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Important beyond numbers

Important beyond numbers

When Modi government swooped to power sensationally for a second time, it dominated Lok Sabha in his government's favour, leaving just a tiny space for alternate political ideology. Politics apart, Parliament ought to be the last place to engage in politics as it is one where legislation for good governance must take precedence. Differences in ideologies ought not to be a deterrent in the holy shrine of democracy. Honouring this thought and approach, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made some very significant and relevant statements with respect to the collective responsibility of effective governance. As the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha commenced, the Prime Minister asked the Opposition to speak out on issues and not bother about their numbers in a House where the ruling National Democratic Alliance holds 353 seats. While it is not very difficult to discern that a House majorly dominated by a single party's ideology will produce results that might obviously not be in the favour of some (namely the opposing, distinct minorities), the existence of an opposition, however feeble, serves some crucial purpose – as the Prime Minister made the point, they must make themselves heard irrespective of the strength of their presence. Even if a bill is passed essentially on the basis of statistics, the inclusion of alternate points of view, for or against the motion, in the discussion will impart a sense of genuineness to the common people viewing the House in session. Prior to the 2019 elections, a very prominent element in banal political discourse was that there is no other good enough candidate to choose to run the country. The lack of alternative turned into favour for BJP, and particularly Narendra Modi, the face of the party. But the emphasis made by the Prime Minister regarding the voice of the opposition is a very crucial matter for a common Indian to realise. The opposition, however few in numbers, is an indispensable part of legislation and its presence is irreplaceable. In questioning the government, the healthy practice of checks and balances is engaged in. Certainly, with an emphasis on accountability, it ensures better governance.

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