Published On: Thu, Feb 9th, 2017

Modi government undermining parliamentary democracy: Yechury

New Delhi: Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury on Thursday said the Narendra Modi government was undermining parliamentary democracy by evading its accountability to the elected members of Parliament.

He said that he and Janata Dal United leader Sharad Yadav had tried to intervene at certain points

“We have asked the government to disclose how much money has returned to the RBI post-demonetisation. But what we got in response was highly disparaging remarks and abuse. This government is not showing any accountability to the people,” Yechury said.

The Left leader observed that it would be “for the first time perhaps” in Parliament’s history that the Vice President, who is the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, did not preside over the adoption of Motion of Thanks to the President’s address.

“Yesterday, (Wednesday) the Chairman stood up and tried to explain the traditions of the House to members, including the Prime Minister… the Prime Minister did not concede. And soon after, the Chairman left the House,” Yechury said.

However, Yechury refused to elaborate as to why exactly in his view the Vice President left the House at that point in time.

“You may draw your own conclusion. But this is for the first time in my memory, and in Parliament’s history perhaps, that the Vice President did not preside over the adoption of Motion of Thanks,” he said.

He said that he and Janata Dal United leader Sharad Yadav had tried to intervene at certain points during the Prime Minister’s reply to the debate on the Motion of Thanks, but were asked by the Prime Minister to sit down.

“At one point, Modi made a direct reference to me and the politics of my party. At that point, as a tradition of the House, I had a right to intervene and put things in perspective. But he told me to sit down saying he would listen to me later. He did the same thing to Sharad Yadav,” Yechury said.

He said that usually when a speaker on the floor makes a direct reference to another member, that member can intervene and as a tradition of Parliament, the speaker yields and allows the member to explain his point.

“The Chairman stood up and tried to explain this tradition. But he (Modi) did not concede… He only wants to be heard, doesn’t want to hear others,” he said.

Yechury said although the RBI was not parting with figures about how much money has come back, the other data revealed by the central bank — that of money in circulation and money with people — shows that almost all the demonetised amount of money has come back to the bank.

“They (ruling party) are undermining parliamentary democracy. But this doesn’t end here. It will continue when Parliament meets again after the recess next month,” he said.

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