Are we delivering pizzas or passing legislation, TMC MP Derek O'Brien wondered on Wednesday, continuing his attack on the government over the speed with which bills have been passed during this Parliament session.
On Tuesday, the Trinamool Congress MP had said that the way the bills were being passed amounted to a "mockery of Parliament" and was the government's way of "smothering" the Opposition.
"Parliament is supposed to scrutinize Bills. This chart explains the bulldozing this Session. Are we delivering pizzas or passing legislation?" he tweeted on Wednesday.
O'Brien also attached a chart purportedly showing the contrast in numbers -- during 2004-2009, 60 per cent of the total bills by Parliament were scrutinised, during 2009-2014, this went up to 71 per cent, from 2014-2019 the number came down to 26 per cent. In the present Lok Sabha, of the 18 bills passed, only one underwent scrutiny, bringing the number down to 5 per cent, he claimed.
Passage of the Triple Talaq Bill on Tuesday in Rajya Sabha was helped by a series of walkouts and abstentions. The bill received stiff opposition when it was tabled in the Lok Sabha. But several of the parties that opposed it, which included Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal (United), AIADMK and K Chandrashekar Rao's Telangana Rashtra Samithi, ended up helping the bill to pass.
AIADMK and JD(U) walked out, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi and Mehbooba Mufti's PDP stayed away from voting, which brought down the majority mark.
Many of opposition lawmakers abstained from voting. While 12 of the 13 Trinamool Congress members in the Rajya Sabha voted, one lawmaker - KD Singh - stayed away.
Last week, Brien had said that the government has used its brute majority in the Lok Sabha to bulldoze the "faulty RTI Bill". The bill passed the Rajya Sabha test too despite the opposition's objections. "Parliament has to scrutinise. It needs time for scrutiny. This is not a T-20 match," O'Brien had said.
Seventeen opposition parties had written to Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu last week on the "hurried" passage of bills.