AK Antony: Modi govt deliberately making Parliament irrelevant

The disregard for the sanctity and rituals of Parliament is a part of a well-thought strategy of Modi government, says AK Antony, former Defence Minister in an interview with National Herald

Photo by Saumya Khandelwal/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Saumya Khandelwal/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Bhasha Singh

The disregard for sanctity and rituals of Parliament is a part of a well-thought strategy of Modi government, says AK Antony, former Defence Minister, MP and senior Congress leader with decades of experience in Parliament. Antony said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP are deliberately making Parliament irrelevant. This is being done according to a plan to bring about a bigger change in the political framework by the BJP, alleged Antony, that is why there is no attempt being made by the government to stop the protest in the Parliament. Excerpts from an interview with National Herald’s Bhasha Singh.

There have been continuous disruptions in Parliament. What is the government doing about it?

As far as I remember, this is the first time that government is not working out a solution. Earlier also, there have been disruptions in Parliament, but the government use to work out a solution. Right now, the Modi government doesn’t want Parliament to work and they are enjoying this situation. To avoid getting cornered by the Opposition, Modi government wants to impede the function of Parliament. They want to run away from facing questions on the biggest scam till date—the PNB scam.

Telugu Desam Party and YSR Congress are planning to move no-confidence motions against the Modi government. But, as you say, the government is not allowing Parliament to function. Has this happened before?

Absolutely correct, this hasn’t happened before. Today, I read what two past Speakers wrote; they explained that according to tradition, whenever no-confidence motion is presented, no other procedure is carried out in Parliament. It is the first thing that is discussed in Parliament, till the time it is voted on. Right now, the Speaker wants to skip this. At least, the Speaker can ask the members who are in favour and in against the no-confidence motion to raise their hands. But the government is totally ignoring the issue. They are doing it to fulfill their interests. They are running it all according to their will.

But the government is saying that it’s the Opposition that is not allowing Parliament to function?

I am in the Rajya Sabha and the Opposition made it clear there that they want discussion. Congress wants discussion. Now this is the responsibility of the government that they allow the Parliament to function. We want to have a discussion on the Iraq tragedy. How the government lied to the families of the victims. We want to have discussion on giving special status to Andhra Pradesh. The government wants to ignore the debates on no-confidence motion. This is the first time that the government is not even making a single attempt to let the Parliament function properly.

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