Mock Parliament faces criticism at all-party meeting

Mock Parliament faces criticism at all-party meeting

At an all-party meeting convened by her, the mock Parliament session convened by RJD Chief Lalu Prasad and SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav saw almost all-round criticism. The two leaders were, however, not present in the meeting.

Expressing the sentiments of the members present, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said later that she did not approve of this behaviour.

"I said that I do not approve of this (mock session) and have taken it up with my party MPs (who participated in it) in private. Advani had already spoken openly against it. This should not have been done. The Lok Sabha has some dignity and decorum," Swaraj told reporters.
DMK MP T R Baalu raised the issue of mock Parliament during the meeting.

BJP was represented by Swaraj and senior leader L K Advani.

While Kumar herself did not refer to the mock Parliament, she made it known her disapproval of frequent disruptions during the on-going monsoon session where the first week was washed away over the issue of deciding modalities for holding discussions on price rise.

"Those who frequently disturb the House constitute approximately 4 per cent of the total strength of the House. Around 96 per cent of the Members want the House to function smoothly. Disruption of the proceedings is in essence tantamount to violation of the rights of these 96 per cent of the members," said a concerned Kumar.

Cautioning members, the Speaker said, "The trend of disrupting the proceedings of the House instead of debating issues is fraught with danger - the danger of rendering the Parliament irrelevant."

Most members said since this session was about to end, such a meeting to prevent disruptions should be convened just before the Winter Session of Parliament.
Swaraj said stalling of the House is also a "legitimate process" but should be "exceptionally used".

"I told the Speaker that if you look at the records you will find that the principal opposition is most often not at fault in disrupting the House. Our aim is to take on the government through debates where we can express our point of view," Swaraj said.
Members present in the meeting said some leaders disrupt the House to grab media attention and make newspaper headlines. Some of them accused the media of also focussing more on disruptions than on serious debates.

The Speaker observed that Question Hour is the "worst victim" of such disruptions.
"Besides upsetting the schedule of business, frequent forced adjournments of the House create an impression in the public that MPs are not interested in the orderly running of the House," Kumar said.

This will ultimately lead to a situation where people may lose faith in the utility of Parliament as the supreme representative body, she insisted.

"We may, therefore, take a serious look at this situation and apply correctives," she said.
Since the 5th Session of the 15th Lok Sabha began, the House has lost 42 hours in disruptions, the Speaker said.

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