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Ensure scrutiny of bills, don't legislate in haste: Kharge to govt

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Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikajun Kharge speaks during the Budget session of Parliament, in New Delhi

Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikajun Kharge speaks during the Budget session of Parliament, in New Delhi

New Delhi: Congress president and Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge asked the government on Thursday to ensure proper scrutiny of legislative bills by parliamentary panels and said there should be no enactment of laws in haste.

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The opposition has been accusing the BJP-led NDA government of passing important bills in Parliament without adequate discussion or scrutiny.

In his farewell speech to 68 retiring Rajya Sabha members, Kharge recalled former vice president Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan's words that the second chamber (Rajya Sabha) of Parliament is essential to prevent hasty legislation.

He said the ruling party enjoys a majority and thus, gets bills passed anyway.

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"The hasty legislation we do. MPs are suspended and bills are passed. Hundred and forty-six MPs were removed from the House and bills were passed. This should be not done," Kharge said.

The Congress leader said hasty legislation leads to amendments after amendments for correcting mistakes later on.

He emphasised that bills should first be scrutinised by parliamentary panels, such as standing committees and joint parliamentary committees.

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"What will happen (if bills are scrutinised by parliamentary panels)? The government has the majority, bills will get passed," Kharge said.

He said a scrutiny of bills provides an opportunity to parliamentarians to examine those properly.

"Please do not pass bills in a hurry," Kharge said.

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He also lamented that the opposition parties do not get adequate time to raise issues in the House.

Kharge's speech evoked some light moments and laughters in the House as he recalled his years-long friendship with Janata Dal (Secular) leader and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda.

"Deve Gowdaji spent his entire life for the cause of secularism, socialism and farmers. But I do not know what has happened suddenly that at such a ripe age, he has hugged Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi and is praising him like anything. He is not in the habit of praising anyone.... I do not know what changed his habit," Kharge said.

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His comments evoked laughter across the benches and the prime minister too was seen enjoying the moment.

Kharge lauded the achievements of the previous Manmohan Singh government during its 10-year tenure. Singh too is retiring from the House.

Kharge also highlighted the plight of those MPs who do not have money to sustain themselves after retirement. He asked the government to do something for such retired MPs.

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