Modi should refund salary rather than hold token fast

Written by Meghalaya Times. Posted in Editorial

Thomas Lim
The popular cliché- a taste of your own medicine, is the best sum-up for the complete wash out of both the Houses of Parliament due to the disruptions staged by the Opposition Members leading to the total loss for the Public Exchequer. As a mark of protest against this, the Prime Minister, Narendra Damodardas Modi will fast for a day on April 12 next as a token protest against the washout of the second edition of the Budget Session of Parliament that ended on April 6, 2018 due to protests by opposition parties. All BJP Parliamentarians too are also expected to do the same in their respective Constituency on the same day.

It may be recalled that even the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) II headed by Dr Manmohan Singh had faced a similar situation when the Opposition members were led by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Now the tables have been turned and the BJP led government is tasting its own medicine.
Modi, on May 22, 2014 had for the first time ever stepped into Parliament and at the meeting held in the Central Hall. He was elected leader of the National Democratic Alliance and was seen paying obseisance to the Home of Indian Democracy, his action went viral on social networks, and this time may be his fasting will not create the same impact, because the action will be supported by the BJP Chief Amit Anil Chandra Shah and all the party Parliamentarians.
Of course fasting is the best tool of Satyagraha movement and also a means for the religious practices for purifying the mind and the body to attain happiness and peace of mind. But, it is a very personal decision and benefits too, so also the proposed April 12 fast of Modi. If the Prime Minister sincerely wants to seek forgiveness for the wastage of public funds, he should surrender either a week or a month salary, and give a whip for all the BJP Parliamentarians to follow the same as the action of a daylong fast.
If such action (refunding some salary) is to be taken, hopefully the Opposition members too will step in and surrender double of what the Ruling members are going to surrender, as a mark of protest and gaining vote bank. Yes it is a wishful thinking!
The refund will somehow compensate for the wastage caused by the Parliament disruption of both Houses, which have seen repeated adjournments since the second leg of the Budget Session reconvened on March 5, 2018 over several issues. While AIADMK MPs have been protesting over the Centre’s failure to form the Cauvery Management Board, whereas Congress has been opposing it.
TDP and YSR Congress Party from Andhra Pradesh have been protesting demanding special status for the state while MPs of Congress, BSP and SP have been protesting over the recent Supreme Court order which diluted the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The TDP and other Opposition parties have also been protesting in the House seeking a no-confidence motion to be taken against the NDA government at the Centre in the Lok Sabha.
Though Lok Sabha Speaker, Sumitra Mahajan has often expressed her willingness to take the motion, the Lok Sabha throughout the second leg of the Budget session was adjourned due to disruptions before the No-confidence motion could be taken.
TMC, in the meanwhile, has been protesting in the Parliament over the Punjab National Bank fraud which saw the government-owned bank making a loss of over Rs 12,000 crore through fraudulent transactions. The disruptions have impacted legislative business in both Houses with only three bills being introduced between 29 January 2018 and 6 April 2018 during Budget session.
The Lok Sabha passed just three bills — Specific Relief Amendment Bill 2017, Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill 2017 and the Finance Bill 2018 — while the Rajya Sabha managed to pass just one bill — the Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill 2017 — on March 22, 2018.
As per reports, the two Houses in the Parliament presented just one report on the National Medical Commission Bill, 2017 by the Health and Family Welfare.  Overall, the Upper house worked for just 45 hours in around 30 sittings while it lost 120 hours in disruptions.
For all such losses, just a month salary will not compensate for the harm caused but it will surely prick the conscience of the right thinking members of the Parliament, so that the next session of the Parliament after the 2019 general election. Whoever forms the new government and the Opposition members should put the nation before the Politicking in opposing everything the ruling government brings to the House.   
It may be mentioned that for once as Parliament remained paralyzed and no business could take place, even the youth across the nation have expressed their dissatisfaction stating that this has only degraded the country good image earned as the world’s largest democracy, where the world political circle are all focus on the development and action of the Parliamentarians, it is high time all members should be accountable and be more responsible in executing their duties as the elected members.


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