New Delhi. In an election year, after receiving a drubbing in recent assembly elections, Congress party seems to have woken up and is trying to ape AAP’s strategies. Sanjay Nirupam put AAP to shame with his self-immolation threat which unfortunately fizzled out as quickly as Binny’s fast.
But now the Congress party, and the UPA government led by it, had decided to learn from the AAP’s strategy of participative democracy by sending SMSes and missed calls.
Now parliament members can dial a toll-free number to execute various responsibilities associated with an MP. These include voting on a bill, shouting in the house, and asking questions.
“MPs will be sent SMS by Meir Kumar, which will mean a bill has been introduced. A missed call will mean ‘Aye’ while MPs will have to reply with ‘No’ to register Noes. Others will be deemed as abstaining or walkout,” Rajeev Shukla, MoS, Parliamentary Affairs told Faking News.
If a honorable member wants to shout and adjourn the house, instead of giving a missed call (which means a person disconnects the call after one ring), the MP will be asked to keep on dialing the number resulting in non-stop ringing. Meira Kumar will then switch off the phone, resulting in adjournment.
“Lovely!” reacted a Congress MP from Andhra Pradesh when told about the latest initiative.
To ensure that the parliamentarians do not miss the lovely environment of the houses, an interactive voice response system will also be provided which has the following options:
Dial 1 to mark your attendance Dial 2 to listen to Speaker Smt. Meera Kumar’s words “Baithiye Baithiye” Dial 3 to listen to Dr. Manmohan Singh’s silence Dial 4 to listen to Recorded disturbances of the past in the parliament Dial 5 to transfer money to your account for being virtually present in the parliament
“Media has been extremely critical for wasting tax payer’s money in running the Parliament. so we have a toll free number where people can do many things just with a missed call. We have minimized waste this way,” Rajeev Shukla explained the benefits.
Experts believe that this does away with the need to use the formula for calculating wastage of taxpayer’s money. The earlier formula took 2x2 + 1000x adjournments (x=any value greater than 0) resulting in 100y3 + 365 * 30 * 24y rupees being wasted (y = any value greater than 1000).
All the major political parties cutting across party lines except AAP have welcomed this move citing the savings in cost involved in being present in a parliament. AAP has decided to hold an indefinite Dharna in front of the Parliament to protest this decision. It has already launched an SMS and missed call campaign to garner support for this Dharna.