December 18, 2021 4:27:44 am
With the remarks by former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi about his attendance in Parliament becoming a controversy, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said every member of Parliament is “duty-bound” to attend the House unless there are “compelling reasons” for not doing so.
“You are duty-bound to attend the Parliament, unless you have some compelling reasons. In public life you may have to attend other functions also and you may have to be absent… but people who do not attend Parliament and committee meetings regularly are not good examples,” Naidu said while addressing a gathering at the conferment ceremony of Keraleeyam V K Madhavankutty Puraskaram at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Conference Hall.
Remarks by Gogoi in a recent interview to a TV channel led to the filing of a privilege motion against him. During the interview, aired on December 9, Gogoi justified his poor attendance in Parliament by citing Covid curbs, and the lack of social distancing and seating arrangements. “I go to the RS when I feel like, when I think there are matters of importance on which I should speak. I am a nominated member, not governed by any party whip,” Gogoi had said.
Naidu said the privilege motion against Gogoi will be decided “on its merits.” However, without taking any names, he pointed out that members who do not attend the Parliament session or the committee meetings would not have the right to criticise others.
“The (parliamentary) committee system is very important. But some members unfortunately do not attend the committee meetings,” he said.
“You attend two meetings of the committee and say it’s the prerogative of the members. When you say it’s your privilege to attend or not attend Parliament or committee, how can you criticise others. When some other members did it, some people moved a privilege motion… we will decide it on its merits… but how can we criticise others?” Naidu said.
“There are members who regularly attend Parliament. Some members come and attend from the beginning till the end. (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar with his age and experience never goes to the well of the house nor lets his partymen do so. (Late Congress veteran) Motilal Vohra used to come to the House everyday… such people and their conduct should be written about in the media,” Naidu said.
He added that he was disappointed with media reporting. “Only sensationalism… One should report not just about obstructions, but construction also… I did not mean the media should support the government, but it should encourage people who make constructive criticism of the policies and the bills of the government,” Naidu said.
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