• News
  • Columns
  • Interviews
  • BW Communities
  • Events
  • BW TV
  • Subscribe to Print
BW Businessworld

"Oppn Not Party To Fin Bill, Rail Budget Passage"

Photo Credit :

Opposition, including BJP, Left and other parties, on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 walked out of Lok Sabha, charging the government with indulging in one scam after another and saying they would not be party to the passage of the Finance Bill and the Railway Budget.

The Opposition protest came after Speaker Meira Kumar announced that the money bills would be passed without discussion, as decided by leaders of parties at a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee on 29 April.

Maintaining that it had earlier been decided that discussion on the Budget would be taken up on April 23, she said, "however, under the prevailing circumstances as there is very limited time for completion of the financial business, ... as was decided at the BAC yesterday, the Finance Bill, Appropriations Bills, Demand for Grants and the Rail Budget .... may be passed without discussion."

This led to objections by leaders of several parties with senior Trinamool Congress leader Sougata Roy raising a point of order saying the rules did not permit passage of money bills without any discussion.

Amid protests, Kumar then allowed Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj to speak. Her speech was followed by a walkout by BJP and Shiv Sena members.

Those from other parties, including JD(U), Left parties, AIADMK, DMK, BJD, TDP and Trinamool Congress also walked out separately, after their leaders had their say.

Lambasting the government for scams, Swaraj said each new scandal broke the past record and justified the week-long protests by BJP and other parties, saying as a responsible opposition it was their job to expose the "most corrupt government since independence".

"This government wants that we don't raise these issues.

They don't just commit scams but also engage in various acts to protect the Prime Minister and the Law Minister," she said, with Congress members shouting back at her.

"The government is criticising our protests in Parliament.

The Prime Minister says the Opposition's attitude is making us a laughing stock on the global arena. The media says this House has witnessed the highest number of disruptions. But the government itself is solely responsible for this situation," Swaraj said.

Swaraj blamed the government for stalling the PAC report on 2G scam by creating ruckus, preparing a draft JPC report on the issue which went "completely against the facts" and the Law Minister "changing the CBI report on the coal scam in his office".

"And now they claim that the Law Minister was only correcting grammatical mistakes," she said.

Terming the UPA government as "the most corrupt since Independence", the BJP leader a series of scams have surfaced since it took over and "each new scam breaks the past record."

While the Commonwealth Games scam had caused a loss of Rs 70,000 crore, the 2G spectrum scam led to a Rs 1.76 lakh crore loss and the coal scam resulted in the "loot" of Rs 1.86 lakh crore. "And they want to stop us from speaking out," she said.

Maintaining that a responsible opposition acted as a "watchdog", Swaraj asked, "Are we stopping the session for our personal interests or for quota permit for our family members? Even the Supreme Court has said this government has broken the trust and shaken the foundations.

"Yesterday you called us for a meeting and said there will be financial crisis if the money bills are not passed. But we cannot be a party to their passage and neither can we obstruct their passage. So we will stage a walkout," she said.

Swaraj made it clear that only the four issues agreed at the BAC meeting yesterday -- Finance Bill, Appropriations Bills, Demand for Grants and the Rail Budget -- should be taken up. "No other business," she said.

She made it clear that after today's Supreme Court observations on CBI affidavit on coal blocks allocation scam, they "will not co-operate with the government in any manner".

To this, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said the government has nothing to hide and was ready to discuss issues.

Nath said he was distressed to hear Opposition accusing the government of not allowing Parliament to run.