Which is the Opposition Party at the Centre?

G.S. Vijay Kumar By G.S. Vijay Kumar, 11th May 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

This article throws light on the role played by the media which has seized the opposition space in India. With persistent reporting, it has been able to generate public pressure and this has forced the government of the day to take cognisance of important matters of public interest.

Which is the Opposition Party at the Centre?

Which is the Opposition Party at the Centre?

A) The Congress Party
B) The Communist Party of India
C) Media
D) None of the above

If this question were to be asked by Amitabh Bachchan in the next round of Kaun Banega Crorepati, remember to lock your answer on “C” Media.

The leader of the Congress Party in the Lok Sabha, Mr. Mallikarjun Kharge is perhaps under the impression that his primary responsibility is to rise on his feet when the Parliament Session starts at 11 am and make some points, notwithstanding whether it is relevant or not. The Speaker of the Lok Sabha Smt Sumitra Mahajan has had to painfully explain to Mr Kharge, that too on a daily basis, to occupy his seat so that she could carry on with the proceedings of the house. This is what he has been doing religiously whenever the session was on in the last ten months. On this score, he has performed his task quite admirably.

It appears, the Congress Party, or some of its leaders at least, do not seem to understand the role of the opposition. Apart from disturbing or holding up the proceedings of the Rajya Sabha, they have not contributed anything significantly in the interests of the country. A mere reflection of the last ten months would suggest that in more ways than one.

The role of the opposition space has undoubtedly been cornered by the Media, both print as well as the 24x7 electronic media. The objectivity with which such issues are being handled by the media goes to prove that the opposition parties are only good at playing politics and not capable of effectively raising matters of public interest.

The latest Tobaccogate issue was exposed by the media last week. It reported about the brazenness with which the BJP MP’s were parroting the pro-tobacco lobby. It exposed the conflict of interest of beedi baron MP from Allahabad, Shyama Charan Gupta, on the controversial parliamentary panel on increasing pictorial warning on tobacco products. Instead of recusing himself from the proceedings of the committee because of conflict of interest, Gupta made forceful pleas against the warnings and influenced the panel to take a decision favouring the tobacco industry. However, the media kept up its pressure with persistent reporting and presenting verified facts. This expose forced the Government Managers to have a relook at the issue, so much so that they had to take cognisance of the matter during the all important National Executive Meet of the party in Bangalore. It is now being reported that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has intervened and has asked a senior minister to look into the conflict of interest matter and remove the member from the parliamentary panel.

Similarly, in the matter relating to the suicide of Assitant Executive Engineer S.Muthukumaraswamy in Tirunelveli, the Crime Branch – Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID) of Tamil Nadu State Police, arrested former Tamil Nadu Agriculture Minister S S Krishnamoorthy and Chief Engineer Senthil Kumar, on charges of abetment of suicide. Both were produced in court and sent to 15 days judicial custody. It is alleged that Krishnamoorthy & Senthil brought pressure on Muthukumaraswamy and allegedly wanted him to collect money from seven driver recruits to fill the minister’s pocket.

Earlier, a large group of Uttar Pradesh Ministers & MLA’s who had gone on a supposedly study tour of the UK, Turkey, Greece, Netherlands and the UAE, at the expense of the state exchequer, were forced to cut short their trip and return to India. Their junket came under severe criticism after it was exposed by the media.
Similar foreign junkets, mysteriously referred to as study tour, planned by Karnataka as well Goa legislators too were exposed by the media and were either called off or the members were forced to bear their expenses.

Media has taken it upon itself to expose the country’s oppressive “VIP Culture” that confers incredible privileges on politicians, civil servants and other influential people. They frequently broadcast appalling cases of traffic being held up across the country, often for long hours, to facilitate the travel of these VIP’s on the garb of ensuring security. The traffic blockades generated by such VIP travels have led to deaths of dozens of people in need of immediate medical attention. Additionally, many students have missed their examination deadlines, commuters unable to make their trains or flights and others who have missed critical appointments & job interviews, all due to the VIP movement. As if this was not enough, many prominent politicians, business tycoons and public figures are even accorded special VIP treatment in jails. They are given better cells, home-cooked food, mobile phones, internet connections, armed guards and reportedly even conjugal visits. A recent case in point was the holding up of an Air India flight at Delhi airport for nearly an hour by former union minister Renuka Chowdhury.

This overwhelming VIP culture, in fact, prompted leading lawyer Harish Salve to file public interest litigation in the Supreme Court questioning the misuse of state machinery in blocking roads to give priority passage to these VIP’s. The Court, in response, has ordered the central government to furnish details of the expenditure incurred in providing security to these elites.

The people of this country should thank the media for their unstinted efforts in exposing, one after another, matters of public importance. Left to the political class, the very survival of the common man would be at stake.


G.S. Vijay Kumar, Mumbai

Tags

Amitabh Bachchan, Bjp, Harish Salve, India, Indian Media, Indian Politics, Kaun Banega Crorepati, Kbc, Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, Media, Nda, Opposition, Parliament, Politician, Rajya Sabha, Speaker, Sumitra Mahajan

Meet the author

author avatar G.S. Vijay Kumar
I am a management graduate and have worked as a senior executive for 25 years in the corporate sector.I am a columnist and write on management, Economics and socio-economic topics.

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