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

China Announces Corruption Probe into Senior Ex-Leader

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, being probed for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid