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Opposition protests: Suspension of 25 MPs questions “democratic ethics” of the Modi government

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By Aishwarya Nag Choudhury

The suspension of 25 Congress MPs by Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan sparked a protest in the Rajya Sabha today morning. The Congress and the nine other opposition parties were seen protesting at the Rajya Sabha proclaiming their decision to boycott both the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha for the next 5 days.

The MPs were suspended by Mahajan for the next 5 working days from the house for protesting with placards in the well of the Lok Sabha and displaying unruly behavior. This, however, has revoked bigger problems for the Parliament and the chair because the opposition parties are demanding the revocation of her decision.

The Speaker took the decision on suspension by invoking Rule 374(A), using it for the first time in the 16th Lok Sabha.  She claimed she had to do this because the congress members were “persistently and willfully obstructing the House by displaying placards and shouting slogans.”

Just as the speaker was about to make her formal announcement, congress MPs Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were seen opposing it. Moreover, TMC leader Sudhip Bandhopadhya and CPM’s P Karunakaran made it a point to translate their parties’ opposition to “harsh action.”

Today morning, the opposition was seen protesting in the Rajya Sabha, triggering adjournment till noon. Congress in collaboration with other parties of the opposition was seen wearing black ties and ribbons around their arms in protest of the suspension.

“As Manmohan Singhji explained, the suspension of 25 MPs is no way of resolving issues,” Mallikharjun Karge said to NewsGram.

However, the issue is no longer restricted to just the suspension of the members. The opposition has delved deeper into the context questioning the democratic ethics of the government.

In an interview to NewsGram, Youth Congress spokesperson Amrish Ranjan Pandey, explained the Congress standpoint. “The Modi government has changed the definition of democracy. MPs are representatives of the common people; the government should listen to their voice. This is the government’s ploy of having not to deal with the debates they cannot withstand” he added.

“Mana ki sansad mein aapki bahumat hain – par sarak humara hain, aur sansad ka raasta sarak se guzar ke jata hain,” Pandey said, referring to the Modi government.

Pandey opined that this is the first time in Indian politics that the government is acting dictatorial and it is not going to work in diversified India.

The Youth congress equally agitated with the suspension are planning to protest against the “undemocratic” government of Modi. The instances of Gajendra Chauhan being trusted to head FTII and Smriti Irani given the education portfolio are being questioned by them. Mahila Congress member Sushmita Puri sharing her opinions with NewsGram said that it is clear that some people in Modiji’s government is corrupt.

“One minister and one cabinet minister is completely corrupt. We demand that you remove them from the ministry and then investigate them, so that they don’t wield power when they are being investigated. If found innocent, they can resume office,” she added.

“We will keep protesting until our demands are met,” was the word of the day in the Rajya Sabha. Samajwadi party’s Dharmendra Yadav paid a visit to support the protest. “I want to ensure democratically fair politics,” he said.  Ghulam Nabi Azad thanked all those who had come in support of the protest and in support of “democracy.”

As the Rajya Sabha resumed at noon, the protestors dispersed. However the agitation against the Modi government has not subsided. This session of the parliament brings into question no ordinary bill, but the democratic ethics of the government.

Discussion is the root of democracy, has the government suspended 25 MP’s to stall discussion and make the opposition weaker? Was the disciplinarian action of Sumitra Mahajan actually required to bring ‘order’ into our Democracy? These were the questions of the protestors in Rajya Sabha. However, it is still to be seen how long the fervour continues. Will the Congress and the opposition parties continue till their demands are met, or will the fervour wither away at the end of the MP’s suspension.

This monsoon session, the government seems to be stuck in a labyrinth that needs efforts to decipher. The steps of the government and the choices of the PM are being closely monitored by the opposition. As the mud-splattering continues, it is still to be seen how the Modi government responds.

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List of UPA Schemes Renamed by Modi Government

The above comparison shows that BJP is not only trying to steal the credit of previously launched schemes by Congress party by just repackaging them as new schemes

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India, elections, vietnam, BJP
Modi's LPG scheme reduced household air pollution: Study, VOA

A lot of BJP supporters claim that government led by Narendra Modi has launched several schemes for the development of nation in the last four years. What they failed to acknowledge that Narendra Modi has done nothing else than repackaging and renaming the previous schemes started by Congress and took their credit to his name. Shocked, aren’t you? In the last four years, Modi government has failed to develop any original ideas. So in order to appear like the government is working, they have renamed various successfully running schemes started by Congress party to fool people of the nation into believing that BJP has launched numerous schemes in the country. If you find this fact hard to believe, here is the list of s Modi government schemes that are nothing but altered name previously running schemes in the nation:

Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana

Originally Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account (BSDBA)

The (BSBDA) scheme was launched in August 2012 according to RBI which provided facility of no minimum balance required to maintain the bank account and avail all the banking services. The number of withdrawals were however limited to 4 per month. The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is nothing else than a wrap up on BSDAB scheme adding Rs 1 lakh of accident insurance, overdraft facility up to Rs 5,000 and a life insurance of Rs 30,000 to previous BSDAB accounts.

Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana (BBBPY)

Originally National Girl Child Day programmes

BJP
The government has initiated a lot of programmes to bring about a change in the attitude of people and stop these kinds of social evils. Wikimedia Commons

According to a report of Centre for Development and Human Rights presented in 2016, the girl child education programme listed under the BBBPY scheme is nothing but the repackaging of older Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan started by Congress.

The act of similar repackaging of scheme can be found in BBBPY’s programme to improve child sex ratio and reduce the dropout rates of school girls. These programmes were already available under Congress party’s Dhanalakshmi and Sabla schemes.

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

Originally Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan

One of the major Modi government schemes, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched in September 2014 is nothing but restructured result of Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan scheme which was started by Congress in April 2012.

Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan was also a renamed scheme by Congress party which was originally introduced as Central Rural Sanitation Programme by Congress in 1986.

Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana

Originally Indira Awaas Yojana

Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, BJP
‘Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana ‘ is an initiative by Government of India in which affordable housing will be provided to the urban poor.

According to a parliamentary standing committee report, it is found that the most anticipated Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojna by Narendra Modi nothing by rechristened format of Indira Awaas Yojana. The funny fact about the renaming of this scheme is that several web pages of Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana still open as Indira Awaas Yojana documents.

Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana

Originally Rajiv Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana

According to an information release by government on 23rd July 2015, the Rajiv Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana stated by Congress is merged under the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana launched by BJP with no significant changes.

Soil Health Card scheme

Originally National Project on Management of Soil Health and Fertility

According to the Outcome Budget 2015-16 of the agriculture and cooperation department, a soil health card was included in the scheme of National Project on Management of Soil Health and Fertility. The similar soil cards were also issued by Congress under the National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture.

 

Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana, BJP
The aim of this scheme is to form 10,000 clusters over the next three years and bring about five lakh acres of agricultural area under organic farming to develop agricultural activity in the country

 

Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana

Originally Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana and other programmes

The lack of creativity and insight in Modi government schemes can be seen in its Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana which is nothing but the fusion of some existing components which are amalgamated together as a cluster based programme. This fact was reported in the Outcome Budget 2015-16 of the agriculture and cooperation department.

Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Yojana

Originally Jan Aushadhi scheme

The Jan Aushadhi scheme was developed by Congress to supply unbranded medicines at reduced prices. This scheme was executed on 23 April 2008 and the first store under this scheme was established on 25 November 2008. According to an statement issued by Loksabh on 144th March 2017, the Jan Aushadhi Scheme is renamed as Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana.

Make in iIndia, BJP
Make in India, a type of Swadeshi movement covering 25 sectors of the economy,

Make In India

Originally National Manufacturing Policy

The funny part about BJP copying this scheme from Congress National Manufacturing policy is that they forget the remove the information of previous policy in the new website of Make In India scheme. The broken download link redirects to the 2011 older policy document of year 2011.

Also Read: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Appeals MPs To Utilize Their Winter Season Well

The above comparison shows that BJP is not only trying to steal the credit of previously launched schemes by Congress party by just repackaging them as new schemes, but the BJP lacks credibility and insight required to develop new schemes necessary for the development of the nations. Some other Modi government schemes that were actually the brain child of Narendra Modi and BJP part resulted in drastic disaster in nation. GST and demonetisation are two biggest examples of such failed Modi government policies.