While the rest of India was watching the bypolls in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the central government quietly passed the much-opposed Finance Bill on Wednesday. The new bill, though friendly to the startup ecosystem in India, has exempted overseas firms from having to quote a permanent account number (PAN). The Bill was rammed through Parliament without a debate.

Twitter reacts

Furious Twitterati in India condemned the act, calling it “unparliamentary,” and “anti-democratic.”

What's the purpose of having a parliament then? It is an irony for the democratic system and a matter of shame for the elected representatives said those opposed to the Bill.

Ashok Gehlot, former chief minister of Rajasthan and general secretary of AICC, took to Twitter to condemn Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “PM Modi-led NDA [government] continues to disregard parliamentary norms [and] procedures. The way Finance Bill was passed without any debate in Parliament is totally undemocratic,” he said.

He also remarked that the bypolls verdict in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar shows the resentment of voters against the BJP and the NDA. “If voters of Gorakhpur, which is a seat so closely associated with the UP chief minister, defeated a BJP candidate, we can imagine how fed up people of UP are with BJP policies,” he added.

Actor Kushboo Sundar, who is the national spokesperson of the Congress, too condemned the Finance Bill which was passed in a matter of minutes without consultation with the Opposition.

“We saw democracy murdered yet again under the Narendra Modi rule..with hullabaloo around the UP bypoll verdict, we saw FinanceBill being passed in the parliament without a discussion and this will have its repercussions in the days to come. “Bure Din” will be rolled out like a red carpet,” she tweeted. The Finance Bill also legalizes foreign funding.

According to experts, this Bill has a provision to legalize shady political donations from 1976 onwards. Those opposed to the Bill also criticized the supporters of the BJP government. “Now waiting for Bhakts to call it a “monumental step” in taking India forward and towards a future of free and fair elections, thus, serving our democracy like nothing else ever has!” posted a user on Twitter.

A few, however, blamed the Opposition for creating a ruckus instead of offering valuable insights.“It certainly is a shame that the opposition is not doing what they are supposed to do! Debate on the Finance Bill 2018, give creative inputs and make the government. Work better for the benefit of the nation,” suggested a citizen on Twitter.

Media to be blamed?

Many blamed the mainstream media for not covering the parliament session pertaining to the Finance Bill. They said that the government and the mainstream media were playing a well-designed game intended to prevent people from seeing the obviously visible catastrophe.

Prime Minister Modi was also accused of pushing the Finance Bill because his government does not want to discuses Nirav Modi and the PNB Scam in parliament.

Many opined that if the Finance Bill and appropriation bills with a spending plan of Rs 89.25 lakh crore can be introduced and passed in a span of 30 minutes without any debate and deliberation, it does not bode well for India. “Get ready for more scams because our MPs have made a mockery of the legislative process,” claimed the anti-BJP supporters.

“I really want to see an avid BJP supporter justify the retrospective amendment in Finance Bill 2018 regarding political donations. It white-washes not just BJP's past sins, but even those of Congress. Going all the way back to the Emergency. 42 years!” tweeted Meghnad, a political analyst who writes about the parliament.

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