Skip to main content

Following Gujarat "model"?: MPs' maiden suspension "preceded" two dozen similar incidents in Gujarat under Modi

By Our Representative
While the suspension of 25 members of Parliament (MPs) for creating “ruckus” in the Lok Sabha may have created a flutter in Delhi among political observers, those who are in Gujarat are not surprised. In fact, the event is being described as nothing but Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking to follow the so-called Gujarat model.
An official compilation by the Gujarat state assembly suggests this: Between 2003, after Modi won his first electoral victory riding on the Hindutva wave in the wake of the 2002 communal riots, and 2015, that on as many as 30 occasions the state’s Congress law makers were suspended. In fact, on several occasions, all Congress MLAs were suspended.  Of these, two dozen suspensions took place till Modi was in power in Gujarat up to May 2014.
Not that ways of suspending MLAs was anything new for Modi. It had also taken place in 1996-97, when BJP rebel leader, and now Congress leader, Shankarsinh Vaghela’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) ruled. Under Vaghela’s directions, as chief minister of Gujarat, BJP MLAs were suspended from the assembly on several occasions.  It continued under BJP 1998-2001 under Keshubhai Patel's chief ministership, till Modi replaced him in October 2001.
Inheriting his ex-mentor Vaghela’s ways, Modi followed suit to pass crucial bills in the state assembly without any discussion, such as the controversial Gujarat Lokayukta Bill in 2013. The Bill had sought to displace the Gujarat High Court chief justice with the chief minister as chairman of the five-person selection committee, virtually putting the anti-corruption watchdog directly in the lap of the ruling establishment.
Then governor Kamla Beniwal, just a month earlier, on September 3, had returned the bill, passed by the assembly on April 2, to the government for reconsideration, dubbing the legislation as "complete mockery of the judicial process and detrimental to the interests of public welfare". The protesting opposition MLAs were suspended from the assembly for unruly scenes.There were occasions when not one but as many as five bills were passed in the assembly without discussion, as Congress MLAs stood suspended.
Causes for which Congress MLAs – sometimes all, and on other times several of them – were suspended included demanding discussion on major issues, including such events like a major tragedy leading to the death of several persons on consumption of spurious liquor in 2009. When Congress MLAs demanded discussion on the issue in the assembly session in July 2009, 14 Congress MLAs were suspended for a day.
The latest suspension of 25 MPs from the Lok Sabha has been described as a “black day for democracy” by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, with even party MP from Kerala Shashi Tharoor – who was found to be moving away from her – protested saying that “many leaders will face some real difficulties in participating with the government and the committees of Parliament as long as the ‘discriminatory attitude’ against the opposition continues.”
“It is wrong. In fact, many of us will have some real difficulties in participating with the government and committees of Parliament as long as this discriminatory attitude continues against the opposition,” said Tharoor, adding, “The government should be reaching out to the opposition rather than throwing it out of the House.”
Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan, while suspending more than half of the Congress MPs for carrying placards and shouting slogans demanding the resignation of top BJP leaders over the Lalit Modi controversy and the Vyapam scam, said she took the step for for "persistently, wilfully obstructing the House".
"Like in Gujarat where opposition members used to get suspended, similar thing is happening here. It is the Gujarat model which is being implemented," Congress leader in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, told reporters after a day of ruckus in Parliament.

Comments

TRENDING

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Union budget 'mum' on relief to marginalised communities facing climate change impact

Counterview Desk  ActionAid, an international advocacy group which claims to work for a world without poverty, patriarchy and injustice, has wondered if the Union budget 2023-24, which is being acclaimed for providing succour to the middle classes, has anything to offer to the India's poor. In a statement, it said, while the budget may have "prioritised inclusive development", the financial outlay for ensuring it "does not show the zeal as hoped." Stating that the Finance Minister said Rs 35,000 crore revenue would have to be "forgone" due to a reduction in personal income taxes, "fiscal prudence is not enough to expand public employment, social security, welfare, education and health expenditures considerably." "The need of the hour is to raise revenues through the reduction of revenues forgone and innovative mechanisms such as wealth tax on super accumulation of wealth", it added. Text: The Union Budget 2023 has given significant

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

How lead petitioner was rendered homeless when GM mustard matter came up in SC

By Rosamma Thomas*  On January 5, 2023, the Supreme Court stayed a December 20, 2022 direction of the Uttarakhand High Court to the Indian Railways and the district administration of Haldwani to use paramilitary forces to evict thousands of poor families occupying land that belonged to the railways.  Justice AS Oka remarked that it was not right to order the bringing in of paramilitary forces. The SC held that even those who had no rights, but were living there for years, needed to be rehabilitated. On December 21, 2022, just as she was getting ready to celebrate Christmas, researcher Aruna Rodrigues was abruptly evicted from her home in Mhow Cantonment, Madhya Pradesh – no eviction notice was served, and nearly 30 Indian Army soldiers bearing arms were part of the eviction process. What is noteworthy in this case is that the records establishing possession of the house date back to 1892 – the title deed with the name of Dr VP Cardoza, Rodrigues’ great grandfather, is dated November 14

Why no information with Assam state agency about female rhino poaching for a year?

By Nava Thakuria   According to official claims, incidents of poaching related to rhinoceros in various forest reserves of Assam in northeast India have decreased drastically. Brutal laws against the poachers, strengthening of ground staff inside the protected forest areas and increasing public awareness in the fringe localities of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries across the State are the reasons cited for positively impacting the mission to save the one-horned rhinos. Officials records suggest, only two rhinos were poached in Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve since 1 January 2021 till date. The last incident took place probably in the last week of December 2021, as a decomposed carcass of a fully-grown (around 30 years old) female rhino was recovered inside the world-famous forest reserve next month. As the precious horn was missing, for which the gigantic animal was apparently hunted down, it could not be a natural death. Ironically, however, it was not confirmed when

Civil rights leaders allege corporate loot of resources, suppression of democratic rights

By Our Representative  Civil rights activists have alleged, quoting top intelligence officers as also multiple international forensic reports, that recent developments with regard to the Bhima Koregaon and the Citizenship Amendment Act-National Register of Citizens (CAA-NRC) cases suggest, there was "no connection between the Elgaar Parishad event and the Bhima Koregaon violence." Activists of the Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) told a media event at the HKS Surjeet Bhawan, New Delhi, that, despite this, several political prisoners continue to be behind bars on being accused under the anti-terror the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Addressed by family members of the political prisoners, academics, as well as social activists, it was highlighted how cases were sought to be fabricated against progressive individuals, democratic activists and intellectuals, who spoke out against "corporate loot of Indian resources, suppression of basic democratic

Kerala natural rubber producers 'squeezed', attend to their plight: Govt of India told

By Rosamma Thomas   Babu Joseph, general secretary of the National Federation of Rubber Producers Societies (NFRPS) at a recent discussion at Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, explained that it is high time the Union government paid greater heed to the troubles plaguing the rubber production sector in India – rubber is a strategic product, important for the military establishment and for industry, since natural rubber is still used in the manufacture of tyres for large vehicles and aeroplanes. Synthetic rubber is now quite widespread, but styrene, which is used in making synthetic rubber and plastics, and also butadiene, another major constituent of synthetic rubber, are both hazardous. Prolonged exposure to these even in recycled rubber can cause neurological damage. Kerala produces the bulk of India’s natural rubber. In 2019-20, Kerala’s share in the national production of rubber was over 74%. Over 20% of the gross cropped area in the state is under rubber cultivation, with total

Lack of welfare schemes, BSF curbs force West Bengal farmers to migrate far away

Counteview Desk  In a representation to the National Human Rights Commission chairperson, a senior West Bengal based activist has complained that villagers living near the border with Bangladesh are forced to migrate to as far away as Mumbai and Kerala because of lack of government sensitivity towards their welfare in original villages. Giving specific instances, Kirity Roy, secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), said, if the Border Security Force (BSF) had not put any restriction on agricultural activities, and if villages had properly implemented welfare schemes, these people would never migrate to other States. Text: I want to attract your immediate attention to the inhumane condition of the migrated workers of Gobra village, Swarupnagar Block in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal to seek your urgent intervention to protect the rights of these people. Gobra is a village situated near the Indo-Bangladesh Border where the border fencing is about 500 meters i

Bangladesh 'rights violations': US softens stance, fears increased clout of China, India

By Tilottama Rani Charulata*  In December 2021, in addition to the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), the United States imposed sanctions on seven former and current officers of the force, alleging serious human rights violations. Benazir Ahmed and former RAB-7 commander Miftah Uddin Ahmed were banned from entering the US. RAB as an institution was also canceled the support it was getting from the US and its allies. At the same time, those under the ban have been notified of confiscation of assets held abroad. The anti-crime and anti-terrorism unit of the Bangladesh Police, RAB is the elite force consisting of members of the Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Police, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Air Force, Border Guard Bangladesh, Bangladesh Civil Service and Bangladesh Ansar, and has been criticized by rights groups for its use of extrajudicial killings and is accused of forced disappearances. The government of Bangladesh has been insisting about lifting the ban on RAB, but the US had till recen