Articles

By using ordinances the government is mocking Parliament

After President Pranab Mukherjee, it is now Speaker of the Lok Sabha Sumitra Mahajan who has cautioned against the repeated and knee-jerk use of ordinances. Speaking at a conference in Lucknow, she said, “Ordinances should be kept to the minimum as far as possible. They have a very limited life and need to be passed by Parliament to become a law.”

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Women shakti and the big TMC bypoll win

The recent by-elections in West Bengal, for the Bongaon parliamentary seat and the Krishnaganj assembly seat, resulted in big victories for the Trinamool Congress. They established the trend, evident in the 2014 Lok Sabha election and subsequent by-elections, that Trinamool remains the dominant party in the state. However, the CPI(M) is slipping rapidly from its second position and ceding ground to the BJP. Of course, both these parties are too far behind Trinamool for us to be seriously worried.

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Why Bengal was kept out of the Republic Day parade

All day several friends have called to ask why the West Bengal tableau was missing from the Republic Day parade in Delhi. The absence has particularly disappointed and hurt a lot of us because West Bengal had won the award for the best tableau in 2014.

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Respite for 4000 soldiers… happy to have played a very small role.

It was a weekend in early August and I found myself watching an NDTV programme anchored by Barkha Dutt. One of the studio guests was an articulate young lawyer called Navdeep Singh. He spoke about how pension claims of disabled soldiers, those who had lost limb or suffered injury in the service of India, were often contested by the Ministry of Defence. In fact 90 per cent of the legal cases being fought by the Ministry related to disabled soldiers and their pension claims.

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FDI in Insurance Bill? No, not so easy.

Few noticed but a remarkable and potentially far-reaching event happened late on Tuesday evening. A crucial meeting of the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Insurance Bill, scheduled for Wednesday, November 12, suddenly got called off. Somewhere, at some point, the government lost its nerve.

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Electoral reality of Bengal versus the BJP hype

Ever the master of hype, the BJP is feeding news channels in Delhi that it is a “big force” in West Bengal. Innocent of ground realities in West Bengal, these channels are dutifully reporting this joke as a fact. What is the reality? Consider the two recent assembly by-elections in West Bengal, Chowringhee and Basirhat South. These took place in September and tested the limits of the BJP’s advance in the state.

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The Black Money Fiasco

… The BJP has made a laughing stock of itself. The higher they rise, the harder they fall. Narendra Modi’s crack communication strategy, which served him so well in the past few years and hyped and exaggerated his achievements in Gujarat to an extraordinary degree before the 2014 Lok Sabha election, suddenly seems to have… Continue reading The Black Money Fiasco

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Is This How Parliament Deserves To Be Treated?

Sabha and I had walked across to the last row of Central Hall (the hall which both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members share during a break), where the Trinamool MPs customarily sit. We were chatting when there was a hullabaloo. A Lok Sabha MP rushed out, rubbing his eyes and shouting, “Spray, spray… it’s gas…” I couldn’t stop him to ask questions but soon there was another MP, and then a third and then a whole rush. It was crazy. I hadn’t seen such a scene in my 32 months in Parliament.

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