Lok Sabha

January 8, 2019

Sudip Bandyopadhyay speaks on The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty Fourth Amendment) Bill, 2019

Sudip Bandyopadhyay speaks on The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty Fourth Amendment) Bill, 2019


Madam, I rise to speak on the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty Fourth Amendment) Bill, 2019, which is associated with the most burning problem of the country, unemployment, along with economically weaker sections.

Madam, the Bill was circulated at about 12 o’clock today. Madam, I very broadly remember, whether it is the meeting of the all party leaders, whether it is the meeting of the parliamentary parties, or the meeting of the Business Advisory Committee, I repeatedly demanded that the issue of unemployment be discussed on the floor of the House. It has never happened.

Poor people of the country are fighting with hunger. The young generation, the unemployed youth want employment. If any Bill is introduced and if it is involved with the weaker sections of the country, whatever percentage it may be, nobody will oppose it. But this Bill comes after a long gap of four and a half years, only hundred days are left before the elections. If Bills like these are introduced on the Table of the House at such a juncture, then we are in a dilemma, whether the Bill is really placed to solve the problem of the unemployed youth or it is a political gimmick. Or, is it a process to influence the ensuing 2019 Lok Sabha elections?

Madam, let me tell you, there are 85,000 vacancies in Railways. As the Chairman of the Railways Standing Committee, I had the opportunity to know the details. Madam, 25 million applications have been deposited. 25 million applications against 85,000 jobs. What a serious condition! I would rather propose that when the MPs get Rs 5 crore for MPLAD, let them give one hundred job quota. We will find out the locally unemployed youths, economically backward, and can provide jobs for them.

Madam, so far reservation is concerned in this case, Why does the Government not take up the Women’s Reservation Bill with the same priority as this quota bill? Why cannot the Government come up with the same thought and ideas for women’s reservation in Parliament and different State assemblies with same priority? I believe Madam, that Bill will also be accepted with huge support from different political parties on the floor of the House.

Madam, what is the latest position of the jobs whether in the government sector or the private sector? I demand that the government release one white paper on this issue. Let one white paper be issued giving the road map of the target of the Government that how they can fulfil their announced policies.

Madam, hearing the different political parties and their agenda, it appeared that nobody is going to oppose the Bill as such because what I wanted to say that whenever interests of the unemployed youth are involved, those are not formally opposed but this Bill actually appears to be a political message.

This Bill is not about only jobs, this Bill is all about misleading the youths of this country with false hopes. This Bill is all about promising and not delivering. This Bill is promising a fake dream which will never become a reality if the Government does not take it with more seriousness. A proposal has already been tabled to let the Bill go to the Joint Select Committee. We can discuss in detail, aspects like what is the latest position of job vacancies. At a time when this skyrocketing unemployment problem has shaken the whole country, we cannot remain mum. If we try to avoid a discussion on this issue every time, every year and make only some decisions, that will never give us any result, as we will enjoy no support from the unemployed sections.

So, Madam, I don’t want to go into the Supreme Court decisions; where it was, how it has been taken into; when such issues will come. We want to share the sentiments of the unemployed youths and want the Government to give them a positive message that this is not a gimmick. This is not any stunt. This is a reality upon which the Government is really serious.

Trinamool Congress being a political party, which always takes care of unemployed youths in West Bengal, in a broad way we cannot oppose any such Bill. So unhesitantly we are extending the support to this Bill with an expectation that Government will rise to the occasion and will take care of the unemployed youths of the country.

Thank you, Madam.