Hobbled House

Main opposition party People’s Democratic Party has also decided to stay away from the proceedings of Legislative Council following the decision of the LC chairman to disallow the privilege motion moved by the party against the senior National Conference leader and legislator Dr Mustafa Kamal  who has made adverse remarks against PDP legislators, even terming the PDP patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed as “evil genius”. Earlier, the party has boycotted the budget session of the Assembly over the union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde’s refusal to return the remains of the Mohammad Afzal Guru.  This has hobbled the functioning of the Assembly which has been more or less left with the ruling coalition members transacting the business. True, one can see a rationale for the PDP’s decision to boycott the legislative session. There is a genuine concern in Valley about the capacity of the state assembly to commensurately represent the legitimate aspirations of the people. In the instant case, it was the Assembly’s inability to assert the public demand for the return of the Guru remains to his family after his execution on February 9.  And while the house was debating the issue, the union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said that Guru’s body will not be send back. This, in one stroke, rendered the discussions in the Assembly meaningless and futile. More so, it undermines the stature of the house in the eyes of people who expect it not only to reflect their aspirations but also deliver on them. But the issue is that can the story end at boycotting the Assembly sessions. Or does the answer lie in staging walkouts, as PDP does quite often.  House certainly has to transact a lot of other business where we need the major opposition party as a vibrant participant in the house discussions. This also denies a huge constituency across the state which elected PDP without a voice in the Assembly. But by boycotting the Assembly proceedings, PDP has been shirking this role. But at the same time, it is incumbent on the ruling coalition to as far as accommodate and respond to  the concerns of the opposition. For both NC and PDP to live up to their primary role of providing a better governance to the state, they will not only have to be bitterly at odds with each other and hold each other to account but also think of ways to work together and ensure the assembly sessions transact some business. At the same time, the house also needs to assert its role. Moreover PDP must not forget that by a mere walk out they can win the hearts and minds of people they claim to represent. Mufti Muhammad Syed as a party patron must know the difference between showing concern and doing expedient politics.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 20 Mar 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 20 Mar 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 21 Mar 2013 00:00:00 IST

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