Both houses of Parliament — the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha — are stalled from the past couple of days. The Opposition is disrupting the Parliament on the demonetization issue. The reasoning for the disruption for the two houses in different. In Lok Sabha, the Opposition wants the debate to conclude with a vote of confidence against the Government. In Rajya Sabha, the opposition wants the Prime Minister’s presence, so that at the end of the debate he can give answers to the questions raised. The Government is ready to debate in both houses of the Parliament, but doesn’t want to accede to the opposition demand of vote in Lok Sabha and PM’s presence in Rajya Sabha.
Now whether the demands of the opposition are agreed to or not, is the sole prerogative of the Speaker in Lok Sabha and the Chairman in Rajya Sabha. Lets not go into the intricacies of it, as even while exercising their discretion, their discretion would be backed by some rule in the book. It’s good not to go into the rules, as in most cases it’s the gravity of the issue which decides under which rule the debate must be conducted. Vote of confidence is usually allowed in very serious matters.
That said, if for a second we can assume that the demand for vote of confidence in Lok Sabha is NOT justified, even then what is the problem in having PM’s presence in Rajya Sabha.
There’s no problem right? … NO, There is.
If the Government agrees to the opposition demand of PM’s presence during the debate in Rajya Sabha then it will be seen as the Government endorsing the opposition view. The view that the demonetization exercise of the Government is a serious matter.
Hence arguing here about who’s correct is futile. Because hadn’t it be an important issue, the PM wouldn’t have taken time out of his busy schedule to tell the Nation about it on the evening of November 8, 2016.
Thus, what must be looked here is — What will the Government lose if it agrees to the opposition demand of PM’s presence during the debate in Raja Sabha?
The Government will surely lose some credibility, but that will be better than other things the Prime Minister and his ministers are doing at present. For instance, the Prime Minister hailing his demonetization action as historic from some podium outside the parliament. Or the Prime Minister asking the Nation to vote on some mobile survey which has questions such as ‘Are you with or against the demonetization exercise’.
It would have been better if the Prime Minister would have justified his action by answering the people’s representatives in the Parliament. Without second thoughts, the questions there would be to the point and the PM would have ample scope of answering them satisfactorily with solid data to back them up. The Prime Minster’s uttering outside the Parliament right now are creating a perception in many minds that the present Governments’s field view is very small. Because even if 45 crore mobile users with internet connectivity support the demonization decision that still doesn’t make-up for the hardships people are facing due to this action. Although one of the easiest traps for any decision maker to fall into, are such surveys. You can paint a picture as bright or as bleak, depending on what you fancy.