25 September, 2020

Dumb Charades

Political parties lash out at a 'rigged' PMO but refuse to stick their necks out in Parliament

Dumb Charades
Even though major political parties have not raised the issue in Parliament, many MPs are agitated over the manner in which the Prime Minister's Office (pmo) has been overstepping its brief, riding roughshod over secretaries and interfering with the functioning of ministries. The pmo's role has came in for much criticism. Despite this, last week's mysterious silence in the House is inexplicable.

At the core of the criticism is the concern that the pmo is pandering to a few business lobbies and providing them patronage. This, many feel, is undermining the office of the PM. A cross-section of MPs who spoke to Outlook maintain that the "proactive manner" of Vajpayee's office had only increased over the past one year. Says Congress spokesperson Jaipal Reddy: "In the last of couple of years, the pmo has emerged as an extra-constitutional authority. This is subversive and virtually amounts to the exercise of power sans responsibility and is a dangerous trend."

Rajya Sabha MP and legal luminary Kapil Sibal was more vocal: "The parliamentary system of government can't be...


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