The ruling NDA government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has shifted to what one can only terms as Ordinance Raj, and has been issuing emergency ordinances left, right and center to clear policy changes, irrespective of whether these policies are accepted by the Rajya Sabha or not.
Although the BJP enjoys a majority in the Lower House, its power in the Upper House is limited. However, this doesn’t seem to deter the governing party which has till date, issued over 8 ordinances within just 225 days of assuming office, translating to one ordinance for every 28 days.
It can be noted that the government passed three bills in December last year alone for bills related to land acquisition act, coal auction facilitation and FDI insurance. The BJP passed these bills even as the opposition parties ganged up to oppose them. This continued with another ordinance released last week that would allow the regularization of e-rickshaws in Delhi. The eight ordinance was released earlier this week and would allow PIOs to receive lifetime Indian visas.
Can the BJP get away with Ordinance Raj?
As of now, a total of 8 ordinances were cleared by the Lower House, and are awaiting clearance in the budget session. Of these, the two that would attract the most disputes would be the Land Acquisition and FDI acts. The BJP would land in trouble if the President who is usually resigned to signing the cleared ordinances, chooses to question as to why the government wants to pass the land act urgently.
Members of the BJP have indicated that these ordinances would send out a strong message of India not waiting around for both houses to clear bills related to its development. However, given the fact that these bills may probably be cleared without the consent of the Upper Houses, chances are high that they would attract very few investors who would not be willing to take a risk unless the government provides them with stable decisions.
Constitutional experts urge that each and every bill that needs to be cleared would need to be placed before the Parliament irrespective of how unorganized the latter may be. These experts reiterate the fact that only clear discussions can help the clearance of these bills with minimum hassles both during the clearance and implementation phases.
Modi has proven himself to be no-nonsense leader. However, does this give him the excuse of getting away with ordinances for everything? Would this reflect the BJP’s resolve to form a strong government? Only time will tell.
The BJP led NDA government has resorted to issuing ordinances for every bill it wants passed in the parliament. Experts believe that this would not be the right way to run the government. Nor would it add any points to Prime Minister’s scorecard for being a reformist leader.