Can BJP Government Enforce Discipline and Dedication in MPs?

BJP MP's to be more disciplined

Discipline and Dedication needed in BJP MPs

While our new PM was delivering an hour-long speech at an ‘Orientation Camp’ in Haryana on Saturday, far away in some smug corner, ex-Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar must have been reminiscing the harrowing days she had to go through during her tenure. Well, you might not see any coherence between the two disparate happenings, but it’s there for you to find.

The two-day orientation camp for the BJP MPs is a fresh initiative by the government to lay down the foundation for its party MPs when it comes to following parliamentary procedures and ethics. Harping on the three precise actions – aachar (conduct) vichaar (introspect) and vyabhar (behavior), the PM sent a clear directive to the MPs to focus solely on their work and become an expert in at least one issue pertaining to their respective constituencies.

As with the case of Cabinet Ministers, even the first-time MPs have been asked them to create a future roadmap for their constituencies and present a plan of action before the government.

I see some ounce of positivity in the way Modi is going about nipping the problems in the bud rather than waiting for the damage to occur. Moreover, he has shown parity in dealing with his Cabinet Ministers as well as the MPs. This could be one of the earlier proofs that he holds both the groups at equal footing.

Proceedings of both Houses of the Parliament had often reached nadir due to ugly scenes of behavioral excesses, disgraceful reactions of the MPs, prolonged ruckus created by the effing parliamentarians, and forced adjournments of the sessions. In fact, the last two succeeding terms of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were fraught with acts that defied civility.

During the 14th Lok Sabha session, 10 MPs were expelled by the UPA Government after it was unearthed by a news channel that they had received “cash inducements” to raise questions in the Parliament. Such flouting of parliamentary ethics eclipsed country’s image to a great extent. Besides this specific ignoble incident, our MPs have also been periodically indulging in disrupting the democratic process, creating hurdles in parliamentary decision-making and hence, not ensuring smooth passage of innumerable bills introduced in the House.

It would be difficult to find a parallel to the anarchy caused by the MPs over Telangana Bifurcation. As Merira Kumar rightly asserted, frequent disruptions in Parliament diminished the credibility of the institution and proved “lethal” for India’s democratic system. If Parliament meets and fails to pass laws, its purpose gets defeated. Key Bills being stalled over a handful of clauses and minor disagreements among the coalition partners also greatly affect Parliament’s productivity.

With Modi coming at the helm of power and initiating such a move to sensitize new MPs about the importance of introspection and meaningful debates, a possible transformation in the way they work cannot be ruled out. Meanwhile, BJP government seems to be leaving no stone unturned to make MPs realize the responsibilities they carry. It’s not just good conduct that we expect from the MPs, but also a political piety that would keep them away from nepotism and corruption.

May the BJP MPs take good care of their constituencies and “become harbingers of social and economic change.”