March 24, 2021
Derek O’Brien speaks on The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021
Sir, I must begin by congratulating you. Every time there is a very important Bill, you are sitting on the chair. For the Farmers’ Bill you were sitting on the chair. Today you are sitting on the chair. And I wish the Chairman well, I hope his health is good.
Who is piloting this Bill? I will come to that later. But I am going to ask the most silly question ever asked in the history of the Parliament. Which is more important—the Constitution of India or the manifesto of a party? You ask most people, all parties, and they will all tell you what a silly question this is.
We have an election day after tomorrow. But 10 of us MPs flew here. I think out of 12, nine flew. Mamata di said go, manifesto chhoro. Go to protect the Constitution. One party has two gentlemen, and this is my interpretation, that for them the Constitution is number two, number one being the manifesto. They are in Bengal and campaigning today. Go campaign, it is their democratic right to campaign. This is an important Bill. We are looking forward to having the Home Minister so he could answer all of our questions. I am sure the Ministry of Home Affairs is equally if not more important, but here we go.
This is an insult today to 24 States and one union territory. Kerala, where are the MPs? Assam, where are the MPs? Tamil Nadu, where are the MPs? Puducherry, I know one or two. All of us are indulging in anti-national activities; it must be so. I had an easier opportunity today because I had a batsman Mr Singhvi who sliced it legally. But what is the reputation of this political party? Everyone is so angry, but why so angry? Why so disappointed? What is the reputation? What is their own track record for their own people?
Facts now. Let’s start with what a former Foreign Minister and Finance Minister in Vajpayee ji’s cabinet said two weeks ago. He said the BJP of Vajpayee ji believed in consensus, but the BJP of Shah and Modi believed in conquest. That’s his interpretation. Let me tell you a little more about this family.
Marg Darshak Mandal. About the great leader LK Advani ji, When he was 75, his party announced—everything I am saying is factual—that after 75, you will have no role to play.
I have left an election campaign to come here because it is important. And we have some two-bit Ministers standing up and talking.
This pinches, but I am only talking facts. You only told Mr Advani, I did not tell Mr Advani, that after 75 you go and sit in the Marg Darshan Mandal. But see the hypocrisy, one 85-year-old and one 88-year-old are MLA candidates in Bengal now from the BJP because they have one qualification which Mr Advani did not have. Till last month they were Trinamool MLAs. This is the hypocrisy of this party—I don’t know all the great lawyers, all of us are getting excited—when they coolly decide one Tuesday afternoon that the nominated LG has to be more powerful than the man they could never beat, Kejriwal. This is not about Aam Aadmi Party, this is not about Congress party and I want to appeal to my friends in the AIADMK, who are now sitting with them, Shiv Sena no more, they are on their own, Shiromani Akali Dal, no more, they have also learnt. I want to appeal to the TRS, I want to appeal to the YSR and Biju Janata Dal. Don’t walk out, and one day they will come after you because this regime—I don’t want to use the word ‘thug’ because I don’t know whether it is parliamentary or unparliamentary—wants to destroy every institution brick by brick.
Sir, you keep the House in order because we also want an order when there is a division after this. You know you are making a good speech when it is getting under their skin.
Sir, Farm Bills, what did this government do? After that they want to put Bills on pause, somebody has to do it, somebody in the BJP, maybe after May 2 they will do it, somebody has to stand up and say that you two gentlemen, you all have got it wrong. You cannot bulldoze Parliament like this. You can’t bulldoze the constitution like this. Who will stand up? <interruption>
Sir, I have one serious objection, Point of Order, you have to protect me. Bad enough that there are comments made by a Minister sitting in the Lok Sabha. Please keep the dignity of the House. (To the BJP) You couldn’t keep the dignity of your senior leaders, at least keep the dignity of this House.
The CBI, ED and Income Tax Department are the three faithful allies of Mr Modi and Mr Shah, and I congratulate them for that. They are trying to destroy another institution, and I appeal to those gentlemen who are now running the institution, to let the elections be neutral, let them be free and fair, not for the sake of Trinamool, not for the sake of BJP, not for the sake of Congress or Left or any party, but for the sake of our children and grandchildren. Please let us have a fair election. <Intervention from the Chair>
Just see the confidence of the BJP president; she tells me, “You will have it?” Is he running the EC? Strike it off the record. < commotion>
Sir, I never thought that I will hear this on the floor of Parliament, but today I’m worried. I asked for a free and fair election. The election is, to my limited knowledge, run by the Election Commission with an extreme layer of confidence. Now I am being informed by no less a person than a quiet-spoken Madam who never interrupts speeches, never—and for the first time I’ve heard it—”You will have it?” We are not assured.
Come on now. We have to understand one thing. My hypothesis is based on a Bill, which you have brought, which is anti-Constitution. So I’m trying to prove to you all that this party is brick by brick anti-Constitution, so I have to give the examples. You want to hear some more examples? I will tell you. <intervention from chair>
Whether I sit today, or not sit down today, on May 2, we will know who won, the manifesto of the Constitution. Sir, I quoted you a lot of stalwarts in the Bharatiya Janata Party serially. Here’s one more, “The Centre and the State have unanimously agreed in almost a federal contract. It is a federal contract with a constitutional sanction.” The other leaders I quoted, I knew most of them, say hello, but this person would personally sit here. It was Arun Jaitley who said this.
What are we doing with GST? We have limited time, so I’m not getting into GST, into how cess is getting distributed, into devolution. But I’m getting into this very efficient company, ‘Phokat’, Bill, transmit, pass. I spoke for their efficiency. What happened to their efficiency when it came to CAA? in one-and-a-half years, you have not got the rules, because that is a cheat… <interrupted>
What happened to your efficiency when it came to the CAA? In one-and-a-half years, you haven’t brought the rules because that is a cheating on the people of Assam, Bengal and everybody else. It’s a jumla. The Home Minister of this country stood here and said, rules? Che mahina mein nahin hua, 12 mahina mein nahin hua, 18 mahina mein nahin hua, aur kabhi nahin hoga. Kyunki, they are already citizens of the country. You wanted it for votes, and I am not surprised they did this for the vote.
Sir I really want to thank you at least for trying to protect me. But this is nothing that we are fighting. Some people are doing some catcalls. These are some small things, Sir. This is at stake and a young man from <interrupted> Sir, are you hearing these comments? Sir, the BJP’s, Bhupendra ji spoke, before that. This kind of one little sentence every minute? You want to make a comment? Sir, as per the rules we can refer to … Sir I am not yielding. This is the rule of Parliament. This is not fair. Sir, these are difficult times because these are times when … . It’s a hypothesis. You don’t have to agree with my hypothesis, nobody has to, that whether the manifesto is more important than the Constitution? Different people can have different views, right?
But I want to end with a WhatsApp message I received this morning from a non-political person in Bombay. He sent me this. He said, “Go win this, win this for yourselves, win this for us, win this for India.”
Thank you, Sir.