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Mainstream, Vol 62 No 25, 26, 27, Jun 22, 29 & July 6, 2024 [Bumper issue]

Truth Made Topsy Turvey | J P Gadkari

Saturday 22 June 2024, by J P Gadkari


June 27, 2024

With the process of swearing-In ceremony of all newly elected Lok Sabha members not yet complete, and the election of Speaker pending for the next day, Prime minister Narendra Modi started addressing the members from a mike specially placed next to the Speaker’s seat. He appeared to be in such a great hurry in reminding his audiance of the "most vicious attack" on our Constitution, by late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on "this day tomorrow" ( 26th June 2024) 50 years ago. That he even could not wait for a single day for making this statement which showed the boiling vengeance in his mind, particularly against the Congress party which had emerged as a big force during the 2024 poll.

With due respect it reminds one of a Marathi saying "Chorachya Ultya Bomba" which if loosely translated means: A thief himself calls others thieves and shouts "thief, thief, catch him, catch him" by pointing at an innocent person in the crowd and when the mob catches this innocent person the real thief disappears from the scene and the innocent person gets thrashed by the crowd.

One can imagine what would Modi be saying or doing if his dream of "400 Paar" had come true. But now the situation is quite different. Having lost his majority with a huge margin and having forced him to form a coalition Govt, Modi had to eat a humble pie and pose himself as being one of the "stongest supporters" of the Indian Constitution. Being a great dramatist, he now had to put up a show before the newly elected Lok Sabha members with a brave face.

Having fulfilled some of the other promises made by his parent organisation, the RSS, such as building a Ram Mandir, abolishing Article 370 and bringing Uniform Civil Code (UCC), Modi had dreamt of changing the Indian Constitution by getting a majority of 370 members of his own party and with his NDA partners taking it above the figure of 400 in the just concluded Lok Sabha elections.

It is therefore not anybody’s figment of imagination but a reality that this could have been achieved if BJP was to achieve this target of "400 Paar". While Modi himself never spelt out the objective behind achieving this target, several important leaders of his own party never hesitated to spell it out before the elections.

But having failed in achieving his objective Modi had to put up a great show of humility at his election as leader of NDA of bowing down before a king size copy of the Constitution specially decorated and kept for Modi to perform the show. Otherwise what was the propriety of having a copy of the Constitution at this function? However, he was actually violating the very spirit of the Book under which he should have first got himself elected as the leader of his own party’s parliamentary party as per established practice and then the leader of NDA should have followed.

However, for Modi it was nothing new to have violated many of the rules, practices and traditions established during the chequered history of our Republic. The most recent example of it was his ignoring to invite President Murmu for the inauguration of the new Parliament building of which according to the provisions of the Constitution she presides.

During the course of the entire five years of 17th Lok Sabha, Modi did not fulfill his constitutional obligation of appointing a Deputy Speaker which is generally from the oppposition ranks is another example of this. During his third term also he is not likely to fill up the post as indicated by him. During the election of Speaker of the 18th Lok Sabha, opposition had offered to support the BJP candidate for the post of Speaker, if a member of opposition was appointed to the Deputy Speaker’s post. But in his arrogance Modi had rejected the offer and there was a contest for Speaker’s post. With the minority Govt of Modi rejecting a conciliatory gesture from opposition to appoint a deputy Speaker from Opposition ranks in return of its (Opposition) support for the post of Speaker, non-conciliatory attitude on all other issues and passing of the official resolution introduced by Speaker Om Birla, as part of parliamentary proceedings of the 18th Lok Sabha condemning the imposion of Emergency on 26 June 1975 by the then Congress Govt in office has put the Opposition and the ruling party on permanent confrontation during the entire period of its tenure.

It is also clear that without declaring emergency, who is violating its basic spirit, tradition and practices. Apart from that the record of Modi Govt’s functioning during its second term is there for anyone to see how unabashadely it violated every provision of the Constitution, which protected the basic civil and human rights of people in the country. That makes its clear that Modi has no right to criticize the Congress for imposing emergency in the country 50 years ago.

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