested it and to make the matter worse, the Delhi Police is not allowing them to stage agitation at Jantar-Mantar. The stand of the Delhi Police will dent the image of the Central government. Now the time will say if political parties mange to bring consensus on the Bill for an effective Lokpal through discussion on this issue in the Parliament. Given the conduct of political parties, it seems unlikely that they will give their consent to the suggestions of civil society or make some arrangement to bring themselves under the purview of Lokpal. So, the Parliament and civil society could cross swords on the issue of Lokpal. The cash-for-vote scam could also add fuel to fire in the House.

However, the Anti-Communal Violence Bill may not be tabled in this session of the Parliament, but it is certain that ruling-opposition war of words would get intensified regarding this. The BJP and other parties did not accept the draft of this Bill, but the Congress is trying to push it for settling its personal score. In fact the Congress assumes that it will win the heart of minorities by clearing the Anti-communal Violence Bill.

The issues related with economy are also likely to echo in this session of the Parliament. This time around world economy too seems to be sliding on depreciating trajectory. Owing to the American economy slipping into crisis, it is obvious that people across the globe are scary. The weak economic situation of America is a cause of concern for India as well as the country’s own economy has also triggered problems for it. First, the inflation is soaring high and secondly, infrastructure is still not witnessing adequate development. The RBI keeps raising interest rates in order to curb inflation, which is taking toll on the economic pace. Given the situation, the experts are of the opinion that if Food Security Bill is passed, the price of grains will go through ceiling across the world. According to experts, India has now huge stocks of foodgrains, but when the production will slump, India will have to import grains. Come what may, it is to be ensured that there is no starvation like situation in the country alongwith the mechanism to lessen the burden of its subsidy. The increasing subsidy on foodgrains could hamper the pace of our economy. When the county is facing burning issues, it will not be fair to waste time by making uproar in the Parliament. The way precious time of the Parliament wasted in the past, it is unlikely that there could be a comprehensive talk on all important issues to be floored in this session. Moreover, it is the need of hour that a blame-game politics should be discarded. Political parties and especially the ruling party should keep in mind that only tabling the bill regarding all important issues will not be enough rather they should be passed as well.

(An original copy of the article published in Hindi on July 31, 2011 translated by the English Editorial. The author is Group Editor of Dainik Jagran)