People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 35

September 01,2013


CPI(M) Parliamentary Office

THIS week Rajya Sabha started with yet another uproar on the missing files and records of coal blocks allocation and the Lok Sabha adjourned for a day after making an obituary reference of a sitting member, Shri Dilip Singh Judev representing Bilaspur parliamentary constituency of Chhattisgarh.

The next day, attempts were made by the government to push through the National Food Security Bill in Lok Sabha but failed as proceedings of both the houses were disrupted repeatedly over the issue of missing files of coal blocks. The opposition insisted that this issue would be settled only with an explanation from the prime minister. The leader of the CPI(M) group, Sitaram Yechury asked the government for a clarification and stated that they are not conducting a probe, are not questioning anything else, as the Supreme Court is guiding an investigation and all that the House wanted to know was about the missing files. The responsibility of these files missing will be determined by who was controlling the ministry at that point of time when the files were missing. It is very logical and very simple that the House must know how these files are missing. If that is what the House wants to know, it is only appropriate that the minister, then in charge, should make this clarification to the House as to what is the status. In the midst of disruption after the statement given by the coal minister, Sriprakash Jaiswal, Yechury further said, “The CAG has presented a detailed report on this entire coal block allocations. The CAG has, obviously, gone through these files and presented its report. Since the CAG has access to the files, why can’t the Government get them from there? It is very simple. The government must have to tell us why these files are missing. Whether these files are missing or are stolen? If stolen, then whether the government has given any complaint or registered FIR regarding this files.”

Speaking under Calling Attention regarding the situation arising out of the repeated attacks on Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy, TK Rangarajan in Rajya Sabha said, “The fishermen have been suffering since 1983. Before this, our fishermen used to go everywhere and fish. Now there is no civil war in Sri Lanka and we are very close to Sri Lanka and our relationship is very good. Why is the government not discussing with the government of Sri Lanka and telling them that our fishermen should not be arrested. Every time, they are arrested, harassed and their catch is taken away and the boats are completely damaged. Our fishermen are in jail. According to the 2012 Agreement, both the countries agreed that use of force could not be justified under any circumstance. But now they have used their force. What is the reply of the government in this regard? The minister had discussion with the foreign minister of Sri Lanka last week. But, what was the real discussion, whether they discussed the problems of fishermen? If so, whether this can be solved without the knowledge of Tamilnadu. Finally, some of our fishermen are in Iranian jail. The government of Tamilnadu is helping their families. They should be released.”

Participating in the Rajya Sabha discussion on the clarification on statement regarding the incident of major fire onboard Indian Navy Submarine, Prasanta Chatterjee asked the actual figures of the people who died and were rescued in this incident. The action taken by the government for bereaved families, the steps and security measures to deal with any future accidents, were also enquired.

Tapan Kumar Sen in Rajya Sabha, while speaking about the large scale devastation caused by cloud bursts, flash floods and landslides recently in Uttarakhand, stated that there was a general estimate of the lost, including missing in this tragedy. About the estimate of pilgrims, it is near accurate. But the estimate of the loss of local people's lives is a total underestimate. In these areas, a big loss has taken place. That underestimation needs to be corrected if justice is to be done to the poor people. Most of the arterial roads in the state of Uttarakhand have got severely affected. Ensure proper relief and rehabilitation and develop and improve the connectivity, he said.


During this week, the Rajya Sabha passed a Bill that would strengthen and streamline the functioning of Waqf institutions and check rampant encroachment of Waqf property. While supporting the Waqf (Amendment) Bill 2011, CP Narayanan said, “The provision that a majority of members will be nominated, has to be changed. Democracy has to be observed. So far, the control of land was with the district administration. Now, it is being given to a tribunal. But in this tribunal, there are judicial members and non-judicial members. It is better to keep only judicial members in the tribunal so that the state government may not be able to influence it. In Clause 72, the chief executive officer is being given the powers. It is good that a person is being brought in on deputation as the CEO. But this power can be given to division officers as they enjoy now. This is just for the Muslims at large who are in various parts of state as they may get the services of division officers. There is a good suggestion to take back the land which is being used by various interested parties and it is suggested that the land will be given only on lease. But if it is given for business purposes then a lot of care has to be taken. It is better to limit the use of land to such uses as educational, health and other things and not to give for business purposes. It is to be seen that members of parliament or the member of legislative assemblies, who are nominated or elected to these committees, don’t become victims of the provisions relating to the office of profit. Special mention and special safeguards for them may be made. There are certain lacunae and certain weakness in various provisions which have to be corrected when the Bill is passed.”

Speaking on Governors (Emoluments, allowances and Privileges) Amendment Bill, Sk Saidul Haque in Lok Sabha pointed that about the appointment and the role of governor that had been recommended by the Sarkaria Commission had been even supported by the Supreme Court. A five-member Bench under the leadership of Justice YK Sabharwal supported the view that the recommendation of the Sarkaria Commission should be implemented. The Sarkaria Commission also recommended that it is not desirable that a politician from the ruling party or the Union is appointed as a governor of a state run by the opposition. Referring to it, he said, “This is very important. But what has been our experience. Both NDA and UPA have appointed politicians for getting political mileage in different states. When the Left Front government in West Bengal was in power, they made some concrete proposals regarding the implementation of the Sarkaria Commission. According to these proposals, states should send three names and out of which the central government should select. Otherwise, what will happen is that the active politicians or bureaucrats will be appointed as governors and they may show allegiance to the ruling party and the real essence of the democracy will be marred. The time has come to discuss and think about whether the post of governor should run or not, particularly considering the centre-state relations. Even if the government wants to keep the post of governor, the central government must discuss with the chief minister and also with the speaker, the vice-president as was recommended by the Sarkaria Commission.” The Bill was then amended and passed in the Lok Sabha.

The Lok Sabha has passed the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Orders (Amendment) Bill, 2012. Speaking on this Bill, Sakti Mohan Malik pointed that, “There are many schemes for the upliftment of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes but what is the status of their implementation? There is an Act for prevention of atrocities on Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes but it is not implemented properly. Only about one-third cases of violence against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are registered. The lists of castes vary in different states. So, migrant Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes of one state cannot get the facilities in other states. The government should be serious to take measures for the provision of facilities in every part of the country. Justice Ranganath Misra Commission recommended dalits of every religion should be included in the SC list. For this, the government should take immediate steps and the quota of SCs should be increased accordingly. The number of jobs is decreasing for SC and STs due to privatisation of public enterprises. Therefore, the government should bring a legislation to reserve jobs in private sector to ensure jobs for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the country.”

The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Second Amendment) Bill, 2012 is a very long pending demand of the people of Kerala, Chhattisgarh and other states. Speaking on this Bill, P Karunakaran firstly congratulated the minister for bringing this bill and said, “Since 2002, we are trying to raise this issue. There are two issues with regard to this Bill – one is with regard to the state of Kerala and the other is Chhattisgarh and other states. The Marati Community of the Hosdurg and Kasargod taluks of Kasargod district had been enjoying the status of the Scheduled Tribes for a very long time, but they were deprived and denied of this status in the year 2002. The people of this community in the state of Karnataka are still enjoying this benefit. We should keep in mind that for historical reasons the SC and the STs need protection and so the constitution has made provisions to accord them certain privileges. But the main issue is whether even after 67 years of our independence we have been able to implement the provisions of the constitution that guarantees them this protection. As far as tribes are concerned, there are some norms, like characteristics of the tribes, the geographical isolation, education, social and financial backwardness, which should be taken into consideration. So, the process should be streamlined with regard to the assessment of Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribes, or other communities. It is possible for the government to do that.” The Lok Sabha passed this bill.