16 May, 2021

‘MPs Must Be Able To Vote Across Party Lines’

Photograph by Jitender Gupta
‘MPs Must Be Able To Vote Across Party Lines’

Congress MP and author Shashi Tharoor talks to Preetha Nair about the importance of private member’s bills, how it’s undermined, yet can still play a significant role.

Parliament has passed the transgender bill, a private member’s bill tabled by DMK MP Tiruchi Siva. However, it’s after 45 years that the Upper House had passed a private member’s bill. Though it’s believed that the concept of PMB is central to dem­ocracy, why do we have such a dismal record?

I think the demise of PMBs as a potent tool for policy contributions and filling gaps which the executive branch of government have missed is, in many ways, a reflection of a malaise within Parliament. Today, the role of Parliament has changed from the original intention of it being a deliberative body to a tool to rubber-stamp the government’s agenda. Particularly in the last six years, we have seen a pattern of blatant disregard for constructive criticism and collaborative policymaking,...

More from Preetha Nair

Latest Magazine

May 24, 2021

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section