The current government’s irritation with the Rajya Sabha not being in its control and jacking legislative procedure brings out an old issue of the Upper House’s relevance



Yogesh Vajpeyi is a senior journalist with over 40 years of experience of working with leading newspapers like National Herald, The Times of India, The Indian Express, The Telegraph and The New Indian Express. He is currently writing in various journals and teaching journalism.

Riled by his government’s failure to ensure passage of reform legislation in the Rajya Sabha, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has recently raised the issue of the “indirectly elected” members of the Upper House questioning the wisdom of the “directly elected” Lower House. “To what extent can the indirectly elected House hold reform proposals passed by the directly elected House which represent will of the people?” he asked.

The irony can’t be missed. Jaitley’s parliamentary stint since 1999 has been confined to the Rajya Sabha. Moreover, when the BJP members had blocked several bills tabled by the UPA government through disruptive tactics, as the Leader of Opposition he had then justified disruption as “a legitimate tool of parliamentary democracy”.

Political blame game apart, Jaitley has inadvertently resurrected an old debate about India’s decision to opt for a bicameral system of legislature. And, his is not an isolated voice. Biju Janata Dal leader Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda, who is a member of the Lok Sabha, also feels that the Upper House of Parliament cannot have a “veto” on legislative business as it has today. He has called for reforms in the Constitution to remedy the situation.



“You Aint Needed No More!”

The Right to Recall Legislators by their electorate is being hailed as an essential democratic right. BJP MP Varun Gandhi is a proponent and has intro...


Changed Challenger!

As Rahul Gandhi prepares to lead the Grand Old Party from the front, some instances stand out to describe his political journey. First, of course, is ...


Agli Baar Kiski Sarkar

Raju Haldoi, running a small-scale leather processing factory in the Lal Bagh area of Kanpur, is not a happy man these days. His business was down by...


Democracy Dreams

HonourablE Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, Honourable Tridib Raman, Honourable Neelam Sharma, I have been requesting Tridib Sir for months that a conclave shoul...


Dignity for minorities

We shouldn’t look at development through the prism of minorities and majorities. Today the biggest challenges before the country are illiteracy, un...


Yogi's maiden budget

Presenting Yogi government’s maiden budget, the State Finance Minister Rajesh Agarwal focused on the poor, unemployed youth and farmers. The budget ...


AAP’s Time UP?

If 2015 was the year of ascendancy for the Aam Aadmi Party as it returned to power in Delhi with a thumping majority and winning 67 of the 70 seats in...


Broadly MESSED

When my Editor asked me to review the major achievements of the Information & Broadcasting ministry in the past three years, I was reluctant for the o...