The Congress on Wednesday ruled out withdrawing its members from the Joint Committee of Parliament on Land Bill, asserting that the party would put forth its views on record.
“No. There is no question,” Congress deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma said when asked if the party would withdraw its members from the panel as the government has re-promulgated the relevant ordinance.
“We will put our views on record even if we are in a minority in that panel,” he said.
“As a matter of principle, we want to say what we have to say in the panel because we have no choice there. We will oppose (the Land Bill). We have to because we believe in Parliamentary scrutiny,” the senior Congress leader said.
The former Union Minister alleged that the NDA government is functioning in a “very unhealthy and undemocratic manner”, and seeking to bypass legislative scrutiny.
“This government has made standing committees of Parliament redundant because no bills are being referred to them. Out of 53 bills that have been brought in, 43 have not undergone any Parliamentary scrutiny,” he charged.
Mr. Sharma’s comments came a day after Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said “the government’s blatant disregard for Parliament cannot be ignored”.
“We are in touch with other parties,” Mr. Ramesh said on Tuesday when asked by PTI whether Congress was in touch with other opposition parties for a possible joint action on the issue.
Mr. Ramesh, who was Rural Development Minister in UPA when the Land bill was passed in 2013, said the party definitely believed that third time promulgation is a “huge insult to Parliament and makes a mockery of the select committee. We are in touch with Opposition parties”.