Opinion: With No Opposition, 7 Bills Passed, Death Of Democracy?


After opposition parties boycotted the monsoon session, the government breezed through seven bills in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. Education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank piloted The Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020, the first bill taken up for passage. It was passed by the House after a short debate. Ruling NDA MPs participated in the debate and supported the bill. The opposition benches were almost empty.

The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, (third farm bill) saw BJP alliance partner JDU and MPs from ‘friendly’ parties AIADMK, BJD and Tamil Maanila Congress (Moopanar), apart from TDP, taking part in the debate. BJD’s Amar Patnaik suggested the bill should include provisions for man-made calamities and though “too much liberty” was been given to market players, the interest of farmers and share-croppers should be safeguarded. PDS minister Rao Saheb Danve said the amendments were to ensure that people got essential commodities at reasonable prices.

DMK’s T Siva had given notice for sending the two bills to a select committee of the House but his resolution could not be taken up as he had boycotted the proceedings. The government had overlooked similar demands of opposition parties on the farm bills on Sunday.

The House also passed the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020. Other bills the Rajya Sabha passed on Tuesday were: The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The National Forensic Sciences University Bill, 2020, The Rashtriya Raksha University Bill, 2020, and The Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation and Amendment of Certain Provisions) Bill, 2020.