- World News
- In Pics
Taking a leaf out of the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, the UPA government has floated the “Duckworth-Lewis” bill, to decide the fate of any bill stalled in the Parliament due to frequent adjournment.
Brainchild of BCCI Vice-President, Rajya Sabha MP and whisperer-in-chief to the Speaker, Rajiv Shukla, the bill provides for the passing of any bill stalled in either of the two Houses before its “innings” is over by means of extrapolation via application of a complex formula not dissimilar to the one formulated by Messrs Duckworth and Lewis for rain-interrupted cricket matches.
Speaking to the press, Rajeev Shukla said, “These days, Parliament is just like a cricket match. And just like people are bored of Test matches with no results, people are no longer tolerant of sessions without any outcomes. So the next time BJP plays e-spoil-e-sport by calling for someone’s resignation, we will bring the Duckworth-Lewis method in play.”
While the opposition is none too happy about this development, the bill is already popular among cricketer turned MPs. “The Duckworth-Lewis Bill is like a Tatkal scheme that life gives bills when they’re stalled, my friend, just like how experience is the comb that life gave you, when you became bald!” said an animated Sidhu, loudly backslapping a barely awake HD Deve Gowda, leading to much amusement all around.
According to the draft, whenever the House is disrupted, the Speaker, minutes before adjourning the House, will record the count of members applauding the bill, members nodding in silent agreement, members nodding off and members engaged in fisticuffs. The Speaker will then use the Duckworth-Lewis formula to extrapolate this “score” and calculate the number of “Ayes” and “Nos” to determine whether or not the bill is passed.
The historic bill has already set a precedent by allowing itself to be passed, after a debate in the Lower House initiated by former Indian cricketer and BJP MP Kirti Azad quickly gave way to spirited sloganeering against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, leading to the adjournment of the House without any consensus on the bill’s formulation and provisions.
Civil society organizations have offered mixed reactions to the development. PRS Legislative Research, an organization that supplies bullet-point briefs of bills before they are debated in the Parliament, was pleased. “Thank God for this bill! We have had practically nothing to do over the last two sessions. Now that we can go to work again, there’s some hope of the Fords and Googles continuing to fund us in the coming years,” exclaimed a relieved CV Madhukar, director of PRS.
Team Anna on the other hand has reacted sharply. “Dude, nobody understands how the Duckworth-Lewis method works,” exclaimed Arvind Kejriwal. “This bill will kill whatever little transparency and accountability there is in the system. We will protest against this bill by gheraoing Wisden’s office in India.”