More than 18,000 people, including India's top industrialists, have launched an online signature campaign urging all political parties to "have a collaborative and consultative process in the Parliament" and allow it to "function, debate and legislate".
In the campaign that was launched on August 7 on change.org by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), leading businessmen have criticised the repeated disruptions in Parliament and demanded that both Houses be allowed to take up proposals like the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
The online petition has been signed by industrialist like Sunil Munjal, Adi Godrej, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Rahul Bajaj, Anu Aga, Ajay Sriram, Sumit Mazumder and Kris Gopalakrishnan. Doctors, diplomats and academicians have also signed it.
"Recent events have been disheartening. They have the potential of eroding popular faith in Parliament. Perpetual disruption can never be the rule. Street demonstrations against the Chair of the Lower House are of unprecedented scale. The Lower house is without some opposition members. The upper house is perpetually adjourned," the petition says.
"The importance of uninterrupted legislative function of the Parliament can hardly be over emphasized. Important laws like the Constitution amendments in Goods and Services Tax which improves India's growth rate is held up," it adds.
"GST has taken a long time in coming and has taken years of consensus building, and CII has time and again reiterated that this could significantly contribute to India's and States' growth. India has to grow in order to alleviate poverty and create jobs."
Screen grab of the petition on change.org
Reacting to the campaign, Congress leader Manish Tewari came out with all guns blazing and asked on Twitter whether corporate India wants Parliament to heed to their diktats.
"Comical where was corporate India's concern & concierge when BJP wiped out session after session for 10 years? Rockefeller moment souring ROPI (Return on Political Investment) floundering now they want Parliament to bow to their ditkats Will it be parliament of corporates?" Tewari tweeted.
The government succeeded in introducing the goods and services tax bill in Rajya Sabha, but the House was adjourned for the day shortly afterwards amid protests by the Congress party.
The Congress has not let Parliament function, demanding the resignation of foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje for allegedly helping former IPL chief Lalit Modi get UK travel documents. The Congress also wants the ouster of Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over the multi-crore Vyapam admission and recruitment scam.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi has reportedly told her party MPs to toughen their stand against the government and both Houses of Parliament have seen repeated adjournments with a complete washout of the monsoon session inevitable with only two days left for Parliament to function.