Over 15,000 people, including top industrialists, sign online petition asking MPs to let Parliament function

CII president Sumit Mazumder, Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan, Bajaj Auto Chairman Rahul Bajaj, Biocon’s Kiran Majumdar-Shaw, Hero MotoCorp Boss Pawan Munjal, GVK’s GV Sanjaya Reddy, GE India head Banmali Agrawala, Adi Godrej, Ajay S Shriram, Atul Punj, Vikram Kirloskar are among top industrialists who have signed the petition.

Top industrialist, over 15 thousand people sign online petition asking MPs to let Parliament function
Top industrialist, over 15 thousand people sign online petition asking MPs to let Parliament function
As the opposition parties continue to stall the Parliament showing no sign of ending the logjam, more than 15,000 people including country’s top industrialists have launched a signature campaign urging Members of the Parliament to allow the Parliament to function, debate and legislate.

The petition called, “Parliament to function – urge all political parties to have a collaborative and consultative process in the Parliament”, has been launched on Change.org, in a first-of-its-kind initiative.

Since its launch on Saturday, more than 16,000 people including leading industry stalwarts have signed the petition.

CII president Sumit Mazumder, Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan, Bajaj Auto Chairman Rahul Bajaj, Biocon’s Kiran Majumdar-Shaw, Hero MotoCorp Boss Pawan Munjal, GVK’s GV Sanjaya Reddy, GE India head Banmali Agrawala, Adi Godrej, Ajay S Shriram, Atul Punj, Vikram Kirloskar are among top industrialists who have signed the petition.

The list includes several prominent citizens from various walks of lives, such as IIT Madras’ Ashok Jhunjhunwala, IIM Ahmedabad’s Piyush Kumar Sinha, Dr. Naresh Trehan, Dr. Ashok Seth and some diplomats.

“Parliamentary protest are not unknown. Parliamentary stalemates can never be permanent. Parliamentary paralysis can lead to weakening of India’s democracy. There is a spread of political power between the opposition and the Government in Indian Parliament. Both have an important role to play. Both have responsibility to discuss and resolve political issues. Political consensus represents the best practice in Indian democracy,” said the petition

Terming recent events as “disheartening” , the petition says that MPs have the potential of eroding popular faith in Parliament. The petition said, “Perpetual disruption can never be the rule. Street demonstrations against the Chair of the Lower House are of unprecedented scale. Important laws like the Constitution amendments in Goods and Services Tax which improves India’s growth rate is held up. GST has taken a long time in coming and has taken years of consensus building, and CII has time and again reiterated that this could significantly contribute to India’s and States’ growth.”

Urging all political parties to have a collaborative and consultative process in the Parliament and allow the Parliament to function, the petition further said, “India has to grow in order to alleviate poverty and create jobs. Parliament did not get an opportunity to discuss important issues, like floods, security issues, other economic priorities, etc. It is only a debate which brings out the facts to enable people to form a fair and objective opinion on important matters.”

Government’s attempts to push through the GST Bill in Rajya Sabha were on Tuesday stalled by the Congress disrupting the House, inviting angry reaction from Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who targeted Sonia and Rahul Gandhi saying they were not able to digest the 2014 Lok Sabha election defeat.

The BJP, which has 48 members in the House, has the support of about 120 MPs, and will have to work on a number of small parties to muster about 165 members to make up for the mandatory two-third support for a Constitution amendment Bill.

The roll-out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is touted as one of the major economic reforms measures and is planned to take effect from April 1, 2016.