A majority of citizens are frustrated to see Parliament crippled by disruptions and feel radical measures may be needed to prevent a breakdown of the country’s top legislature, an online survey has shown.
Among a representative sample of 19,000 people, 92% wanted the ongoing Parliament session to be extended to account for person-days lost to disruptions, according to the survey by localcircles.com, a website devoted to citizens’ engagement.
Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have seen major Opposition-sponsored disruptions this winter session. Only a handful of legislations could be passed so far, and key bills, such the Good and Services Tax bill, are still stuck.
According to data from PRS Legislative Research, a think-tank, the question hour has been a major “casualty” of these disruptions. The question hour, when MPs can raise pre-listed questions of public importance, could function for 87% of the allotted time in Lok Sabha, while in Rajya Sabha, it functioned for 15% of the time.
According to the findings, 86% respondents wanted the Opposition to be given “dedicated days” for their agenda, while 97% favoured parliamentary reform of some sort to prevent disruptions.
About 76% of the respondents were male, while 24% female.
“In our survey, people said they were frustrated to see Parliament being disrupted repeatedly and the feeling is that MPs don’t work the way citizens want them to work. It captured a sense of angst,” said Yatish Rajawat of localcircles.com.
Those who wanted some kind of parliamentary reform also favoured that on “Opposition days”, Opposition parties should have rights to exclusively dictate the agenda for legislative business.
Lok Sabha speaker chides Congress
Protesting Congress MPs earned a sharp response from Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Tuesday.
As the Congress continued protesting over the DDCA row despite BJD MP Baijayant ‘Jai’ Panda appealing to them to remain silent, Mahajan said, “Unka koi national interest nahi hai. Unka vested interest hi hai (They don’t have any national interest, they only have vested interest).”