A claim by a few anti-Gorkhaland and TMC supported Facebook pages has gone viral since yesterday evening. The 2 line post claims “”में नहीं कर सकता” – says Darjeeling MP SS Ahluwalia, when asked to introduce the Gorkhaland bill in this winter session of parliament, by the जनआन्दोलन पार्टी youths.”
We received a lot of queries on this issue. Since we did not have access to the footage, we could not comment. However we have since got a chance to review what the MP said, and we have to admit, he is CORRECT. He cannot place the bill. The government of the day needs to do so.
Here is why.
In India, Article 245 of the Constitution defines the ambit of territorial limits of the legislative powers vested in Parliament and legislatures of States, whereas article 246 defines the respective jurisdictions of the Union and State Legislatures as regards subjects of legislation.
It is in this background that Parliament, which consists of the President and two Houses of Parliament, namely, Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, formulate and enact the legislations that govern our country. Therefore, all legislative proposals can be brought before either of the House in the form of Bills.
These Bills may be classified into Government Bills and Private Members’ Bills.
A Member of Parliament, other than a Minister (i.e., not a member of the Government) is known as a Private Member. A Bill initiated by any such member is called a Private Member’s Bill.
The Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2014, passed by the Rajya Sabha was the first private member’s bill to get the ujpper house’s approval in the past 47 years. The last Private Member’s Bill passed by parliament prior to that was in 1968.
Private Members bill often die a brutal death, in the 14th Lok Sabha 300 such bills were introduced and barely 4% of them were discussed while 96 percent lapsed without even a single debate in the house. There were 328 such bills introduced in the 14th Lok Sabha and only 14 were discussed. So you can adjudge how effective such bills will be. More often than not, such bills – Garis?? bhanda “Garye” bhannu khali huncha…
On the other hand, Government Bills are those which are introduced by a Minister.
A Minister, as in the case of Darjeeling MP SS Ahluwalia who is the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, and thus is a part of the Government, CANNOT INTRODUCE A BILL WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE CABINET and GOVERNMENT.
When Darjeeling MP SS Ahluwalia told the JAP Youth activists, “”में नहीं कर सकता” he was stating this simple fact.
It is surprising that Jan Andolan Party which is lead by the so called “intellectuals” comprising of ‘eminent’ lawyers Mr. Anmole Prasad, Mr. Amar Lama, a veteran policy expert Dr. Mahendra P Lama and a career politician Dr. Harka Bahadur Chettri were unaware of this simple provision of our constitution.
Moreover, the house rule specifically says that “if the Bill is a Bill which under the Constitution cannot be introduced without the previous sanction or recommendation of the President, the member shall annex to the notice such sanction or recommendation, conveyed through a Minister and the notice shall not be valid until this requirement is complied with.”
In India, formation of new states fall under Article 3 of our constitution specifies that,
“Article 3: Formation of new States and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of existing States: Parliament may by law
“Parliament may by law
a) form a new State by separation of territory from any State or by uniting two or more States or parts of States or by uniting any territory to a part of any State alter the name of any State;
b) increase the area of any State
c) diminish the area of any State
d)alter the boundaries of any State
e) alter the name of any State; Provided that no Bill for the purpose shall be introduced in either House of Parliament except on the recommendation of the President and unless, where the proposal contained in the Bill affects the area, boundaries or name of any of the States, the Bill has been referred by the President to the Legislature of that State for expressing its views thereon within such period as may be specified in the reference or within such further period as the President may allow and the period so specified or allowed has expired”
This means that according to the House rules, no MP can bring in a legislation or the so called Private Members Bill relating to Gorkhaland issue, without the consent of the President, and no President is going to allow such a bill until the specific state has already passed such a bill or the Central Govt has requested such a bill to be tabled in the Parliament. Unless the current government proposes to formation of new states, such a bill will not be allowed to be tabled, either by the government Minister or by a private member.
Do you think that senor JAP leaders were unaware of this fact? I am not sure, may be they are unaware.
However, it is more than likely that they were aware of this fact, yet they sent JAP Youth wing to demand the introduction of the bill nonetheless, as it will help with the political optics back home.
Headlines written in all Bold, transforming MP Ahluwalia stating his inability to place the bill, as his deliberate unwillingness to do so, will sell very well with the majority of those who are unaware of the constitution and its provisions, and sadly most of our people fall in that category.
HAGEY HAG – MUTEY KATCHU
Since this past 3 days JAP has been insisting that the bill be introduced in this session of the Parliament. This winter session as all of us know, altogether saw 6 hours of work, rest was washed out due to the opposition parties not allowing the Parliament to function over demonetization. Yet JAP insisted that the bill needs to be introduced no matter what. The JAP timing of the whole issue, I believe is to stock up some ammunitions for the upcoming Municipal and GTA elections. There are only 3 more days of Parliament session remaining, and Parliament is not a Sabji ko Dokan where you can go and demand stuffs.
The rules and procedures of the house clearly state that even for a Private Members Bill to be introduced the MP needs to give at a notice at least a month in advance.
“Notice of Private Members’ Bills – Any member, other than a Minister desirous of introducing a Bill is required to give a notice of his intention to move a motion to introduce a Bill. The period of notice to move a motion for leave to introduce a Bill is one month” reads the rules of the house.
I refuse to believe that “intellectuals” in JAP were unaware of these basic provisions of our constitution and the rules and conventions of the Parliament.
This is a classic situation of “हगे हग… मुते काटछु – creating an impossible situation” for someone to live up to. JAP knows introduction of the bill is not possible, but they are deliberately creating ruckus to score some quick political brownie points. This also shows how sincere they are towards Gorkhaland statehood demand.
WILL BJP, WON’T BJP?
The million dollar question then becomes, will BJP government introduce such a bill or not? Only time will tell. However, when it comes to demands for new states, three are at the top of the rung Gorkhaland, Bodoland and Vidarbha. In 2011 BJP plenary in Nagpur had even accepted the formation of a Vidarbha state as one of their main agendas.
Both Assam and Maharastra are governed by BJP and if they want to, they can easily get the demands for Bodoland and Vidarbha approved in the state legislatures and get it through the Parliament too. However the fact that they haven’t done so already should be indicative of why the Government is not going to push the bill for Gorkhaland just yet. The time is not conducive, as BJP is a minority in the Rajya Sabha and important elections to UP and Punjab are coming up. So patience is the key.
This much I can say with confidence, the day BJP places the bill for Vidarbha and Bodoland, the bill for Gorkhaland will also be placed. In fact, much like how Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Chattisgarh were formed in one go, the next three states to be formed will be Vidarbha, Bodoland and Gorkhaland.
WELCOME to 2017 GTA and MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS
However, I take solace in the fact that even if it is just for the upcoming election’s sake… JAP – a party which refused to even write the words “Gorkha” or “Gorkhaland” in their party and election manifesto calling it an “emotional” “communal” demand prior to 2016 MLA elections, is today demanding the introduction of the Gorkhaland bill… this is a welcome change indeed.
Is it that the dark clouds from the south which were impending JAP is finally starting to move, and the long dead ‘Gorkha’ in their hearts is starting to wake up again? or has JAP realized that it’s in our “emotions” and our inherent “communalism” that the salvation of our community lies.
Jai Gorkha!! Jai Gorkhaland!!
[In Pics: Darjeeling MP SS Ahluwalia distributing refreshments and sweets to those who were protesting outside his home.]
You can watch MPs interaction with JAP cadres here http://bit.ly/2h2013O
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