The consumer confidence index in India has been continuously rising since December 2011 except for a dip in June this year
LK Advani’s reference to the events going into 2008 was totally inappropriate and uncalled for which were a violation of parliamentary norms and a waste of precious time and public money just to score political brownie points
The opening day of the monsoon session of Parliament session saw democratic values hitting an abject new low. The Leader of the Opposition and a BJP leader of long standing, possibly longer than any of the young MPs, sounding more like an angry old man rather than the grand old leader of the principal opposition party in the Lok Sabha.
Lal Krishna Advani initiated a parliamentary debate with a disparaging reference to the 2008 confidence vote by horribly mixing his facts and describing the subsequent UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government ‘illegitimate’ thundering—“Never in Indian history crores of rupees were spent to win votes in the House.” When pandemonium broke out, the usually unflappable UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, for the first time in 14 years was seen getting agitated to angrily gesture wildly pointing fingers to intervene as many as nine times and signal Congress MPs to retaliate by stonewalling Advani. This prompted the Speaker to threaten to rule that she would order the expunction of the ‘objectionable’ remarks. It was only after Advani withdrew the remark by clarifying that he was referring to the “2008 cash–for-vote” scam that he was allowed to continue his speech.
Media went overboard to scream with headlines—“Advani loses UPA plot, Sonia her cool” said one, another—“Angry Sonia makes Advani swallow his illegal words in LS”. It has rightly questioned the relevance and context of Advani’s remark when the parliamentary procedures require speeches on such occasions to be restricted only to matters under notice for adjournment censure motion and discussion and on urgent current matters.
In this case the notice was for discussion on the government’s continuing failure on the Assam violence. His reference to the events going into 2008 was totally inappropriate by being irrelevant and uncalled for and went on to strongly condemn the violation of parliamentary norms and a waste of precious time and public money just to score political brownie points.
(Nagesh Kini is a Mumbai-based chartered accountant turned activist.)