Santosh Kumar Pathak analyses whether the ongoing bitterness between the ruling party and the opposition finally end in 2022?
In a democracy like India which is based on the parliamentary ruling system, one of the most burning questions in 2022 is whether Parliament will be able to function smoothly? Will the work in both the Houses of Parliament take place in a peaceful manner in the coming year instead of the constant din and ruckus by the opposition parties?
Will the ongoing bitterness between the ruling party and the opposition finally end in 2022? Will all parties together agree to run the House smoothly or not? Given the current political atmosphere in the country and the recent developments taking place, all these questions do not seem to evoke a positive response.
Talking about the sessions of Parliament in 2022, the first session will begin with the Budget Session. For the last several years, the Budget Session now begins in the last week of January which proceeds with the President’s address followed by the presentation of the Union Budget on February 1. Normally this session is held in two phases till May.
The first phase of the session begins with the President’s address followed by debate on the Union Budget presented by the Finance Minister and then the Union government gets it passed on the floor of the House. The Union government makes all requisite efforts to run Parliament with the cooperation of all parties present in the House. Although many times in the past such efforts have failed and the uproar by the opposition has continued. Amid the din, the government has been able to pass the Budget as well as the motion of thanks to the President’s Address.
Even as the Budget session is on, the poll campaign will also be at its peak in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa. All party leaders across different party lines would be levelling allegations and counter-allegations against each other. In such a situation, the elections are likely to dominate the proceedings in Parliament as well.
In view of this, it can be said that in the first phase of the first session of Parliament (Budget session) in 2022, if the political parties do not agree, then there is bound to be a ruckus. However, if the election results are in favour of the ruling party BJP, then the second phase of the Budget Session can go on peacefully.
The second session of Parliament, known as the Monsoon Session, is usually held in July-August. The impact of the Presidential election to be held in July and the Vice-President’s election in August 2022 will have bearing on the Monsoon Session of Parliament.
A few months after the formation of new governments in all the five poll-bound states, the impact of the election results will also be clear during this session. If the poll results come in favour of the BJP, the opposition is bound to appear weak and if the results go against the BJP, the opposition will be seen aggressively cornering the government in Parliament.
The construction of the new Parliament House is likely to be completed by November 2022 and hence the last session of Parliament, i.e., the Winter Session in 2022 will be held in the new Parliament House. During this session, the state Assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh will be at its peak and its impact will be visible in both the Houses of Parliament.
There has been a lack of communication and trust between the ruling government and the opposition parties which was clearly evident during the recent Parliament session. Therefore, despite the consensus reached many times during the Business Advisory Committee meetings regarding the functioning of the House, there was ruckus on the floor of the House.
How big a challenge it is to run Parliament smoothly in 2022 can be gauged from the recent statement given by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on December 22, the last day of the recently adjourned Winter session of Parliament. He had said that Parliament must become the centre of discussion and dialogue so from time-to-time he will keep interacting with all the parties.
Sometimes the treasury and opposition benches reach a consensus while at other times they don’t. The Lok Sabha Speaker said that he would continue to make efforts to run the House without ruckus and hoped that it would yield positive results in the future.