Only 80-odd Member Parliament (MPs) were present when the Lok Sabha finally found time to discuss the drought, which, by the Centre’s own admission, has affected about 33 crore people across 256 districts in 10 states. Such seeming indifference to an issue that should be the top national concern today is shocking.
The public would have benefited from knowing what the representatives of the people have to say on the drought situation as it has unfolded in their areas. Their views and suggestions, extending to criticism of government measures, would have provided valuable inputs for dealing with crisis that calls for immediate and long-term responses.
This role, basically that of putting pressure on the centre and states to act, is something the legislature is expected to perform. The fact that it required the Supreme Court to tell the centre to provide immediate relief to drought-hit states and release adequate funds for taking up MGNREGA works, only shows how much space the lawmakers have vacated for others to fill.