NEW DELHI: With the 2019 Lok Sabha elections round the corner, the Narendra Modi government is seemingly staring at the prospects of a looming legislative paralysis. The Budget session remained paralysed for 23 days, with both Houses of Parliament failing to transact any legislative business. This seems to have refreshed the memories of 2013 when the entire winter session was washed out.Amid a complete breakdown in working relations between the treasury benches and the Opposition, NDA floor managers are increasingly becoming pessimistic of productive monsoon and winter sessions ahead of the Lok Sabha.
Political observers recall the 2013 stand-off, when the NDA, which was then in the Opposition, began disrupting Parliament during the monsoon session and forced a complete wash-out of the winter session, thus thrusting the perception of policy paralysis in the popular discourse. The NDA government is currently faced with the challenge to get not less than 30 Bills, pending either in the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha, passed. Some of the legislations are politically sensitive for the ruling NDA, which include the Bills against triple talaq and the repeal of OBC Commission.
Besides, there are a host of legislative proposals which seek to give more teeth to regulators against financial frauds and tightening measures against black money. Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill and Banning of Unregulated Deposit Scheme Bill are among the stuck legislative proposals.The Modi government is left with a narrow legislative window to complete the mounting list of Bills awaiting parliamentary nod. Fierce politicking is expected to only get further magnified, as the ruling BJP and the main Opposition Congress will locked in a bitter battle during the winter Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, which are seen as a semifinal for the Lok Sabha elections.
While the monsoon session is expected in July-August, the winter session may be summoned in October-November. The crucial state polls where the BJP and Congress will be locked in a direct contest are likely to be held in November.
“The monsoon and the winter sessions are the only legislative windows available for the Modi government. There is a clear sense that the pattern of disruptions, as seen in the second half of the Budget session, would return with greater force. The scope for legislative businesses appears too narrow now,” said a top ranking BJP leader. With key legislations already stuck before the Rajya Sabha, the Modi government could just be leaving a mountain of Bills for its successor post-2019 verdict.
Key pending Bills
● The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill
● The Representation of People (Amendment) Bill
● National Medical Council Bill
● Muslim Women (Protection of Rights of Marriage) Bill
● The Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill
● The National Council of Technical Education Bill
● The Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill
● Consumer Protection Bill
● The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill
● The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill
● The Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Appellate Division of High Court Bill
● Protection of Human Right (Amendment) Bill
● Surrogacy Regulations (Amendment) Bill
● The Transgender Protection of Rights Bill
● The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill
● The Banning of Unregulated Deposit Scheme Bill