Parliamentary panels junked to avoid scrutiny: Yechury

Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service 
Kolkata, July 23

CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Tuesday accused the Modi 2.0 government of launching “a systematic attack on constitutional authorities and order”.

Addressing a press conference here, Yechury said the BJP-led Union government wanted to pass various important legislations without scrutiny by parliamentary standing committees.  While the existing practice was to constitute parliamentary committees as soon as the MPs took oath after the general elections, not a single parliamentary committee had been constituted till date this time.

Yechury, who is here in connection with a meeting of the CPI(M) state committee,  said the central government  wants to pass 17 important legislations in five days and they want all these bill to be passed without consideration by any committee. 

Committee considerations are important because that is where all the implications of a legislation are properly and thoroughly discussed, the CPI(M) leader said. Stakeholders are called for their opinionsand only then a decision regarding the content of the bill is arrived at, Yechurisaid and added that junking the process amounted to playing truant with parliamentary practices.

The CPI(M) chief said the Bills in question included important legislations pertaining to the RTI, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA Act) and other bills. The proposed amendment in the RTI Act would destroy the entire essence of the Act, Yechury said. 

Yechury said the UAPA Act would give power to the NIA to go to any state without informing the elected state government and confiscate the property of anyone that the NIA suspected to be a terrorist.

Journalists, people branded as ‘urban Maoists’ and others like them will have to bear the brunt of this legislation, Yechury said and added that the proposed law also would undermine the rights of a state government.

Questioning the role of Election Commission, Yechury said when the EC was asked under the RTI Act if the VVPAT vote figures and the EVM vote figures matched, the answer given was that it did not have the data. 

“Can you imagine? After their (EC’s) own order saying that every polling officer will have to send the information to the Central Election Commission within 36 hours, now they say they don’t have such information”, Yechury said.

The CPI(M) leader said this raises serious questions about the EC’s role and the “authenticity” of EVMs. Opposition parties would be meeting soon to discuss this issue, he said.

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