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The Week That Was:

From: Vartaa Editorial Team on Jun 5, 2016

Violence in Mathura

Violence broke out in the north Indian town of Mathura this past week resulting in the death of 27 people, including a Superintendent of Police, when the local police forces clashed with a members of two cults who had occupied a public space, Jawahar Bagh, in the town center. The two cults, Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi and Swadhin Bharat, had camped in the 300 acre space and were allegedly running a parallel governments with their own courts and meting out punishments. The police, in an attempt, to clear the property, clashed with 3000 of the cult members resulting in the violent clashes. Questions are now being raised of the UP government and local law and order machinery as to how so many people were allowed to congregate and squat in a public place for many weeks without any oversight.

Succession issues in Gujarat?

Gujarat CM Anadiben Patel seems to have run into headwinds within her own party after attempting to fill in the shoes of Narendra Modi in the state. Some news reports now indicate that the party is looking for a replacement as the rising clout of the Sangh Parivar outfits in the state along with the Patel agitation continues to keep the state government on the backfoot.

Jat agitation rears its head once again

The Jat community is out on the roads again demanding reservation and Delhi and its neighbouring areas are bracing up for another round of disruptions, blocked roads and travel difficulties. The Delhi Police has decided to impose Sec 144 in the border areas of Delhi to avoid violent protests and large gatherings.

Will he, wont he?

After the latest round of losses in the assembly polls, voices rose again in the Congress party for Rahul Gandhi to take over officially as the party President. While senior leaders like Digvijay Singh and Jairam Ramesh have indicated their confidence in Rahul, the leader himself has maintained silence and it remains to be seen whether he will finally give in to these demands.

Opinions you must read:

  • Suhrith Parthasarthy writes a moving tribute to boxer Mohammad Ali, a popular sporting icon, not just in the US but also in India, who passed away this week.
  • How good are India's prospects of joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group even as China continues to opposed its entry? The Mint examines.
  • The India Express takes a closer look at the India-Afghanistan relationship in light of the recently concluded Chabar deal.

Chart of the Week

The BJP recently celebrated its successful 2 year's in power and we decided to take a look at how many bills got passed in Lok Sabha to get a sense of what was done. We looked from year 2004,the first year of UPA1 to 2016. We have prorated for 2016 since there are still 2 sessions monsoon and winter to go in this year.

As you can see from the chart, the first 3 years are most productive in terms of passing bills. UPA2 managed to pass 184 as opposed to 169 bills in its entire term. The BJP government on the other hand has had a relatively slow start, especially in 2015.

Number of bills does not necessarily quantify the governments efforts. But it can be an indicator of the governments intent to bring reforms and also given our political system, reflect the ability of the government to get everyone together to get things done. Given the fact that Congress did not enjoy a clear majority in UPA1 or UPA2, it did pretty well in getting bills passed. The expectations are high on the Modi government to pass key reforms like the Land Acquisition and GST(Goods and Services tax) bill. Although these bills need approvals from both houses there are other low hanging fruits that it can target like Child Labour(Prohibition and Regulation) Ammendment, Prevention of Corruption, Whistleblower protection ammendment, Real Estate Regulation and development and Electricity Bill.

Passing reforms are a key function of the government and hopefully these stats help in indicating what the Lok Sabha has been doing other than the yelling and drama that we see on TV. You can find the details of the bills and short description here and here.