I disagree with the points made in the editorial of March 4. After the disastrous showing of the 15th Lok Sabha, promulgating ordinances would have been the best way to save Bills. It would have been far better to choose this way forward than having Bills being passed by legislators whose prime motive is to seek political gains and whose tune keeps changing by the hour. Moreover, critical Bills like the Lokpal take years to pass due to the increasingly dysfunctional working of Parliament.
Issuing ordinances (though theoretically undemocratic) cannot be considered undemocratic if examined in the current context. If our politicians are unwilling to deliver the goods in Parliament on account of partisan political interests, the citizens of India cannot be made to wait endlessly and pay a heavy price. Bills like the Right to Services and Grievance Redress are essential to weed out lower level corruption. Moreover, only those Bills that have received wide political sanction and are clearly in the wider public interest, but which could not be passed due to disruptions, should be considered for the ordinance route. The next Parliament will have full power to withdraw or amend these ordinances. Surely, Article 123 was not framed envisaging a dysfunctional Parliament in the manner witnessed during the tenure of the 15th Lok Sabha.
While conceding that the very thought of a last-minute resort to ordinances was ill-advised at the fag end of the government’s term, none can ignore the fact that the cause for that was continuous disruptions of parliamentary proceedings by some group or the other. Unwittingly, the planned anti-corruption measures have got wide publicity before the election.