Friday, July 18, 2014

Poonam Mahajan, Sugata Bose shine in Budget discussion in Lok Sabha on July 17

Parsa Venkateshwar Rao Jr

New Delhi: The 16th Lok Sabha is likely to witness intelligent and eloquent speeches from the members, especially first timers. This could be seen on Thursday during the discussion on Budget.

BJP’s first time member of parliament from Mumbai, Poonam Mahajan, made a brilliant debut with flawless, eloquent and dignified speech. She has done her father, the late Pramod Mahajan, who was both articulate and biting in his speeches in the House, proud with her impressive intervention.

While duly adulatory of the Budget and invoking Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Narendra Modi, she spoke up for Mumbai/Bombay, saying that the city contribution to the national tax kitty was one-fourth of the whole, the city did not get any allocation for its infrastructure. This is the first time in many years that a Mumba MP so emphatically for the city’s needs in parliament. Mahajan showed that she has a firm grasp over the developmental rhetoric of the party as exemplified by Vajpayee and Modi, and wielded it to make the maximum impact through her speech.

Sugata Bose of Trinamool Congress, who is a grand-nephew of Subhas Chandra Bose and a Harvard University historian, intervention was scintillating. He mocked finance minister Arun Jaitley’s Budget speech citing the 18th century famous and formidable English litterateur, Samuel Johnson, saying what was good in the budget was not new and what was new was not good.

Bose used his history repertoire while advising the finance minister Jaitley on safeguarding the interests of states while implementing the much awaited goods and services tax (GST). He quoted Madan Mohan Malviya’s speech in the Central Legislative Assembly in 1908 where the Congress leader and founder of the Benaras Hindu University told the then British government in India that maximum tax revenues should be devolved to the provinces, and in his 1909 presidential address of the Lahore session of the Congress argued the case for the provinces to be semi-independent and enjoy the full powers of levying taxes.

He said that instead of setting up new institutions like the proposed Jai Prakash Narayan National Centre for Excellence in Humanities and alloc

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