BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE MINISTER OF PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (SHRI GHULAM NABI AZAD): With your permission, Sir, I rise to announce that Government Business during the week commencing 15th July, 1991. will consist of : (1) Consideration of any item of Government Business carried over from today's Order Paper.
(2) Discussion on the Motion of Thanks on President's Address.
(3) General Discussion on the Railway Budget for 1991-92.
(4) Discussion & Voting on Demands for Grants (Railways) for 1991-92.
As members are aware, the Railway Budget for 1991-92 will be presented on 16th July, 1991 immediately after disposal of Questions.
MOTION OF CONFIDENCE IN THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS
THE PRIME MINISTER (SHRI P.V. NARASIMHA RAO): Sir, I beg to move:
"That this House expresses its confidence in the Councilil of Ministers." MR. SPEAKER: Motion moved:
"That this House expresses its confidence in the Council of Ministers."
SHRI SOBHANA DREESWARA RAO VADDE (Vijayawada): Sir, we have given notices. (Interruptions)
MR. SPEAKER: Please take your seats. When I am standing, you should sit. Well, we were doing something before. We have not done it today. It is not as per the rules that you take it as your right and do it. Now, we have gone to the other items. Let us proceed with that.
We will see about it later on, on the next day.
SHRl RAM VILAS PASWAN (Rosera): Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have given notice of an Adjournment Motion. (Interruptions)
SHRI MADAN LAL KHURANA (South Delhi): Mr. Speaker, Sir, I wrote to you today before 10 O'clock giving notice of my intention of raising the issue of postponment of elections in Punjab. I would like to know as to when the elections would be held in Punjab and reasons why the elections were not held there. The people of the State are being killed. Please let us know the time by which elections would be held in the State? How the elections were postponed just 24 hours before these were scheduled to be held? Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to know as to why the elections in the State of Punjab were postponed just before 24 hours and why so many people were killed? Crores of rupees were spent for holding elections but the elections were not held, instead these have been postponed upto September. What were the reasons for postponment of the elections and what is the stand of the Government in this regard? This decision was taken even before the Government took the oath. The Government should explain why the elections in Punjab were postponed?
MR. SPEAKER: All these important matters, which the hon. Members want to discuss, can be discussed, will be discussed. Now. you can discuss
them in this hour or you can discuss them while discussing the Motion or you can discuss them while discussing t the Address given by the President to the Members. Or, if you want, you :. can discuss them in any other fashion also. What actually happened
immediately after the Question Hour t was that I thought that you have nothing important to raise. So, we went to the other matter. Now that we have come to this, let us not go back. We will see to it later.
SHRI PHOOL CHAND VERMA (Shajapur): What about Zero Hour?
MR. SPEAKER: Please take your seat. There is absolutely nothing mentioned about what you are saying in the Rules.
But then we are not dispensing with it. But as the things have gone today in this House, let us continue with what has reached. You can resort to your rights tomorrow or day-after-tomorrow.
SHRI MADAN LAL KHURANA: Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is in your knowledge that a decision was taken that those Members who gave in writing before 10 O' clock would be allowed ' to raise their points in the House. This was the practice which is being t discontinued. I request you to allow l the hon. Members who wants to raise important issues during the zero hour. I have given you in writing t before 10 O' clock. (Interruptions)
MR. SPEAKER: We will do that late-; on, not now.
SHRI KALKA DAS (Karol Bagh): Mr. Speaker, Sir, why the elections are not being held in Delhi? ... All people are in difficulty. All the work I has come to a stand still. (Interruptions)
SHRI RAM VlLAS PASWAN: Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am raising a personal matter. You are the custodian of this House. lt is your responsibility to protect the lives and property of its members. On 21st May, the day when Shri Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated, my house was set ablaze by the activists of the Congress Party ... (Interruptions). My house No.
12 Janpath is adjacent to 10 Janpath. People barged into my house at 12 O' clock in the night and set it ablaze in the presence of the police, the D.C.P., who was the commandant of the C.R.P.F. Acid was thrown and the House was set on fire. The person who was caught had a revolver in his hand. He was apprehended. A sum of Rs. 18,000 was found on his person. It was a sheer coincidence that we were not present in the House at that time, otherwise my entire family would have been killed. Similarly, at the time of Shrimati Indira Gandhi's assassination we were living at No. 12, Rajendra Prasad Road. At that time also the same thing happened and my house was attacked. That is why I am telling you that you are the Speaker of the House and it is a great responsibility... (Interruptions) My friend Shri Anadi Charan Das is also an hon. Member of this House. His house was also set ablaze. Why only the houses of people belonging to the weaker sections are being set ablaze. The Hon. Prime Minister as well as the hon.
Minister of Home Affairs are present here. I have given in writing to them in this regard, but I am sorry to inform you that T have not received any reply from them. Instead, the escort which was provided to me has since been withdrawn. I would like to know from the Hon.
Prime Minister the steps that have been taken by the new Government in this regard. It is not the case of Ram Vilas Paswan alone. It could be the case of Shri Vilas Muttemwar and some day it can happen to some other hon. Member also.
SHRT P.V. NARASIMHA RAO: I would like to assure the hon. Member not only Paswanji but any other
Member who feels that his life or property has been attacked or is about to be attacked that Government will not spare any effort to give them full protection. And I am sure that the letter which he has sent me has been sent to the authorities. I will look after that matter. I will tell him what is being done and he need have no worry about it.
SHRI SOBHANA DREESWARA RAO VADDE: The Minister of Parliamentary Affairs made a statement regarding the next week's business. The Members should be permitted to make their submissions on the notices which they have given. After that the regular business about the Motion Or Confidence should proceed. We should be permitted to make submissions as per the rules (Interruptions)
SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA (Bankura): I am on a point of order. A few days back, I had received a paper along with my parliamentary papers sent by a few economists who are neither Members of Parliament nor the Members of the Council of Ministers on the economic situation of our country. I think, this is not correct. This was never done. The papers circulated to the Members of Parliament are either signed by the Members of Parliament or signed by the Ministers or the Government.
How was this circulated? Who had authorised to circulate these papers?
How was this done? We should know that. The House should know why this was done. There is an alternative approach to the paper which was circulated by the Government of West Bengal and by 35 economists.
Those papers should also be circulated among the Members of Parliament.
MR. SPEAKER: We will look into it.
SHRI NIRMAL KANTI CHATTERJEE (Dum Dum): Under whose orders were these papers circulated? (Interruptions)
SHRI SRIKANTA JENA (Cuttack): Is the Finance Minister
authenticating the papers? He wanted to authenticate the papers probably; but why is he pulled down by other Ministers? Let the Finance Minister be allowed to speak. Let him say what had happened really. It was also raised in the other House and we should know the correct position. (Interruptions)
SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA: Let it be disposed of first.
MR. SPEAKER: I have disposed it of by saying that I will look into it. Probably you might not have heard it.
SHRIMATl KRISHNA SAHI (Begusarai): Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is a matter of great concern that the Chief Minister of Bihar had given some statements a few days before and after elections that he won't allow any Congress candidate to Will from there. and if at all he wins he won't allow him to take a certificate from the Returning Officer and if in any case he gets the certificate, he will make it impossible for him to reach Delhi. This is an extremely unfortunate situation...
(Interruptions) .. The Prime Minister just gave an assurance to Shri Ram Vilas Paswan for his security, I would like to ask from the Prime Minister what measures he is going to take for our security so that we may feel secure and discharge our duties honestly.
SHRT MANORANJAN BHAKATA (Andaman-Nicobar): I have sent a notice to you regarding volcanic eruptions in Andaman and Nicobar islands.
There is a volcano in the barren island and this volcano has started erupting. Unfortunately no scientific study has been made and the administration has not issued any Press Note whatsoever. The people are panicky. Whatever we know is from the newspaper reports only. So T request the Government that they should come out with a statement so 134
that we know what is the actual position and what is the danger level in that tiny island of Andaman and Nicobar. We are very small Sir and that is why Andaman and Nicobar islands should not be neglected at the hands of the Government.
SHRI MOHAN SINGH (Deoria): Mr. Speaker, Sir, we find that along with the programme and agenda papers issued to us there is an unsigned document with four names regarding the analysis of economic situation in India. It has created a panic in the economic circle. I have given a notice requesting you to allow us to have a discussion on this document in the House. If it is not for discussion and it is issued neither by you nor from the Government's side, then we should know who are these four persons, what are their credentials--who have created an atmosphere of fear and terror in the economic sector. We want to know the authenticity of this unsigned cyclostyled sheet distributed amongst us. We would also like to have an opportunity to discuss the economic condition of this country.
SHRI VIJAY KUMAR YADAV (Nalanda): Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am on a point of Order.
MR. SPEAKER: No point of order now.
SHRI SATYANARAYAN JATIYA (Ujjain): Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to say that there the document circulated to us bears four names. They are Shri P. N. Dhar, I.G. Patel M. Narasimhan and R. N. Malhotra.
There is a system for circulation of Parliamentary papers to every honourable Member. I would like to know as to how this document found a place with those parliamentary papers and how it was circulated. Who gave permission for its circulation. It must be inquired into.
SHRI RATILAL VARMA (Dhun-duka): Mr. Speaker, Sir, Gujarat is the state where Mahatma Gandhi was born. Prohibition is in force there. I had said in the Ninth Lok Sabha also that 30 people died in Rajkot after consuming spurious liquor. Now again, during elections, the Chief Minister released those who were running illicit liquor vends.
As a result 50 human lives have again been lost. It all happened because of the action of the Chief Minister who released people engaged in illicit liquor trade. Apart from the death of so many people because of spurious liquor, one can find many people in Ahmedabad and all over Gujarat who have been suffering from blindness due to consumption of spurious liquor. There-fore, with a view, to save the people from death and destruction because mi of spurious liquor, I urge the hon. Prime Minister to direct the State in Government to enforce prohibition effectively and provide financial assistance to the next of kin of the deceased and those who have gone blind.
AN HON. MEMBER: I am on a to point of order.
MR. SPEAKER: There is no point of order at this time.
SHRI HARIN PATHAK (Ahmedabad): Mr. Speaker, Sir. a circular has been issued under the signatures of a Deputy Secretary to Government S of India recently, disclosing that there will be 50 per cent cut in the supply of coal. Sir, the entire textile industry in South-West region of Ca the country which comprises of some etc. parts of Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh is facing It e closure. Some textile mills have already closed down in Gujarat and the this rest of them are on the verge of closure because of shortage of coal. I the would like to quote from the order me issued on 29th May, 1991. It says
"In a telex message No: 23022/15/91, dated May 29, 1991, the Deputy Secretary, Department of Coal ordered the Chairman & Managing Director, SECL, Bhilaspur to apply the cuts to other industries, if the minimum loading targets could not be achieved for the core sector. In a separate telex message No. 23022/15191, CPD, dated May 31 1991 to CIL, Calcutta, he ordered that no offer would be given for other consumers by rail unless the targets for the loco, steel. power and cement were achieved,"
Mr. Speaker, Sir, because of this about 400 small-scale units of Ceramic Industry in Gujarat are on the verge of closure. The textile mills Gujarat are also racing closure because they are not getting sufficient coal. More than 3 lakh workers would be rendered jobless because of hort supply of coal. Therefore, I would urge the hon. Prime Minister a intervene in the matter so that here is no cut in the supply of coal South West region of the country which may lead to closure of small-scale industries rendering lakhs of workers jobless.
In order that cement, fertilizer and export oriented industries do not have to face crisis, I request that adequate supply of coal lay be made to the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
SHRI OSCAR FERNANDES (Udupi): Severe sea erosion is taking lace in coastal Karnataka in areas like Hoode-Hangarkatta, Kapu, South Canara and North Canara Districts etc. Immediate steps should be taken y the Government to erect sea-wall. endangers life and property; already severe loss has taken place due to this erosion and the same should be arrested immediately. So, I request e Government of India to take immediate steps to prevent large scale a erosion.
SHRI RAJNATH SONKAR SHASTRI (Saidpur): Mr. Speaker, Sir, I had also given notice for raising an issue and want to draw your attention and the attention of the House to an important matter. The Dala Cement Factory in Uttar Pradesh having assets worth Rs. 750 crores was sold off for a few crores of rupees. A lot of bungling and malpractices have taken place there. Unarmed workers who were pressing their demands before the General Manager in a normal way were fired upon and more than 200 unarmed workers were killed and the number of missing is not yet known. Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is an important and a serious matter and there should be a discussion on it in the House.
SHRI MUKUL BALKRISHNA WASNIK (Buldana): Mr. Speaker, Sir, hands and feet of innocent Congress workers have been chopped off in Howrah district of West Bengal. Will the Government punish those CPM workers who have indulged in this heinous crime? (Interruptions)
MR. SPEAKER: Please resume your seat. You want my ruling, but before I say anything you start speaking. My ruling is that we can discuss it at a proper time and that time will come.
SHRI SRIKANTA JENA: Sir, this is a very serious matter. The trade union has said that more than 29 persons have been killed. The Dala Cement Factory had been sold by the previous Government to Mr. Dalmia who is the supporter of the BJP. And now, the present UP Government is also protecting the case.......(Interruptions)
SHRI MADAN LAL KHURANA: Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to know the action being taken by Government in the case of kidnapping of Execu
tive Director of Indian Oil Corporation, Shri Doraiswamy, on 28 June, this year. Incidents of kidnappings are on the rise, whether be it in Kashmir or in Assam and due to the tactics of the extremists, all the staff of the Indian Oil Corporation and the Government servants are a demoralised lot. I would like to know the steps Government propose to take to ensure their safety. How his release will be secured and whether any negotiations have taken place? The Government should provide detailed information to the House in the matter.
SHRI NIRMAL KANTI CHATTERJEE: Sir, something very serious is happening in Assam. A Soviet citizen has been killed in our soil and in the meantime, a demand has been raised in Assam that Assam be delinked from India. Sir, we do have a suspicion that foreign imperialists are trying to conquer and divide it from our country, trying to dismember our country as also our relationship with Soviet Union. What is important is that the Government must immediately come out with a statement on what is happening in Assam. How long can this situation be tolerated in our land? I want an assurance from the Minister that we will not forfeit either delinking Assam from our country or delinking our friendship with the Soviet Union. The Prime Minister is here. We want an assurance from him on this point.
MR. SPEAKER: May I ask the members to take their seats? Please take your seats.
MR. SPEAKER: An hon. Member is speaking, you please take your seat.
MR. SPEAKER: Please do not stand in the gangway. Let that
SHRI M.R. JANARTHANAN (Tirunelveli): Sir, I have given a notice to you. The Government of Karnataka is not honouring the award of the Tribunal. This is a serious issue relating to food problem in Tamil Nadu. Through you we want to bring it to the notice of the Prime Minister. The Government of Karnataka should honour the award of the Tribunal. The Supreme Court has also asked the Government of Karnataka to honour the Tribunal's verdict. This is the will of the Tamil Nadu Government also. The Central Government should force the Government of Karnataka to honour the Tribunal's award.
MR. SPEAKER: Well, I think many of the members have many
important issues to raise here. It would be our endeavour to see that those issues are discussed. But we would seek your cooperation in not repeating the issues and not raising those issues which are less important. You may raise only those issues which are more important so that we can use the time for proper discussion. I am just pleading and I request you to cooperate.
SHRI P.G. NARAYANAN (Gobichettipalayam): I want to raise just one point. The Government of Tamil Nadu addressed the Government of Karnataka (Interruptions)
MR. SPEAKER: This issue has already been raised and you need not raise it again. Please sit down. Yes, Mr. Gowda.
MR. SPEAKER: This Prime Minister is on his legs. Please sit down.
SHRI P.V. NARASIMHA RAO: The matter which is raised just now about which all the members of the House, all the sections of the House and in fact the whole nation is justifiably worried and that is about the kidnaps that have taken place in Jammu and Kashmir and also in Assam...(Interruptions)
AN HON. MEMBER: What about Assam?
SHRI P.V. NARASIMHA RAO: Assam also, I have said it. Sir, I would like to submit to the House that the Government are very vigorously pursuing all steps and are making all possible efforts to get the release of Shri Doraiswamy on this side and the others on the other side. Right now, at this moment, I do not have anything definite to report. But I am getting the reports almost every hour and I am in constant touch with the situation there. The Governor and the Administration are very keenly pursuing the matter and whenever there is something to report to the House, I will do so at the earliest. Or the Home Minister will do so. I would like to assure the House that the matter is under constant watch and we shall see that the release takes place as early and as smoothly as possible-God willing so! SHRI NIRMAL KANTI CHATTERJEE: But we are getting the information from the press and not from the Government. You have to inform us instead of the Press. (Interruptions)
SHRI MADAN LAL KHURANA: Mr. Speaker, Sir, the release must be unconditional. Please do not toe the line of former Home Minister.
SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA: You have not said anything about the Soviet engineer who was killed.
SHRI P.V. NARASIMHA RAO: In Assam, unfortunately one Russian national who was an engineer, had been killed. This was done in violation of the time that had been laid for negotiations. It is not yet known to the Government how this was done. We are looking into the matter and I will certainly take the House into confidence when the truth comes out or becomes known to me.
SHRI P.G. NARAYANAN: He has not answered on the Tamil Nadu issue (Interruptions)
141 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
MR. SPEAKER: Please sit down. I am allowing Shri Gowda.
SHRI G. MADE GOWDA (Mandya): Sir, we--Karnataka MPs--have also given a notice under rule 193. We know that this is an important matter to be discussed. So, I request the Chair to take up and include the subject in the agenda on Monday or Tuesday.
MR. SPEAKER: Now we cannot do like that.
MR. SPEAKER: Please take your seat.
MR. SPEAKER: Well, may I again repeat my request? This is the first day on which we have discussed the questions and then we have gone to other regular matters on the agenda. Our efforts are to see that we all get enough to discuss important issues. All issues are important. But some issues are more important and some issues are less important.
May I request that let us take up more important issues and less important issues we can put aside for some time? Now, by doing this, we are not doing any injustice. We are not against any issues. But we are facilitating ourselves to see that more important issues are discussed. That is why my request is that probably in good judgement we had decided not to discuss these issues as we use to do previously.
But now it seems that you are very keen to do that. We have done that also and more than half an hour is consumed in that.
I think, we should now take up the Confidence Motion. What you do today, what you do tomorrow, what you do day after tomorrow, is going to be very helpful in doing things in future also. That means curtailing the time for discussions on subjects which are less important and having more time on other important subjects.
142 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
I think, by and large, you have been able to ventilate your views on important issues. That is why I would request that let us not take up more time than what we have already consumed on this.
MOTION OF CONFIDENCE IN THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS--Contd.
MR. SPEAKER: Now let us take up the issue of confidence motion on which also you can express your views. That is why I am requesting Mr.
Advani. Probably he wants to speak on this topic. I think, the motion is moved and the hon. Prime Minister would reply to the motion. So, I request Mr. Advani to please speak.
MR. SPEAKER: Please cooperate.
SHRI SOBHANA DREESWARA RAO VADDE: Rules of Procedure are there and they should be observed. (Interruptions)
MR. SPEAKER: Please take your seat.
MR. SPEAKER: The motion is before this House. The motion is that House expresses its confidence in the Council of Ministers.
MR. SPEAKER: Now, this motion is there. The views will be
expressed and reply will be given, and what is necessary to be done, will be done later on.
SHRI ATAL BIHARI VAJPAYEE (Lucknow): Mr. Speaker, Sir, will the Hon. Prime Minister let us know as to why he is seeking vote of confidence in the council of Ministers?
143 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
SHRI P.V. NARASIMHA RAO: Mr. Speaker, Sir, I was under the
impression that this question will not come up at all and the motion will be passed. (Interruptions)
SHRI NIRMAL KANTI CHATTERJEE: Before starting the discussion, can we know when is the voting going to take place on this motion?
MR. SPEAKER: I can inform the hon. Members that it was decided in the leaders' meeting that we take up the discussions today.
MR. SPEAKER: We will discuss this issue here. An impression was that with no discussion or with very small discussion, the confidence motion will come up and will be disposed of over here. But then it was expressed by the Members and the leaders also that we may discuss it.
Today is Friday--Private Members' day. So, the Private Members' business starts at 3.30. Very small time is available. It was decided that we will take it up on Monday also. So, we are taking up the discussion on Monday and voting also on Monday.
SHRI EBRAHIM SULAIMAN SAIT (Ponnani): Are we having lunch-hour also?
MR. SPEAKER: We will have lunch-hour.
SHRI NIRMAL KANTI CHATTERJEE: You know that on Friday, many MPs go back to their constituencies and come back on Monday. So, we would like to know whether voting will be before lunch-hour or after the lunch-hour on Monday.
MR. SPEAKER: I would say, before lunch-hour.
SHRI NIRMAL KANTI CHATTERJEE: Voting? (Interruptions)
144 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
MR. SPEAKER: I would say before lunch-hour possibly.
SHRI SOBHANA DREESWARA RAO VADDE (Vijayawada): Sir, you please give the ruling regarding the procedural point which I have referred.
Minister's Statement should be followed by Submissions. This is the convention. You please clarify it.
SHRI BHOGENDRA JHA: (Madhubani): Mr. Speaker, Sir, you have permitted some of the Members to raise issues for next week's business.
MR. SPEAKER: It is all over now.
SHRI SOBHANA DRESWARA RAO VADDE: Sir, what is your ruling?
MR. SPEAKER: You come to my Chamber, we will discuss it.
We need a little more time on that.
Yes, Advani ji.
SHRI LAL K. ADVANI (Gandhi Nagar): Sir, I remember that whenever the Motion of Confidence has been moved in the last 20-21 months. I suggested as the Prime Minister himself has just now stated--that this motion could be decided upon by the House without any elaborate debate. It is only when there is a minority Government, that the President of the Union asks the Prime Minister to prove his majority on the floor of the House within a specified period. If it were a majority Government this kind of situation and the need for such a Vote of Confidence would not have arisen at all. Only if someone wanted to move a Vote of No Confidence would a division in the House have taken place. But on all earlier occasions and I found on this occasion
145 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
also, when I informally broached the subject, several of my opposition colleagues were of the view that there should be a discussion, there should be a debate. There is one difference between the earlier occasions and this occasion. On all earlier occasions the Prime Minister also had made out a case as to why this House should express confidence in his Government. Today, the new Prime Minister himself, even after the request made by my senior colleague has not thought that necessary.
SHRI P.V. NARASIMHA RAO: I have got the debate and I have taken the cue from him.
SHRI LAL K. ADVANI: As far as I recall both Shri V.P. Singh and Chandra Shekhar ji had made certain brief observations at the outset though the reply was elaborate towards the end. Well, I don't object to it. I am merely recalling something. If I am wrong, I stand corrected.
Sir, I rise to oppose this Motion of Confidence and I would give briefly my reasons why I am opposing it.
Firstly, let us remember that this is the fifth minority Government in Indian political history and the third in the last 20 months. The first minority Government came up in 1969 when the Congress Party split and Mrs. Gandhi's Government secured support from the Communist Party at that time and ran her Government for some brief while.
Second minority Government came in 1979 when Chowdhary Charan Singh ji who did not have a majority in the House was supported by the Congress Party from outside. He was unable to form a majority Government and that minority Government did not face the Parliament at all.
Third minority Government came as a result of the electoral verdict in 1989. And, as today this Government also is a minority Government born out
146 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
of an electoral verdict. In 1989 Shri V. P. Singh formed his minority Government. The Left Front as well as the B.J.P. supported the Government from outside.
Fourth minority Government came in 1990 and that had no relation to the peoples' verdict. It was in fact in violation of the peoples' mandate that that Government was formed.
The Congress Party decided that that would be in the interest of the country. So it supported the Chandra Shekhar Government which had a total strength of I suppose around 54 in a House of 545 where even a Quorum is of 55. We have seen that Government which was a miniscule Government rather than a minority Government. Now, this is the fifth minority Government but in many respects it is the oddest of all.
Firstly, it is not just a minority Government but it is a minority Government in a truncated House. The elections are not complete as yet. Thirtysix vacancies are still there which means that one out of every sixteen seats in this House is still vacant. Two States are totally un-represented in this House. One is Jammu & Kashmir and the other is Punjab. The Punjab vacancies would not have been there had it not been for a last minute decision about which some discussions took place in the morning, during Question Hour and some discussions are bound to take place subsequently. Because it is a decision that baffled everyone, including the Governor of that state, who said: "I have been through three Wars, I have been a General in the Wars, but I have never felt as defeated as I feel today after this announcement by the Election Commission that the Elections have been postponed." Thus, two States, namely, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir are totally un- represented.
Then, there are a number of vacancies, five vancancies are there in Bihar, four vacancies are there in Uttar Pradesh and one vacancy each in Gujarat, in Delhi, in Maharashtra etc.
147 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
[Sh. Lal K. Advani]
If you were to closely examine these vacancies anyone would come to the conclusion that if today the difference between the ruling party and non-Congress parties is 242 versus 267 when these vacancies are to be filled, the shortfall would become even larger. This is evident. It seems that this too has influenced that in this matter even the decision to put off Punjab elections. If this is so, it is extremely unfortunate. This morning, the then Prime Minister, pointedly affirmed that Government was not consulted in respect of the postponement. It is presumed that the Government about to take over was consulted after all, the Election results were out. This morning the Minister was not willing to say that also. He said: "I have not said that we were not consulted. I have not said that we were consulted." I wish the truncated nature of this House is always kept in mind. This imposes a limitation on the legitimacy of the Government. Let us now come to the second oddity of this Government. I am not looking at the legalities, I know what the rules are. In fact ours is the only Constitution in which there is a provision like that of Article 75(5) which provides that even though a person is not a Member of the House, he can be a Minister for a period of six months. When this was debated in the Constituent Assembly, several Members had objected to it. What is this provision, why has this provision been made, they asked.
Today, the situation is that three senior Ministers of this Government not only the Prime Minister, but even the Finance Minister, and the Defence Minister--are not Members of Parliament.
AN HON. MEMBER: It is a shame.
SHRI LAL K. ADVANI: It is not a matter of shame. (Interruptions) I am merely pointing out an oddity. I am not referring to the fact that two other senior Ministers who are higher in the hierarchy are not Members of this House. I have served the Rajya Sabha; I had served the other House and I respect it. And
148 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
I know that on one occasion when the Finance Minister was chosen from that House, an objection had been raised in this House as to whether a person who could not even vote for the Finance Bill--I think a Money Bill has to be passed by the Lok Sabha-was introducing the Budget.
This was raised at that time when the Finance Minister, first of all, was chosen from the Rajya Sabha. I know the technicalities. Earlier it had been generally a practice of choosing from this House. More important than all is the third oddity, and that oddity I wish the Government always bear in mind when taking any decision: Unfortunately in the last few days that have elapsed they have not seemed conscious of this. In the case of the earlier four minority Governments, the Parties which were running the Government were in a minority. But their support in the Lok Sabha, in the House was committed majority support; whether it was in the case of Mrs. Gandhi's Government in which the Communist Party had decided to support the Mrs. Gandhi's Government, they had committed majority support. In the case of Chaudhary Charan Singh's Party, when the Congress Party said that they were going to support his Party, the Lok Dal, it had committed majority support. Similarly, in the case of Shri V. P. Singh's Government, when the Left Front and the BJP said that they were going to support that Government, the NF Govt. had committed majority support. Similar was the case with regard to Shri Chandra Shekhar's Government. It is only in the case of Shri P. V. Narasimha Rao's Government that till today no one knows what is the majority on the basis of which this Government is going to face the House. Has it any committed majority support? Somtimes anxious queries are being made from our quarters, from their quarters, from this quarters as to what is going to happen today. And I have always replied that my Party has decided to vote against you. But I am sure that your Government is not going to fall.
149 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
AN HON. MEMBER:: This is also an oddity! (Interruptions)
SHRI LAL K. ADVANI: I have been very closely watching everything that is being said by various parties in the last 15-20 days. And it is those statements which make me conclude that. (Interruptions) [Translation]
SHRI MOHAN SINGH: This support is from back door. (Interruptions) SHRI LAL K. ADVANI: Mr. Speaker, Sir, everyone knows that B.J.P.
does everthing openly. Even on the issue of the election of the hon.
Speaker and the hon. Deputy Speaker, a suggestion was made that we should do it secretly, after all what is the need of making any announcement. But my party made it quite clear that we will do everything openly. (Interruptions)
If on some occasion we feel that we should support this Government we will do that openly. But today this is not the position.
SHRI SAIFUDDIN CHOUDHURY (Katwa): Advaniji is there no quid pro quo on Deputy-Speakership? (Interruptions)
SHRI LAL K. ADVANI: That I have answered already.
Sir, this I think is the biggest weakness of this Government.
However, it thinks that it can continue to survive because of two factors. They are banking entirely upon those two factors which, no doubt are valid today. Factor Number one is, this country has been put to two general elections in the last twenty months; no person in this country wants a third general election so soon. Some people, or some parties may be keen to avoid a general election only because they think the general election may favour
150 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
this party or that party. But I think that every party must take into cognizance the people's will and the people would not like a general election. But that does not mean that because the people do not like a general election, therefore, every party and particularly a party which has been chosen to be in the Opposition--there is an obligation on that party--has to support the Government in spite of what it does, irrespective of what it does. It is, therefore, that my party decided to oppose this Government and oppose this Confidence Motion. Not that we are moving a No-Confidence Motion. No. That point may come later on. But today there is no reason either why my party should express its confidence in this Government.
I am trying to explain why my party has taken this stand. Now I come to the second factor. The first factor, as I said, which Govt. is banking on is that the people do not want a third general elections, so soon. But another factor that you seem to be depending on is the fact that in the last general election or perhaps during the last six or eight months there has been considerable tension between my party and other parties of the Opposition. So, you think that it is feasible to be playing one against the other. When it is convenient join hands with us, when it is convenient join hands with the others, and thus, to maintain your party's Government. I would like to caution you that if anyone in the ruling party has this in mind, that approach would prove very myopic, very short-sighted. It would not be a right approach at all.
On the other hand, the limitations imposed by these three oddities, can prove a boon for Indian politics. In-asmuch as for a Govt. conscious of these limitations consensus would not be just a cliche. Trying to hammer out a national consensus on a particular issue would not mean merely mastering a numerical majority, in the Lok Sabha.
There is a non-official resolution for the afternoon, I notice.
151 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
[Sh. Lal K. Advani]
persons may seem to think that if that Resolution is pushed through with the help of a majority it would be fine, I think that this would be very short-sighted, approach and can prove counter productive. I would like on this occasion to simply say that so far as a proper confidence vote is concerned, it should come only when the entire House is properly constited. All those 36 vacancies or most of them have been filled. At least the principal States should be represented and, secondly, that there is a period of judging this Government as to how it has really performed. In the brief fortnight or three weeks that have passed, both on the political level as well as on the economic level the Government has not been able to instil confidence.
Not that I am opposed to every step that you have taken. My friend referred to the kidnapping of Doraiswamy in Kashmir. I hope that you must be handling the Doraiswamy's kidnapping properly and doing whatever is needed.
I was going through your manifesto, the Congress Party's manifesto in which the National Front had been severely attacked.
The National Front Government had been accused of compromising with terrorism. And the manifesto says:
"Beginning with the release of several hardcore terrorists the National Front Government continuously compromised with secessionists and terrorists in Punjab, Kashmir, Assam and Tamil Nadu."
I would not quarrel with this....(Interruptions)
SHRI K.P. UNNIKRISHNAN (Badagara): They are continuing this policy in Assam...(Interruptions)
SHRI LAL K. ADVANI: Yes, I was surprised when I read the other day a decision to give general amnesty to all the LUFA terrorists who have
152 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
been apprehended there. The general amnesty announcement was followed immediately by the killing of a Russian engineer. An even after that, the amnesty decision was implemented. It baffles me. In this situation, on a serious issue of this kind, the Saikia Government may have consulted the Centre. But I do not know whether the Central Government consulted any one of us here. There was no consultation. It was a very serious matter. The steps of this kind make me think....(Interruptions)
SHRI P.V. NARASIMHA RAO: We will come out with all the facts.
But at this moment, Sir, may I submit that the decision to release most of those who were under detention had nothing to do with the kidnapping. It was taken as a positive decision on the part of the State Government, as a part of their overall strategy to meet the situation. I only want to dissociate these two facts. There could be differences of opinion. I agree. But the only thing is that this was not done as quid pro quo to some of these people having been kidnapped. This was done separately as a step in the right direction according to the State Government.
SHRI LAL K. ADVANI: The answer complicates the position. I can understand, in a specific case even a quid pro quo. But in a situation of the kind that obtains in Assam or that obtains in Kashmir and Punjab, what is the signal that we are giving by announcing general amnesty at this time? The signal given is not merely to Assam, it is given to all through-out. And, therefore, it is still worse. The timing is bad; the manner of doing it is bad and above all, as I said, a Government of this kind that is presently there should have been extra wary. The National Front Government bungled badly on the Rubaiya issue. One of the reasons as to why they bungled was that the process of consultation was started ten days later. At that point of time, to the best of my knowledge, even the Left Front was not consulted. It was
153 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
a very bad lapse and that lapse cost us dearly in Kashmir. I have a feeling that what has happened in Assam today might cost us very dearly not only in Assam but in the whole country
So far as the economic front is concerned, I remember the day when the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister had briefed all opposition leaders. I had strongly pleaded that the situation was such that it should be thoroughly debated after apprising us of full facts.
I understand that this is a crisis situation. But you cannot go about taking decisions first of all and letting the whole country know later on. In certain matters, I can understand secrecy I disagree with the proposal to devalue and simultaneously to say that there will be no rise in prices and the weaker sections will not be affected. I remember, going to Bombay four days back, and there, Nana Chuda Sama puts up a slogan every week. Its last week's slogan was very telling.
In a way it was recalling what the Finance Minister had said that prices cannot come down and prices are bound to increase whatever may have been said in the election manifesto. Whereas Nana Chuda Sama display said:
"A promise is a promise. In hundred days see how we have brought down the price of the rupee."
It was a telling quip. But I am not concerned with that so much as con cerned with the fact that in this situation, inflation is going to increase so rapidly and so badly that I do not know how the people will be able to face it. Even while recognising the fact that the direction that the new Government has adopted is a direction with which my party does not quarrel. ..(Interruptions) One of the basic reasons why India has come to the present pass is the fact that we have moved more and more and more and more rapidly in the direction of statist economics, and this has cost us very dearly. So there is a very clear case for removing the very many curbs
154 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
and hindrances on people's capacity to do for the country though the tendency to rely on foreign finances and multinationals, which seems to be growing by leaps and bounds, is a tendency which is disturbing.
SHRI BHOGENDRA JHA: That is the crux.
SHRI LAL K. ADVANI: No, that is not the crux because I have heard even the Finance Minister say that multinationals would not be permitted in the low technology areas. But in all these matters I would say that what has happened till now does not instil very great confidence. That is why I made a suggestion even on that day that there is urgent need to bring out a White Paper on all the aspects of the economic situation and to present to Parliamet and to the country what are the options before the country which can be exercised.
SHRI EBRAHIM SULAIMAN SAIT: I do not want to interrupt the
respected leader of BJP, Shri Advani. What I want to request him is that today is Friday and we have to go for the prayers. We do not want to miss his speech.
SHRI LAL K. ADVANI: I am concluding.
This is not the occasion for any detailed analysis of the Government's performance because the performance is yet to come. As it is, today the BJP's stand on this issue follows from the mandate that has been given to us by the people. That mandate. I must say, makes us happy that our party has been able to make a major stride forward in the 1991 elections. Such a stride has made one of the leading British journals 'The London Economists' give a telling caption to its article on India's Poll verdict. The caption is 'Winner comes second'. This certainly imposes a responsibility on the BJP and which responsibility my party is determined to carry out viz. to act as a watchdog of the 155 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
[Sh. Lal K. Advani]
people's interest and caution the Government whenever it goes wrong, to stop the Government whenever it is about to commit some folly and whenever need arises to be able to topple this Government and see that a new Government takes its place. All these functions have to be performed by us.
Today, all that I can say is that I would expect this Government to recognise its limitations and to function in a manner as to start a new chapter in Indian political history. I must compliment the Prime Minister and the party for the decision they took very boldly in respect of Speakership and Deputy-Speakership....(Interruptions) I have great respect for the Prime Minister. He is a scholar and a thorough gentleman. In fact, I am tempted to say that he is a post- independence Congress man with pre-independence values though around him there are very many post-emergency Congressmen with post-emergency values, unfortunately. So, as I said, later on, some other occasion may arise when at some length we may discuss the performance of Government. As it is today, in carrying out the mandate that has been given to the party by the people, I oppose this motion.
The Lok Sabha then adjourned for Lunch till fifteen minutes past Fourteen of the Clock
The Lok Sabha reassembled after Lunch at seventeen minutes past Fourteen of the Clock
[RAO RAM SINGH in the Chair]
MOTION OF CONFIDENCE OF THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS
MR. CHAIRMAN: Hon. Members, the House will now resume discussion on the Confidence Motion. I think Mr. Advani had just finished, 156 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
if I am right. Now Mr. George Fernandes.
SHRI GEORGE FERNANDES (Muzaffarpur): Mr. Chairman, Sir, first of all, I oppose the motion moved by the hon. Prime Minister. Besides this, I would like to submit that inspite of whatever the Congress Members may think about this confidence motion the masses of this country have no confidence in this Government. This party has come to power with only 36 per cent of the total votes polled and even its supporters are saying that the party could not have bagged even these 36 per cent votes, had the tragic assassination of Shri Rajiv Gandhi not taken place during the elections and they would have hardly secured less than 30 per cent votes. This is what your supporters are saying. This Government does not enjoy popular support and is a minority Government. Even then the Prime Minister wants to seek a vote of confidence for his Government, I would like to submit some points as to why we are not supporting this Government and not expressing our confidence in it. Although, I agree that no finger can be raised against the President's decision to invite Shri Narasimha Rao to form the Government. He acted according to the Parliamentary system and it was also according to this system that the Prime Minister has come to seek the vote of confidence in the House, but we had expected that he would give some reasons to enlist the support of the majority of the members of this House who are in opposition of this Government. He should have told the 70 per cent of the people of this country who exercised their franchise in favour of others and the 50 percent who did not vote at all and who do not support either the Government or us, as to why they all should support the Government. This would have also enabled us to take decision about the future of this Government.
Now when Government are seeking vote of confidence, a question comes before us whether this Government deserves our confidence or not and what have you
157 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
done to help us decide over this issue. Almost all the faces are the same. There is no change. If they are not here, their children are here. There is no change. There are no new faces, there are no new programmes. Then what is the difference? 18 months ago, the Congress party had enjoyed the support of three-fourth majority in this House.
But later on their party was voted out of power. The question of confidence or no-confidence in the Congress was decided at that time.
Now what has happened during these 18 months that has changed your thinking.
While concluding his speech, the leader of the opposition, Shri Lal K. Advani, hoped that the Government would be able to bring some new changes, etc. I could not understand on what basis he was saying so? Because in the country, Shri Advani has the same amount of political experience as the Members sitting on the treasury benches.
So, what new changes have come in the country during the last 18 months that such expectations are being made from these people. Mr.
Speaker, Sir, it is beyond my comprehension. I would like to give an example in this regard. One of my questions was included in today's question list. It was question No. 5. But it was not expected to come up for discussion. I had based my question on the Congress manifesto.
Today, I have brought this manifesto with me and I hope that the Members of the Congress party should have atleast read their own manifesto, if not anything else. The hon. Prime Minister should clearly explain his view-point regarding the implementation of their manifesto. In their manifesto, they had made a big promise to the people of this country regarding the control on prices. That promise was that in 100 days--
"In the first hundred days, the Congress Government will"
--mind you, 'will try' words have not been used--
158 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
"arrest price rise in essential commodities and in particular roll back prices to levels obtaining in July, 1990 in the case of--" [Translation]
A number of articles have been listed Item No. 7 is cotton sarees, dhoties, 40 counts and below. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as per my habit, I did one thing. As soon as I received the summon. I sent my notices of questions and asked each and every Ministry as to what steps they were going to take to roll back the prices within 100 days? The answer to the question, I had raised regarding the implementation of the ruling party's promise to bring down the prices to the July 1990 level was laid on the Table of the House today morning and it is as follows: [English]
"(a) to (c): In an economy like ours, the price levels are determined by a number of factors. The price level of any single commodity cannot be viewed in isolation."
Now all of them have become philosophers. At that time, they were making tall promises, now they have turned philosophers.
"Government was constantly reviewing the price levels of sarees and dhotis of 40 counts and below..."
21 days have passed since the Government assumed office. 20 days have elapsed since the Ministers were appointed and took oath of office.
And they have been constantly reviewing.
For the last twenty days, they have been doing this work only.
159 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
[Sh. George Fernandes]
And they have been 'constantly reviewing the prices of dhotis and sarees of 40 counts and below. Government will take appropriate measures in this regard keeping in view the overall economic policies of the Government and also the critical economic situation the country is facing'.
It is all over. Where are the promises? What is the difference between that slogan of 1971 and these promises. We would like to listen to the Prime Minister's views on this matter. Although we said 'Congress Hatao' (Remove Congress), yet only one slogan was given by Congress in 1971, "They say 'Indira Hatao', but we say 'Garibi Hatao' (Remove poverty), now you decide". The people gave verdict in favour of the slogan 'Garibi Hatao'. The amount of work you have done in this direction is there before the whole country. It is clear from both your manifesto and the President's Address, which is indirectly a statement of your policies, as to which level poverty has reached. We want to know from the Government that after giving the slogan of 1970- 71 what dent has been made by you in the poverty. What changes have taken place in your party, your thinking or your style of functioning, on the basis of which you are seeking a vote of confidence? I have read the manifesto of this party and in his address the President has broadly outlined the policies and programmes of this Government. They have made a mention about their poverty alleviation programme in just two sentences at page no. 14 of their election manifesto, which said: [English]
"Poverty alleviation was the central priority of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi Governments. More investments were made in poverty alleviation programme than ever before. The proportion of our population below the poverty line was halved from over
160 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
51 per cent at the time Indiraji returned to the office in January 1980 to an all-time low of 25 per cent by the time Shri Rajiv Gandhi has demitted office in November 1989."
There cannot be a bigger untruth than this. I do not know, as to how many of you have heard the name of this organisation. The name of this organisation is Operation Research Group (ORG). The Prime Minister must have heard about it, as he is a person, who takes special interest in such matters. Operations Research Group is an Organisation, which has links with the country's top industrialists, Multi-National Corporations and also with many Government Departments.
These three have collaboration with each other and on the basis of the research conducted by this group the information provided by them is considered the last word, not just by its clients in India, but also by those abroad. One of the latest reports of ORG, viz. 'Demographic- 1989-90' was released by its President Dr. Bhaskar Rao on December 11, in the capital. The first page of the report begins with:
"Distribution of households and income into population strata." [Translation]
Mr. Chairman, Sir, you are aware that the proportion of our population living below the poverty line has reached an all time low of 25 per cent by 1989. Mr. Chairman, Sir, about this aspect, I can only tell you. In this regard they say "The household in India is 5.6 per cent." A household earning Rs. 750 per month is stated to be above the poverty line. This was published by them in the newspapers on 12th December. It can be easily quoted but to accept it publicly is difficult because some solution has to be found out. It is easy to make commitments but very difficult to fulfil them.
161 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
The total number of households earning less than Rs. 750 per month in the country is 52.9 per cent of our population.
53 per cent of the country's population is below the poverty line.
This is the report of the Operations Research Group to which the Government of India's various agencies are a party.
This is what they say. But it does not stop here and continues further. As per the report, the poverty line is 53 per cent, the percentage of rural household is 25.7 and that of urban is 17.1 and the total number of people is calculated, it works out to 20 crores what is their definition of the poorest of the poor?
A household having Rs. 350 or less income per month.
It means per capita expenditure is Rs. 2 per month and number of such people is 20 crores. This is the picture of poverty in India drawn by the Operation Research Group before the country on 11th December. If its findings are agreed to, it will create difficulties.
MR. CHAIRMAN: What is the date of publication of this report?
SHRI GEORGE FERNANDES: This report is for 1989-90 ending 31st of March, 1990. This report is for a period of three years. This is a research for three years and this was released on 11th December, 1990.
The national press chose to suppress it excepting for one or two papers which carried a few paragraphs. The rest chose to suppress it.
162 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
Where the entire ideology is based on wrong concept and thinking, how can the situation be remedied. You have been in power for long but the position remains unchanged. You made many tall promises to the people of this country and ruled over this country for 40 years. You say with pride:
every congress Government has provided strong and stable Governance to ensure progress and development.
These are your words. (Interruptions)
That is the fact. This is precisely the point I am making.
During these forty years, your strong governance and your concept of making progress and development has resulted in bringing 53 per cent of the population below the poverty line.
If this is your understanding of progress then God help you and why should we support you? Why should we help you if that is your concept of progress and development?
No progress in real terms took place during the said period rather it opened all avenues to aggravate poverty. In your manifesto, under the title of "tackling unemployment" you have made many tall claims and said that you will implement and carry out your plans within 100-300 days. This can be possible only if you remain in power for the said period, can you last for so many days? You are sadly mistaken ...(Interruptions) ... you are living under a great illusion if you think that you will survive by bringing about this split ...(Interruptions)
163 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
[Sh. George Fernandes]
This is not possible. Those days are gone. A split is not possible in opposition parties. If it takes place, it will be in Congress(I).
Don't misunderstand things.
We have been observing each other for years.
In the first 365 days, we shall create 10 million jobs every year.
Already 21 days are over. So, they have been on the job of creating 10 million jobs.
Do you know how to count one crore jobs?
MR. CHAIRMAN: Not per day but per year.
SHRI GEORGE FERNANDES: I am not saying all this in a light vein but Hon. Prime Minister I am very serious about this. Because the people of this country are being befooled...
THE PRIME MINISTER (SHRI P.V. NARASIMHA RAO): I am also not cracking a joke...
SHRI GEORGE FERNANDES: I never said so......
SHRI P.V. NARASIMHA RAO: This is not a day to day report. When we talk of a year, the plan is chalked out accordingly. It is not like this that you divide it by 24 hours and ask after 24 hours where are the jobs.
SHRI GEORGE FERNANDES: We are aware of it. There is no difference of opinion over it but the dispute is that here too you are beguiling us. (Interruptions)...This is the economic review or economic survey.
The question is as to how true they are to their words.
MR. CHAIRMAN: You can ask about all these things after one year.
164 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
SHRI GEORGE FERNANDES: We shall start asking about it right from today. Right from the day a child is born the direction towards which he is heading is known. It is their commitment that they would create one crore jobs within a year. Who prevented them, just now you said with pride that you did the right thing and whatever was written was right. In that event who had prevented you from creating jobs? Neither we nor the poor, unemployed and land-labourers of this country had stopped you to generate more employment. Then what was the hurdle before you in doing so. What to talk of generating more employment, you have reduced the employment opportunities.
Mr. Chairman. Sir, it is a Government document for 1989-90. This Economic Survey contains figures for five years. (Interruptions).
This is the Economic Survey and the Finance Minister will certainly identify it even from a distance. This is a table at page S-48. It gives the total employment in the private sector industry.
In 1983, employment in the private sector, according to the Government statistics was 75.52 lakhs. In 1988, after 5 years of tremendous efforts of creating new jobs, the total job in the the private sector industry was 73.91 lakhs. The absolute decline in terms of number of jobs is 1.61 lakhs in five years. This is your achievement. But this is not more 1.6 lakh jobs reduction. In effect, you have reduced the jobs in the private sector by 10 lakhs.
You know, how it happened? Earlier, whatever the employment opportunities it might be one lakh, one and half lakh, quarter to two lakh jobs were being created every year, you have abolished them also.
Besides abolishing the new opportunities of jobs you have reduced even 165 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
the existing opportunities of employment. In brief, this is the style of your functioning. It contains the figures from 1983 to 1988 only.
The subsequent Economic Survey which was to be presented in February this year has not yet been presented, perhaps it may be laid in the next week.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, they have made a record of reducing 10 lakh jobs in the private sector within five years. In 1983, there were 1 crore, 64 lakh and 56 thousand jobs in the public sector which includes the Central Government, the State Governments, the local bodies, the quasi Government, and other such organisations. And this number went up to 1 crore, 83 lakh and 20 thousand in 1988. It means during a span of five years, they created 18 lakh 64 thousand job opportunities only and these jobs were generated in the public sector.
The public sector means Government offices and the public sector undertakings and it includes jobs from peon to officers; it also includes the sweepers as well as the poor labourers working in the municipalities. You have been able to create only 18 lakh and 64 thousand jobs altogether and today you are making promises of creating one crore jobs in India within one year. But the question does arise as to where and in which sector you are going to do that? We are in a fix on the Government promises because the government at the present moment is seeking Vote of Confidence, while the government, neither from its words nor from its deeds is putting forward anything, which may be believed. After the formation of your government, you have brought before us the International Monetary Fund. The largest contribution of this government is its decision to pledge this country with I.M.F. There are a lot of controversies regarding the I.M.F., but we are much concerned about the steps taken by this government during the last few days; one such step is the despatch of gold to London. I recall the period of 1977 to 1979 when Shri Morarji Desai was the Prime Minister and in his government Lalji, Atalji
166 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
and we too were partners. It was propagated both inside and outside this House against us that we had sold the gold of the country whereas our government had neither sold nor despatched even a single ounce of gold outside the country. But the system as it exists in India, which did not allow our government to continue in 1977-79, once again came in the way of our government continuing in office. Though there was no tangible reason for disliking that government, yet the propaganda was made that we had sold the gold of our country. Now you are seeking vote of confidence although you have sold 25 tonnes of gold without taking the country into confidence. You are seeking the support of opposition and other parties but did you take anyone of them into confidence before selling gold. The Governor and the employees of the Reserve Bank as well as the Pilot and the other employees of the Air India were taken into confidence, but this House was ignored. The representatives of the people of this country have not been taken into confidence.
It had to be a hush-hush operation.
Of 25 tonnes of gold was sent out of the country.
AN HON. MEMBER: After gold they will sell the country now.
SHRI GEORGE FERNANDES: I am worried about the I.M.F.'s present pressure on this government. That pressure is the main cause of concern for us. We are not realising to whom we are handing over this country? It is very difficult to realise it. I would like to ask some most relevant questions from the hon. Prime Minister regarding the I.M.F. The Council of the I.M.F. is not much concerned with the conditionalities it has put before the government but certainly the hands which control it are much concerned about this as they want our signatures on the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Government is
167 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
[Sh. George Fernandes]
being pressurised. We would like to know the extent of truth regarding this from the Hon. Prime Minister. Secondly, the I.M.F. is reported to have put a condition that the subsidy of Rs. 7000 on food and fertilizers, i.e., Rs. 2500 on food and Rs. 4500 on fertilizers, would be abolished or reduced. We would like to know the truth and the concrete proposal of the Government in this regard.
SHRI P.V. NARASIMHA RAO: Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to tell you that there is neither any such pressure for NPT, nor we would like to come under such pressure. Neither it will happen nor it has happened. No such thing has taken place. But to say that we have been pressurized, is not correct. It is unjustified to say such thing about them and more unjust to us, if it is said that we are yielding to pressure.
SHRI GEORGE FERNANDES: I have asked a question. Now they are admitting that there is some substance in the matter of subsidy.
THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (SHRI BALRAM JAKHAR): It is credit worthy even to retrieve the country from the present difficult situation which you have put it into.
SHRI P.V. NARASIMHA RAO: I will reply your second point later.
It does not mean that we are owning it. The only thing is I will take time to answer you in detail. (Interruptions).
SHRI GEORGE FERNANDES: Thank you very much.
MR. CHAIRMAN: May I request you to limit your time because the time is almost over?
SHRI GEORGE FERNANDES: We are deciding the future of the country.
How can you limit my time? (Interruptions)
168 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
MR. CHAIRMAN: I think other people are also interested in making speeches.
SHRI GEORGE FERNANDES: The point is that this Government is to carry on this. (Interruptions)
MR. CHAIRMAN: Other people also seem to think that they are interested in the future of this country.
SHRI GEORGE FERNANDES: I don't think we can cut short the debate.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Please carry on.
SHRI GEORGE FERNANDES: You must allow me to make a few points.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, is it a fact that the I.M.F. or the powers behind it, have asked the Government to cut or reduce our expenditure on defence. We would also like to know to what extent foreign investment is going to be allowed in this country. The I.M.F. is pressurizing the Government on this issue also. This is a serious matter, which is linked with the future of our country and we would like to know the details from the Hon. Prime Minister. I am happy that the Hon. Prime Minister has clarified the position in regard to N.P.T.
I have a doubt and there is a reason behind it. Prior to 1st of July, 1991, the day on which the rupee was devalued, the rupee had already undergone devaluation upto 45 per cent during the period from January 1990 to end of June, 1991. (Interruptions)
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE (SHRI MANMOHAN SINGH): It was your
Government in power.
SHRI GEORGE FERNANDES: If I want to speak on my Government, I will have a lot of time for it. Because you are going to present the 169 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
Budget and we will have a discussion on all the financial policies.
You should also not forget that you were the adviser to all the Governments on financial matters. So, at least you should not involve yourself in this matter. Let other people take part in it.
(Interruptions) Mr. Chairman, Sir, I have a doubt and it is necessary to get its answer from the hon. Prime Minister. When, in comparison to the American dollar, pound, sterling, Japanese Yen, and German DM, the rupee was devalued from 8 per cent to 9.7 per cent on 1st of July, the statement given by the Finance Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh and by the Reserve Bank Officials was that
"This move was a normal process of adjustment". I would like to quote the words again: "...... a normal process of adjustment done every day..."
From 1st of June to 1st of July......
...total process of adjustment vary between Rs. 20 to a dollar.... 20 point and odd to a dollar to 21 point and odd to a dollar. It averages about 21.2 or 21.3.
He directly brought the 21.3 to a dollar to Rs. 22. to a dollar by saying that
"This is a normal process of adjustment done everyday".
Mr. Chairman, Sir, the 2nd of July passes off. Then, on the 3rd of July, another normal process of adjustment took place and then the spokesman of Reserve Bank says:
This is sharply higher than normal.
170 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
The rupee was again devalued by 9-10 per cent and as per the information we have, the International Monetary Fund had said to the Government that the 45 per cent devaluation, which took place in the last 12-14 months was not enough and so the Government in an effort to satisfy them devalued the rupee by 9 per cent. They again said that it would not do and it should be devalued by another 10 per cent. So, it was again devalued and to escape the criticism, the Government said "this is a normal process of adjustment done every day" and we apprehend that the rupee may be devalued further.
SHRI NIRMAL KANTI CHATTERJEE: I do not understand what is he objecting to. Is it his point that it was not done on the next day but it is being done on every other day, every alternate day? Is it that he is objecting to?
SHRI GEORGE FERNANDES: Mr. Chairman, Sir, we have our own doubts about the role played by the Government in regard to the International Monetary Fund and the Statement made by the Finance Minister that this has been going on for long. At least the Finance Minister should know more than this and he should not bring politics into this. Mr.
Chairman, Sir, I would like to quote figures of Government of India from a document of the Reserve Bank of India, viz.
'RBI's Report on Currency and Finance. Volume-I. Economic Review'. In this it is written that in 1985 India's external debt was Rs. 25,800 crores and by 1989 it had shot up to Rs. 69,681 crores. In 1990, it had reached upto Rs. 81,168 crores. This is excluding NRI's deposit.
171 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
[Sh. George Fernandes]
If NRI's deposit is also included, the figure will go up by Rs.
3,819 crore in 1985 and Rs. 17,821 crore in 1990 and the total amount of external debt to-day will be Rs. 1,00,000 crore. This drama was started in 1985 in the name of modernisation of India which catered to the demands of luxury, comfort, automobiles, etc. of the rich who constitute only two and a half per cent of the entire population and to bring their living standard at par with the people living in America, Europe, Germany and Japan. But what benefits of modernisation are going to accrue to for the poor, to the majority of the population of the country living in Bihar, Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Orissa, Konkan, Marathwada and islands. Yesterday, it was said in the President's Address, which is a document of the government,-- the President:
A special crash programme to be named after Rajiv Gandhi, will be drawn up to provide drinking water to rural areas within five years.
Today we are talking of modernisation. We have been listening it since 1947, we have been listening to it since the first Address of 1952 that top priority would be given to the supply of drinking water to the rural people and now we are talking of modernisation, where is it?
SHRI G. DEVRAYA NAIK (Kanara): Why did you not do it?
SHRI GEORGE FERNANDES: I fail to understand as to why you are so much worried about the government which was in power for eleven months only. I don't follow whether you are speaking in favour of it. It is beyond our comprehension. Have we assembled here today only to listen to such things. (Interruptions)
So, please don't say anything. On the one hand, you talk of providing
172 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
drinking water to rural areas within five years, while on the other hand, you incurred an external debt of Rs. 35,800 crore in the name of the so-called modernisation in 1985 and a sum of Rupees 69681 crore is to be added to it, and within a period of five years the burden of external debt has gone up to Rs. 14154 crore. This is the crux of the problem. What is the logic in putting the blame on the National Front Government which was in power for just 11 months, out of which two months were full of suspense. So you can not question us as to what we should have done. (Interruptions)
We waived the loans of farmers. Does it irritate you?
We have waived the loans of poor agricultural labourers, artisans and weavers. It may be a matter of worry for you. Agriculturists have been exploited in the matter of prices of their produce both at national and international levels. We have waived farmers' debt to the tune of Rupees 8,500 crores......(Interruptions) Where the loans have not been waived you may do so. We will give you full support in waiving the loans. Please don't impose the burden of the situation created by you on the poor farmers. I would like to know something regarding IMF from the Prime Minister. I.M.F. has put certain conditions which may lead to pricerise, unemployment, closure of industries, destruction of cottage and small industries and increasing tension in the social field and every other field. Has I.M.F.
committed itself to provide you loan? Instead, I.M.F. is imposing conditions one after the other, even then you have no paper, no letter or communication conveying its willingness to provide you loan. You are taking one step after the other. Please understand our problem.
Nobody had any faith in this Government when this party was in power.
We can't trust this Government in any case. We have no faith on their character, because there are so many allegations against them. I would like to know from
173 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
the Prime Minister as to what is his contribution in regard to the issue of ensuring social justice. First of all, the recommendations of the Mandal Commission were implemented by us and we know the parties that opposed it. We also knew the present condition of the country. It is not an easy task to bring social change in India, especially providing justice to the downtrodden. The people, who have been striving to bring about a change in this country for thousands of years realise the uphill task. We are very much disturbed by this policy document and your declaration and we object to it. You have said:--
Government is committed to special measures in favour of socially and educationally backward classes.
You have not spelt it out.
Is committed to special measures.
Let me know since when is the Congress party committed to it. You are talking of commitment. There is no question of any commitment now. Why do you not go through the Indian Constitution? Why do the people who make such commitments not go through the Constitution? When the children and people of the country were being misled to burn themselves, we said that the self immolation of boys should be stopped. If you are so angry about the policy regarding the recommendations of Mandal Commission, you should burn the Constitution of India itself. Whatever we did is according to the Constitution of India. You should express your anger on it. You should go through Articles 340, 14 and 16 and then discuss this point. What kind of justice do you want to dispense to the socially backward and downtrodden people of India? It is said that preference will be given to the poorer sections.
174 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
In Implementing these, preference will be given to the poorer sections among them. What do you mean by poorer sections? Who are the poorer sections?
Sixty to seventy per cent of Indian population is illiterate even now.
Which poor class of people you are talking about? Who are the people who have been waiting for forty years to get justice? Should they not get justice? Why should they be denied justice? Implementation of the recommendations of Mandal Commission is very important. I would like to say with all force at my command that a resolution was passed by this House in August 1982, I don't
remember the exact date. Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi was present in the House. We fought for the implementation of the recommendations of Mandal Commission in almost every session of this House. In a sitting of this House, a consensus was evolved on 27th August, 1982 and a Resolution was passed that the recommendations of the Mandal Commission be implemented. From 1982 to 1990, they were not able to implement these and when we came to power we fulfilled our promise, but then our Government was thrown out of power by you.
I would like to raise one more concrete point. In India, we need financial, industrial or economic democracy alongwith social justice.
We have certain expectations from the labourers of this country as to how much work they are doing and how much they don't do. The discussion in this regard goes on. In this regard, I would like to know whether the initiative taken by our Government to allow the labourers to participate in the management of industries has been pursued.
175 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
[Sh. George Fernandes]
Workers' participation in management both in the public and in the private sector.
What is your concrete thinking about that? What are your programmes to implement it? The questions raised by us regarding crores of ex-servicemen are to be taken care, and Shri Balram Jakhar should pay special attention to these matters. We would like to know the attitude you are going to adopt on the measures initiated by us?
Finally, I would like to submit that in view of the past performance of the Congress Party during the last forty years as also in view of the complexion of the present Government and its promises and keeping in view the experience of the last 21 days, the Government does not deserve our trust and confidence. Our struggle is against the present Government, no doubt, inside the House. Our struggle against the Government will be more intense outside the House and we will launch a continuous struggle in the issues affecting the people. We want to give this assurance to this Government and country through you and I strongly oppose this motion.
SHRI SHARAD DIGHE (Bombay-North Central): Mr. Chairman, Sir, the Motion to express the confidence in the Council of Ministers has been before the House now. After the result of the General Elections, the President has invited Congress party which is the single largest party to form the Government, with the condition that within a period of one month, it should get this Motion passed by this House. Therefore, this Motion has been brought before this House today. It is unfortunate that both the opposition parties have chosen to oppose this Motion.
Sir, as far as the main recognised opposition party is concerned, it has
176 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
practically made it clear that it is merely opposing, for the sake of opposition. The Leader of Opposition has already stated, "I am sure that your Government is not going to fall, even if we oppose this Motion". Not only that; he has gone further and said, "Nobody wants General Elections at this stage". Therefore, it is clear that this opposition party is opposing practically for the sake of opposition and to put on record, that it is an opposition party, as far as this Government is concerned.
So far as the last speaker, Shri George Fernandes is concerned, he has converted this debate into a general debate, including the debate on the President's speech, debate on the anticipated budget and general debate on the Congress Government's performance for all these years. Really speaking, he could have spared this debate for a better occasion. There would have been good and better occasions to discuss in detail all these issues which would come before this House in one form or the other. Regarding President's speech also, there will be thanks-giving motion. The budget will be fully discussed. And there will be an occasion to criticise the Government on various issues, for example, taking of loan, from IMF and their conditionalities. All these points can be thoroughly discussed on a different and better occasion. On that occasion, we can go into all the details about the performance of the Congress Governments in the past, the manifesto and the direction or the indications of the policies given by this Government upto now. In that context, we can also discuss and go into all the details about the performance of the Janata Dal Government which was in power for eleven months. At that time, we can point out and compare the last 40 years of Congress rule, the indication of the policies of the present Government, the performance and the achievements of the Janata Dal as far as those eleven months are concerned. According to me, that would be the proper discussion.
177 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
At present, what I want to submit to this House is that there is a narrow issue. The narrow issue is that Rashtrapati invited the Congress Party to form the Government. The Government has been formed.
According to my humble submission, as soon as this Government came into power, people heaved a sigh of relief that there would now be a stable Government, some stability, some policy, some experienced people handling the different political and economic issues of this country. Therefore, all this satisfaction has been expressed by the people on this Government's coming into power.
Then the charge which the hon. Member, Shri George Fernandes, has got. Firstly, he has always been saying all these years--whenever the Congress Party came into power--well, people have not given you the mandate because of such-and-such percentage of votes. When we got 40 per cent votes also, he said that no, no, you are elected but the people have not given you the mandate. When in 1985, 47 per cent votes were given, then also, they said, it is only 47 per cent; the majority of the people are against you. So, that is no argument as far as the parliamentary democracy is concerned. This is our Constitution.
According to this Constitution, elections are held, parties get the majority. We must always admit that that party which is in majority, has a right to form the Government and it has a mandate of the people to form the Government and run the Government as far as this country is concerned. Therefore, it is no use going to that point again and again.
Similarly, all these years, the hon. Member, Shri George Fernandes, has been repeating that performance is bad, jobs are not there, unemployment has come. All these things are said. As I said, that 11 months' performance should be compared as far as the performance of the Congress Government is concerned. As far as the price rise is concerned, we can always show that the highest price rise was during the regime of this Gov-
178 Motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers
ernment. These points are old points, and they do not become relevant as far as this resolution is concerned today.
Now the question is whether or not this Government should continue in power and run this country, as far as the present days are concerned. What is the alternative? No other party has staked its claim to form the Government and this is the largest party as far as this House is concerned. This party had been invited by the Rashtrapatiji to form the Government. Now, what are you going to do?
Are you going to give another alternative or are you going to go again to the people and ask them to have elections again? I am sure that not a single person in this country now desires for the elections to be held within five years. As far as the people's will is concerned, we must take into account the poor voting that had taken place. People do not want frequent voting and frequent elections. They want a stable Government. They want a Government which will address itself to the issues before this country. There are problems like the political issues, the law and order situation, the deterioration of economic situation in this country and also problems relating to Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and Assam. To solve these problems and improve the economic situation of this country, people desire that there should be some Government which will last, which will govern and form its policies and implement those policies for a considerable time. And then, if chance will be given, things can be improved and a better situation can be created. From this point of view, I will urge upon the political parties which are sitting in the Opposition to consider whether or not it is worthwhile opposing this Motion at all. It is because nobody wants elections today. People want a good Government and solutions to be found out as far as the economic and political situations are concerned. Therefore, I will urge upon the major political parties of the Opposition not to oppose this
179 Business of the House
[Sh. Sharad Dighe]
Motion. Otherwise, the result will be only to go to the polls. There is no other alternative as far as the present situation in the House is concerned. So, I feel and I am confident that wiser counsels will prevail and ultimately, this Motion will not be opposed by the parties of the Opposition. That is the requirement of the situation in which we are present today, i.e., this Government must continue and address itself to the various issues which are before this country. With these words, I support this Motion.
MR. CHAIRMAN: The discussion on the Confidence Motion will now be taken up on Monday. Now, certain hon. Members have requested for making some submissions. I would request them not to take much time so that Private Members' Business can be taken up at 3.30 PM today.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE--Contd.
SHRI SANTOSH KUMAR GANGWAR (Bareilly): I request that the
following item may be included in the next week's agenda:
Keeping in view the needs of Nawabganj and Mirganj in Bareilly district of Uttar Pradesh, there is a longstanding demand for setting up of sugar mills there. In the last one year I have received several letters from the Prime Minister and other concerned Ministers that an early decision would be taken in this matter. During the past year letters of intent have been issued for setting up of sugar mills at several places, but no decision has been taken in case of Nawabganj and Mirganj even though the State Government has recommended that sugar mills be set up there.
I request that in view of the needs of the area, a letter of intent be issued in this session for setting up of sugar mill there.
180 Business of the House
SHRI GIRDHARI LAL BHARGAVA (Jaipur): I request that the following item may be included in next week's agenda:
(1) Matter regarding the delay in clearing river-water and other projects of national importance in Rajasthan by the Central Government.
(2) Discussion on meeting the power shortage in Rajasthan by increasing the share to Rajasthan from inter-state power projects.
SHRI SRIBALLAV PANIGRAHI (Deogarh): I request that the following item may be included in the next week's agenda:
Cult of violence is on the increase in our country. It adversely affects our body politic in as much as it is not possible to hold free and fair elections in some parts of the country.
It has in fact become a slur on our democracy.
Thus a discussion is immediately called for as to how the cult of violence could be effectively arrested before long.
SHRI BHOGENDRA JHA (Madhubani): I request that the following item may be included in the next week's agenda:
Taming, trimming and harnessing the rivers like Koshi, Kamla, Bagmati, Karnali, Pancheshwar and Mahananda which are flowing from Nepal through India in the mutual interests of both the countries through multi-purpose dams. There must be some political initiative in this regard.
SHRI SHARAD DIGHE (Bombay-North Central): I request that the following item may be included in the next week's agenda:
181 Business of the House
The House is aware that 11th July 1991 was World Population Day.
India's population will cross the one billion mark by the turn of the century if we continue to add at the rate of 17 million a year. The plans and projections of every department are brought to nought because of the failure on the population front. The population question has to be taken up as a political challenge to which every Ministry will have to give due attention if there is to be some hope of achieving a growth rate of 1.2 per cent and a Net Reproductive Rate (NRR) of one. This important question may be included in the subjects for discussion in the next week.
SHRI MADAN LAL KHURANA (South Delhi): Sir, I request that the following item may be included in the next week's agenda:
(1) The entire nation is concerned over the kidnapping of the executive Director of Indian Oil Corporation, Shri.
Doraiswamy. The House wants a statement from the Government in this matter.
(2) Postponement of the elections to the Punjab State Assembly just 24 hours before the scheduled polling date has made a mockery of democracy in this country. The Government should clarify its position in this matter.
SHRI P.M. SAYEED (Lakshadweep): What about Delhi?
SHRI MADAN LAL KHURANA: I shall take up that next week.
SHRI ANNA JOSHI (Pune): I request that the following item may 182 Business of the House
be included in the next week's agenda:--
Maharashtra State is deficit in edible oils and therefore the Central Government's supply is most essential. The State's monthly requirement is 15,500 MT. But from December 1990 to July 1991, that is during the last seven months the State has received a meagre quantity of 10,600 MT. There is terrible shortage resulting in black marketing and high prices in the State and the poor man is facing difficulty.
The Government is requested to ensure supply of edible oils to Maharashtra on war footing.
PROF. RASA SINGH RAWAT (Ajmer): Sir, I request that the following item may be included in next week's agenda:
(1) For the all-round development of Rajasthan and in public interest, the Delhi-Ahmedabad metre gauge line should be converted into broad-gauge at the earliest.
(2) In view of the international importance of Ajmer an airport should be constructed there at the earliest.
SHRI SATYNARAYAN JATIYA (Ujjain): Sir, I request that the
following item may be included in next week's agenda:
(1) Extension of the Ujjain-Nagda rail service upto Ratlam, Indore-Dewas rail service upto Ujjain and Mhow-Fatehabad rail service upto Ratlam in the Ratlam division of Western Railway be made and a stoppage be provided at Nagda for the Bombay-New Delhi train started from 1st July, 1991.
183 Business of the House
[Sh. Satynarayan Jatiya]
(2) Approval should be given for setting up a cooking gas agency in Barhnagar and Tarana in Ujjain district and Aalot in Ratlam district.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Now, I request the Hon. Minister of Parliamentary Affairs to reply.
MINISTER OF PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (SHRI GHULAM NABI AZAD): Sir, I already had the list with me in the morning. This would be brought to the notice of the concerned Ministers.
SHRI RAM NAIK (Bombay-North): Sir, he should ensure that the Minister will individually reply to the Members on the issues which have been raised. I think that would be more appropriate. The Minister of Parliamentary Affairs should ensure that replies are sent to the individual Members otherwise these assurances remain on paper. I would only urge him to commit that the replies will be sent in writing to the individual concerned.
MR. CHAIRMAN: I think his reply is very adequate in that he said that he will refer these matters to the various Ministries and Departments concerned and I think it implies that those ministries and departments will take cognizance of the matters and will give adequate reply to the hon. Members. If reply is not received within say 15 days then I would request hon. Members to bring it to the notice of the Chair.
SHRI GHULAM NABI AZAD: It will be sent as early as possible.
Early can be today also.
MR. CHAIRMAN: If reply is not received within 15 days I request hon. Members to bring the matter to the notice of the Hon. Speaker.
184 Business of the House
SHRI NIRMAL KANTI CHATTERJEE: Sir, there is a technical point. It has been suggested that the Economic Survey will be presented on 22nd of July. Now, 22nd July has been agreed to be declared a holiday for the Parliament.
MR. CHAIRMAN: That matter is pending before the Speaker. I would not like to comment on that. I think the Hon. Speaker will take the decision in this regard.
SHRI NIRMAL KANTI CHATTERJEE: The Budget will be presented on 24th July. The Economic Survey is presented before the Budget. If 22nd is a close day for the Parliament then it has to be presented on Friday, the 21st. This is a point which I request the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs to remember.
MR. CHAIRMAN: I request the Minister to make a note of what the hon. Member has said.
SHRI GHULAM NABI AZAD: I have already discussed it with him.
MR. CHAIRMAN: As the Private Members' Resolution will be taken up at 3.30, we still have 7 or 8 minutes to go. S/Shri Saifuddin Choudhury, Indrajit Gupta, Ashok Raj are absent. So, I now call Shri Ebrahim Sulaiman Sait to speak.
SHRI EBRAHIM SULAIMAN SAIT: Sir, I will speak on Monday, not today.
MR. CHAIRMAN: I think if you start today you will be considered to be on your feet and you will continue on Monday. You can make a sort of preliminary beginning and take up your main points on Monday.
185 Motion of Confidence in the Council of Ministers
MOTION OF CONFIDENCE IN THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS
SHRI EBRAHIM SULAIMAN SAIT (Ponnani): Mr. Chairman, Sir, I rise to support the Confidence Motion moved by the Prime Minister. We all know under what circumstances this Government has come into existence.
This Government has come into existence at the request of the President because the Congress Party is the largest party in the Parliament today. Congress Party is the largest party in Lok Sabha today. No other party was prepared to form the Government. So Constitutionally the President rightly invited the party which has got the largest Members in the Lok Sabha to form the Government.
Now, the Government has been formed and it has come before the House to seek a Vote of Confidence. At this stage it is just not possible to examine the performance of the Government because it has come into being just a week or two ago.
SHRI NIRMAL KANTI CHATTERJEE (Dum Dum): But in this week's time they have acted profoundly.
SHRI EBRAHIM SULAIMAN SAIT: Yes, they have acted well. And
moreover, the situation is such that we cannot afford election today.
That is an agreed fact. The respected Leader of the Opposition, Shri Advani also has admitted this fact that nobody wants election today.
We do not want election. No Party in this Lok Sabha wants election today. People do not want election today. Suppose a situation is created today where the Government is defeated and we will have to go to Polls, then I think we will be creating a very bad time for the electorates also. It is because nobody is prepared for elections. This country oppose elections financially. We have a financial crisis today. All of us know
186 Motion of Confidence in the Council of Ministers
very well as to how much money is being spent on elections. How much money the Government has to spend? More than Rs. 1000 crores of money and also the resources were spent during last elections. From where will these resources come? If such is the situation, the country will go completely bankrupt. We do not want such a situation. We want a Government that could perform well and could give stability. It is because the situation is so bad. The country is passing through very- very grave, complex and sensitive problems, that shall require solution first. The Government should strive hard to solve these problems and to see that peace is established. If the Government does not perform its duties well, then we can come forward and criticise the Government. But now, this Government has to be given a chance.
Therefore, we must support this Government so that this Government may continue. I hope this Government will be stable. In this endeavour, all of us must co-operate.
SHRI NIRMAL KANTI CHATTERJEE: Wait till the bad thing is turned into worst!
SHRI EBRAHIM SULAIMAN SAIT: Let us hope for the best. Why should we think of the worst now? Let us be optimistic not pessimistic. Let us adopt a constructive attitude and not a destructive attitude.
We should also get the experience. Vajpayeeji will agree with me.
He is a person who is considered to be mild as far as the BJP is concerned. We are not discussing such things, of course. Therefore, when I say Shri Vajpayee, I have got a lot of appreciation for him. I think all other people wanted the Mosque to be demolished but Shri Vajpayee had said that the matter should go to the Court of law.
187 Business of the House
[Sh. Ebrahim Sulaiman Sait]
We shall construct the temple at that very spot.
So, that is the difference that Mr. Vajpayee had at that time. So, he always takes a constructive attitude. We are prepared to accept Shri Vajpayee totally. Shri Jaswant Singh had also said this. I have seen him in close quarters in the last Lok Sabha also. I know he is a person of broad mind. You must understand this. When such people are there in the B.J.P., I do not think why we must not adopt an optimistic attitude. We can sit together and solve the problems. And if the Government also joins us, then we will have better days in future.
Therefore--now it is going to strike 3.30 P.M.--I will adjourn myself to continue my speech on Monday.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Sait, you are on your feet and when the
discussion on the Confidence Motion is resumed on Monday, you will get the ball rolling to start.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
MR. CHAIRMAN: Hon. Members, I have to inform the House that in the meeting with the Leaders of Parties and Groups in Lok Sabha which the Speaker had taken on the 11th of July, 1991, it was decided that in order to facilitate early discussion of financial and other business, sitting of the House fixed for Monday, the 22nd July, 1991 might be cancelled and in lieu thereof, the House might sit on Saturday, the 20th July, 1991.
I hope, it is all okay with the hon. Members.
MANY HON. MEMBERS: Yes.
MR. CHAIRMAN: So, we accept this.
188 Res. re status quo of religious shrines and places of worship etc.