Our Missing MPs

Price rise has become the weapon being used by BJP to unsettle the UPA government. The Opposition has left no stone unturned. They have shouted left, right and center, hurling dung bombs at the government in power. The Third Front has organized numerous rallies to protest against the skyrocketing prices.

While the Opposition has alleged incompetence on the UPA’S part, the UPA has given price rise a very important status in its priority list. As elections loom in, the government has gone in overdrive mode to fight the peril of price rise to gain the common man’s precious vote. The UPA government is worried that it might have to brave the common man’s wrath and the Opposition is twisting the situation to its sweet advantage. To summarize, price rise is certainly giving the government many a sleepless nights, or so it seems…

When it came to taking an active role, their fervor and enthusiasm vanished into thin air. Wednesday’s parliament session provides testimony to this fact. Both houses witnessed very thin attendance on the debate of price rise. Our Finance Minister saw a lonely parliamentary session with hardly any company. And those who somehow managed to make it were quick to rectify their actions by making a speedy exit. It comes as quite a shock considering that inflation seems to be a near and dear issue for all political parties. Where were the MPs when the empty seats of parliament beckoned them to come and offer a remedy for the malady called inflation?

Our camera friendly MPs never deter from sharing pearls of wisdom with the aam janta over the T.V or through the print media. On National TV, the BJP enacts the part of the good Samaritan, portraying the Congress as a blood thirsty fiend. They love playing the role of a savior in this highly televised drama. But they seem to get cold feet when it comes to living the same role in real life. So instead of seriously taking the debate on a matter which has upset all strata of Indian society, they made a mockery of it by mass bunking the crucial session. When BJP’s Kiran Maheswari spoke yesterday, she hardly had any of her party members to hear her.

It seems the ministers prefer to shrug of the responsibility of smooth functioning of our economy. Or do they consider themselves incapable of elucidating the problem at hand?

How is the country to function when the overseers of the nation distance themselves from actively solving problems? The government of the people, for the people and by the people seems not to be bothered about the people.

This has not been the first time that the parliament had to grapple with mass absenteeism. Past sessions on issues like agrarian crisis and farmer suicides had similar stories to tell.

It is famously said that with power comes great responsibility, but it seems that our MPs would prefer power without the attached baggage of responsibilities. They would rather get their share of celluloid space to convey how much they care about such causes.

The common anthem of MPs seems to be: We don’t need no parliament sessions…

Last year, more than Rs. 20 crore were lost on account of parliament disruptions. It had been expected that per minute expenditure of running the Lok Sabha was Rs. 24, 632. Im sure with the inflation, this expenditure must have also risen significantly. After all, our MPs need good care don’t they? Of course, it is another thing altogether if they don’t turn up. Perhaps the best thing would be to put the shutters down on our beloved Parliament. That way, we can use the money set aside for maintenance of the Houses to hopefully relieve the common man of the inflation pressure, at least momentarily.

Let’s hope for the best!

Apurva Joshi


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