Debating India

Ordinance route not the way, says Left

Saturday 25 March 2006

Special Correspondent

Parliament should debate the issue and adopt legislation

NAC chair cannot be termed an office of profit: CPI (M) No shortcut method should be taken to settle the controversy: Dasgupta Adjournment not in interest of democracy: Abani Roy

NEW DELHI: The Left parties on Friday asked the United Progressive Alliance Government to speedily resolve the "office of profit" issue in consultation with all parties so that appropriate legislation could be brought in Parliament.

They also opposed the move to do so through the ordinance route.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) reiterated its stand that the issue must be clarified and necessary legislative action taken by Parliament "without recourse to the ordinance route."

In a statement the party Polit Bureau said Congress president Sonia Gandhi had resigned as member of the Lok Sabha and as chairperson of the National Advisory Council in response to the Bharatiya Janata Party and Opposition charge that she was holding an office of profit.

The post of chair of the NAC could not be termed an "office of profit", it said.

Terming as "baseless" the demand for the resignation of Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, the statement said that as an MP he had been holding the position of chairman of the Sriniketan-Santiniketan Development Authority for the past 17 years.

Communist Party of India Lok Sabha leader Gurudas Dasgupta said the party was of the view that Parliament should be called upon to deliberate on the issue and adopt legislation. "No shortcut method should be taken to settle the controversy," he said in a letter to the Prime Minister.

Mr. Dasgupta also expressed deep anguish at the way Parliament was adjourned sine die without consulting any party. "We protest against the action of the Government that has led to doing away with the second spell of the budget session," he said.

The CPI leader said the party had been suggesting that Parliament should meet for at least 100 days in a year and had raised the issue on the floor of the House.

Contesting the statement of the leader of the House that Parliament had no business, he said it was an innocent way of defending an action that had no defence.

"Governments one after the other have been trying to scuttle Parliament, dilute parliamentary functioning, the consequence of which is bound to be ominous. I put on record my concern."

The Revolutionary Socialist Party MP Abani Roy said the move to curtail the budget session was not in the interest of Parliamentary democracy.

He said the Government should refrain from promulgating an ordinance to amend the Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1959.

While stating that Parliament should be the forum to discuss and debate it, he suggested that the Act could also be expanded to curtail the influence of the corporate sector and those with criminal background entering legislature.

See online : The Hindu

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