“16 Bills Listed In Parliament Interfere With States”: Mamata Banerjee

Mamata Banerjee said the government was stifling dissent.


The central government was using its majority to push bills through parliament without adequate discussion and scrutiny, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday, accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government of bulldozing the opposition and democracy itself.

Speaking to reporters after a strategy meeting with her party MPs, Ms Banerjee also alleged that at least 16 bills which seek to interfere in state matters have been listed for to be passed in the winter session of parliament that began on Wednesday. The session will end on December 29.

“You have seen that if the opposition raises its voice, because of the majority, the ruling party passes bills forcefully without even voting. They don’t accept reports of standing committees or select committees. We are afraid whether our parliamentary democracy will persevere and its prestige and respect which has been preserved till now will be protected,” she told reporters.

She said that in a democracy, the parliamentary majority always wins.

“But this does not mean that you will bulldoze opposition voices, states, media and other pillars of democracy… One political party may come in power and go, but this parliament and constitution will go on forever,” the Trinamool Congress chief said.

Ms Banerjee also said that when there is a ruling party with a majority, one-sided bills are passed, but the government has to understand the needs of states.

“They have to understand that every state has its own problems and issues. Each state is represented in parliament which has different issues, languages and problems. Parliament cannot forcefully go on without listening to us,” she said.

“Our party will face them boldly and coolly and cooperate with other opposition parties to fight against the atrocities,” she said.

Her statement comes after the Trinamool Congress made a surprise appearance, along with the Aam Aadmi Party, at Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge’s meeting of opposition parties this morning at parliament.

Mr Kharge, who remains Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha weeks after he was elected Congress president, had called a meeting of “like-minded opposition parties” to discuss a joint strategy for the winter session, which started today. Apart from AAP and Trinamool, the Left parties, DMK, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), National Conference and the RSP attended the meeting.

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