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BJP-led Centre made Parliament 'notice board, rubber stamp': Tharoor

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BJP-led Centre made Parliament notice board, rubber stamp: Tharoor
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Shashi Tharoor (file photo)

Jaipur: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said that the BJP government in the Centre had reduced the Parliament to a "notice board and a rubber stamp", PTI reported.

Speaking at the Jaipur Literature Festival, he stated that the government has managed to part with the democratic spirit of the Constitution, tightening the already stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), which had kept journalists like Siddique Kappan in jail for two years without bail.

At a session Sustaining Democracy; Nurturing Democracy", he said that the government took many autocratic decisions without having to declare an emergency.

"You can call this an undeclared emergency," he said.

The Thiruvananthapuram MP said, "They did it under the ambit of the law and Constitution. Look at something like the tightening of the UAPA, which has resulted in people getting thrown into jail without charge and bail in some cases for two years like the instance of Siddique Kappan."

He said that such instances lead to the question of "whether our Constitution is too easily subverted in an undemocratic way".

He said, "Under (Jawaharlal) Nehru, we had a parliament in which even ruling party members could challenge their prime minister, the minister of finance was forced to resign over a scandal exposed by backbenchers, and we saw the prime minister held accountable to Parliament even during the 1962 China war."

"Today, I am sorry to say... our government has successfully reduced the Parliament to a notice board and a rubber stamp. It is a notice board for the government to announce whatever it wants to do, and it is a rubber stamp because their crushing majority obediently passes every bill in exactly the form it comes from the cabinet."

According to him, in the first seven decades of independence, democracy deepened in India.

"You saw democratic institutions acquire more power, more vigour. Look at the Election Commission. You saw a commission that had more formal authority than ever been exercised by the earlier incumbents and actually becoming a rather formidable instrument that controlled the political parties and their behaviours, he said.

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TAGS:Shashi Tharoor Parliament BJP Centre 
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