News / Asia

India Parliament Deadlocked Over Corruption Scandal

India's opposition Bharatiya Janata Party activists shouting anti-government slogans lose their balance while standing atop police barricades during a protest against the reported corruption in the recently held Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India, Nov
India's opposition Bharatiya Janata Party activists shouting anti-government slogans lose their balance while standing atop police barricades during a protest against the reported corruption in the recently held Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India, Nov

Multimedia

Audio

India's parliament ended its winter session deadlocked over a massive corruption scandal. The government and the opposition disagree over how to investigate the allegations of graft that have erupted over the sale of telecommunication spectrum licenses two years ago.

When parliament met last month, it was scheduled to take up a host of important bills ranging from land acquisition, labor laws, to judicial accountability. Instead, its session ended Monday with little accomplished.  

For weeks, opposition lawmakers disrupted parliament, chanting slogans and demanding a joint probe into the controversial sale of telecom spectrum licenses two years ago by former telecommunication minister A. Raja.  

The government has turned down the demands. It said the federal investigative agency is already probing allegations that the spectrum was sold at less-than-market-prices resulting in losses of about $39 billion to government revenues.

The government says the minister has resigned, and the Supreme Court is monitoring the probe. The opposition, though, says it has no faith in the investigation by the government agency.

Even though the parliament session is over, it has not given up on its demands for a parliamentary probe. The leader of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party in the lower house of parliament, Sushma Swaraj, participated in a "sit-in" outside parliament. "Now, we are taking this issue to the streets, today it was the beginning."

An equally determined government has indicated it will not bend to the opposition demands.

As the political deadlock persists, concerns have been expressed that the impasse will impact democratic functioning.

The director of PRS Legislative Research, C.V. Madhukar, said the disruption of parliament presented a sorry picture.   

"Several important policy proposals of the government have been delayed for some time until parliament convenes starting in February," said Madhukar. "From parliament's standpoint, it is disappointing that the ruling party and opposition parties have not been able to come together. My hope is that they will find a solution."       

But the opposition is unapologetic. Lal Krishna Advani, a top leader of the opposition BJP, said, "Business not proceeding also yields results."

Disrupting parliament is an old strategy with opposition parties to pressure the government. It has seldom lasted the entire length of a parliament session. But with the government defending itself against charges of corruption, the opposition is not likely to relent. The telecom scandal is the biggest in a series of corruption scandals that have erupted in recent months.


You May Like

Video Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid