Wednesday December 19, 2018
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Adjourned till noon: Episodes from the great Indian parliamentary circus

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Picture credit: thehindu.com
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By Sreyashi Mazumdar

Bizarreness and frivolity, these two words are hand in glove with our country’s parliamentarians’- the representatives of people who are supposed to behold responsibilities and wisdom, unlike the plebeians. Taking into consideration the opposition’s hammy protests in the recent past, and its vociferous attempt at being the soul vanguards of the poor, one might end up inferring the parliament as a circus wherein politicians take to every outrageous and horrid means to scuttle the expected decorum on the floor of the house.

Picture credit: indianexpress.com
Picture credit: indianexpress.com

While paging through the snippets of hamminess in Parliament or  words unleashed by our political leaders, one is reminded of the classic episode of hullabaloo that broke out last year while UPA 2, the then government at the helm of affairs, tabled the Telangana bill. Rajagopal, a man bearing high regards for decorum, one who endorses nothing but prudence and sagacity, ended up unleashing a bottle of pepper spray as a mark of reverence for his opponents who were hell bent on introducing the Bill.

The maverick was an MP of the TDP and in an attempt at protesting the Bill, he thought of taking to judicious means and ended up spraying pepper spray which not only vexed the continuity of the house but also ended up harming his colleagues. Our dear parliamentarians even went to the extent of uprooting microphones and using shards of broken glass to threaten the party in power.

Picture credit: indiatoday.in
Picture credit: indiatoday.in

Thinking of a high voltage drama, how can one forget Tapas Paul’s heart-wrenching statement on women. The actor turned TMC MP who has often been seen crooning away to cocky Bengali songs, in an attempt at taking a dig at his party’s arch rival, went to the extent of donning a Satanist role and rolled out his methods of salvation in a bid  to ensure his female party members’ security in the wake of increasing  attacks on them.

 Introspecting on the dire condition, he stood his ground and  called for an immediate action, “ If any CPI-M man dares to touch  anybody, I will take out my gun and shoot him. I warn my opponents …I will ask my boys to go there, they will rape them and leave them,” said the thoughtful Paul, a woman’s soul saviour.

Picture credit: indianexpress.com

If one talks of the grand episodes of Indian parliament, one might surely recall the recent fall out that shook viewers testifying a BJP MLA’s vehement attempt at supporting his party’s stance on Najeeb Jung, the Lt. Governor of Delhi. The scene was nothing less than a labyrinth, with our leaders laughing at a distorted scene, with marshals throwing out BJP MLA Om Prakash, owing to his stand on Alka Lamba’s comment on Najeeb Jung.

The heady leader was irked by Alka Lamba’s comment on Najeeb Jung, according to whom, Najeeb Jung must have paid a hefty amount to the ruling government for his appointment.  In order to further add to the flamboyance, the members of the legislative assembly were found laughing their lungs out at the buffoonery.

Picture credit: dailymail.co.uk
Picture credit: dailymail.co.uk

Toeing on a similar scene, SP MP Naresh Agarwal’s and BSP MP Avtar Singh Karimpuri’s blockbuster fist fight in the Lok Sabha over a Bill seeking to provide reservation for SC/STs in government jobs was in no way less than a melodrama etched with spice and action scenes worthy enough to be hooted at.

Our beloved leaders should understand and should learn to grasp the real meaning of decorum and scuttle their attempts at being buffoons. Sound deliberations and introspection might turn out to be a better option, hopefully someday they might mull over the same.

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President’s Dissolution of Parliament Unconstitutional: Sri Lanka’s Court

The push to oust Rajapaksa dragged Sri Lanka's parliament into chaos.

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Sri Lanka, Parliament, Prime minister
Supporters of ousted Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe celebrate outside the supreme court complex in Colombo. VOA

Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court has ruled that President Maithripala Sirisena’s move to dissolve parliament last month was illegal.

In a unanimous decision announced Thursday, the seven-member court said that Sirisena violated the constitution when he called a snap election nearly two years before the parliamentary session was due to end.

The decision adds another chapter to a political crisis that began on on October 26, when President Sirisena fired Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, claiming that an informant told police that a Cabinet minister was part of a plot to assassinate him.

Sri Lanka, parliament
Ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe holds a copy of the constitution of Sri Lanka as he attends a media briefing at his official residence in Colombo, Oct. 29, 2018. VOA

He replaced Wickremesinghe with Mahinda Rajapaksa, the country’s former president and strongman, then suspended parliament the next day. In an apparent bow to international pressure, Sirisena summoned lawmakers back to work last Monday.

But when it became apparent that Rajapaksa would not survive a no-confidence vote, Sirisena dissolved parliament on November 9 and called for snap elections. The Supreme Court overruled the president’s decree in a ruling issued just days later.

Wickremesinghe has remained in the prime minister’s official residence in Colombo in defiance of Sirisena’s actions.

Sri Lanka, Parliament
Newly appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa speaks during the parliament session in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Nov. 15, 2018. VOA

The push to oust Rajapaksa dragged Sri Lanka’s parliament into chaos. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya held a voice vote on November 14 on the no-confidence motion after Rajapaksa’s supporters staged an noisy, impromptu protest in the chamber before debate began.

Also Read: Sri Lanka On The Brink of ‘Economic Anarchy’

The next day, rival lawmakers exchanged blows after Jayasuriya declared that Sri Lanka had no prime minister or a cabinet, with some of Rajapaksa’s supporters hurling water bottles and other objects at Jayasuriya. (VOA)