Constitutional amendment flawed from the beginning

Constitutional amendment flawed from the beginning

The blame game amongst Congress members began following the government’s failure to muster enough numbers to pass the high-stake constitutional amendment, with some suggesting that the move had been flawed from the beginning given the UPA’s precarious position in the Lok Sabha.

The brain child of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, the amendment would have accorded Lokpal the constitutional validity.

While the Constitutional amendment called for a two-third majority with total number of votes cast not below the fifty per cent of the numbers present at the House, the UPA went in for it with just a simple majority.

Despite Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Bansal defending the UPA’s floor management, questions have been raised on the obvious inadequacies overlooked by the managers in their attempt to hustle up the numbers. “We were bound to lose from the beginning. In a House where we have just a simple majority, expecting that we will pass a constitutional amendment was asking for the moon. More so, because given the composition of the House, no constitutional amendment can be passed without main Opposition BJP’s support,” said a Congress member of Lok Sabha talking to Deccan Herald.

A section of Congress MPs pointed out that no effort was done to set right the flawed government stand at any stage. “There were so many MPs from the ruling side who were absent including over a dozen from Congress. The voting began at 9.50 pm and went on for two hours. The MPs had been in the House since 11 am. The fatigue factor had set in and many went home despite the whip. The voting should have been held during the day on Wednesday,”said another MP.

On top of this, the government made no attempt to get the support of required number of MPs. It wanted the friendly parties such as the SP, RJD and even the BSP to abstain from the Lokpal Bill to pass the Bill (which required a simple majority) but expected their support for the constitution amendment.  “Both cannot happen because, having walked out from voting on Lokpal Bill, these parties cannot be expected to immediately come back to the House and vote in favour of the constitutional amendment,” a member said.

Cong to send notice to 13 absentees

The 13 Congress MPs who skipped the crucial LS session are likely to be sent notices asking them to explain the reasons for their absence. However, it is unlikely that any action will be taken against them. Cracking the whip, an embarrassed Congress said it will serve show cause notice to 13 party MPs. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal told reporters: “I will be certainly write letters to them seeking an explanation.”

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