02 August, 2021

Hauteur Balloon

An impassive Modi is of no help in thawing the House freeze

Illustration by Saahil
Hauteur Balloon

“Who was the prime minister when 63 MPs were suspended in March 1989?” asked a desolate Venkaiah Naidu, the voluble Union minister for parliamentary affairs, addressing the media in his office in Parliament, even as the Opposition denounced Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s order suspending 25 Congress MPs for unruly behaviour two days ago. “So, does the Congress believe 25 MPs today is more than 63?” he asked sardonically. Naidu’s chagrin hits the sorest point of the Modi government—how did the Congress’s 44 MPs take on an absolute government with full majority, the first in 30 years?

If the triumphant Modi government of a year ago believed the crushed Congress and other vanquished Opposition parties would just roll over and die, it was sorely mistaken. It sho­uld have known that you have to win the battle in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha for key policies and legislation to be passed. So what if you don’t have the numbers in the Upper House, the Raisina Rules clearly lay down how to win friends and influence...

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