On a day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted that the faith of the common man in democracy is getting strengthened, Opposition expressed concerns over the alleged brute majority being used to suppress its voice and that the country being run through “one party dictatorship”, attempts to “destabilise opposition party-ruled states”, and the “selective” use of Central agencies.
“There has been fear in people’s minds about one party dictatorship being imposed. There is fear about attempts to destabilise opposition (party) ruled states and selective use of central agencies,” Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said in the /" class="">Lok Sabha, participating in a debate on ‘Parliamentary journey of 75 years starting from Samvidhan Sabha — achievements, experiences, memories and learnings’ on the first day of the Special Session.
Chowdhury was speaking an hour after the Lok Sabha panel on privileges submitted a report recommending revocation of his suspension from the Lower House. The Committee, in its report, said Chowdhury’s conduct of frequently interrupting or disturbing the proceedings of the House during the speech of the prime minister during the debate on no-confidence motion in the Monsoon Session or other ministers was a “clear case of contempt of the House” but no further punitive action is called for in the matter because he had expressed his regrets.
In his speech, which he made immediately after Prime Minister Modi’s address, Chowdhury reminded the treasury benches how the founders of the nation always vouched for equal opportunities and freedom for all MPs. Repeatedly referring to the alleged authoritarian trends in the new dispensation, Chowdhury said: “There has been fear in people’s minds about one party dictatorship being imposed. There is fear about attempts to destabilise opposition (party) ruled states and selective use of central agencies,” he said.
Observing that plurality is the essence of civilisation, Chowdhury said India is a nation of unending pluralism and the opinion of everyone should be respected. “There is no inclusivity. You can see how many MPs here belong to the minority communities…We should give up our arrogance… Zindagi lambi nahi, badi honi chahiye (life should be big instead of long),” he said, quoting a popular dialogue of a yesteryear Bollywood hit.
TMC’s Sudip Bandyopadhyay pointed out that the “spirit of brotherhood and respect” that was present earlier among MPs was now missing. He said: “Brute majority of one political party in the present Parliament reflects arrogance (which) is not desirable. If the brute majority persist, they are in a mood to gag the voice of Opposition. This is neither desirable nor supported by all members.”
With inputs from PTI