The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that the stalling the functioning of the Parliament and Legislatures was tantamount to subverting democracy and betraying people.
Speaking after presenting ‘Democracy Awards’ at a function organized by the Maharashtra State Election Commission, in Mumbai last evening, Naidu, who is the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, said that he was deeply distressed by the behavior of some sections in the Rajya Sabha during the last two years.
The Vice President was pained when members disregard rules and conventions leading to pandemonium in the House. The members of the Rajya Sabha have a special responsibility to lead by example. If MPs and MLAs resort to slogan-shouting and disrupting the proceedings, they would be rendering a disservice to Parliamentary democracy, he added.
Expressing his anguish over the objectionable comments made by a member of the Lok Sabha about a woman presiding officer, Naidu said it was not in our culture to disrespect women. Such behavior would demean our Parliamentary democracy, he added.
Pointing out that the ruling and opposition parties should not treat each other as enemies or adversaries, the Vice President said that respecting the mandate of the people and allowing the governments of the day to deliver as per the mandate must be an essential principle of functioning of legislatures.
Observing that both ruling and opposition parties have a shared responsibility in ensuring effective functioning of the Parliament and legislatures, Naidu urged them to adopt a spirit of mutual respect and accommodation.
The Vice President stressed that democracy was all about debate, discussion and decision and they cannot be replaced by disorder, disruption and delay in legislation “which is nothing but a negation of the spirit of democracy”.
Stating that the basic functions of the Parliament and State Legislatures were legislation, deliberation and ensuring accountability of the executive, Naidu said the opposition can and should take the governments to task if they deviate from what has been offered to the people.