Some current and former Members of Parliament from different political parties and Constitution experts pitched for introducing reforms in the functioning of the Upper House to avoid obstructionism.
“Chamber of Rajya Sabha is required to ensure the bills passed by Lok Sabha are studied properly and without any hurry before approving them. But the problem occurs when for instance…out of the 17 days of Monsoon Session until now, 82 hours were filled with chaos. So, there should be some reform in this direction,” BJP’s former Rajya Sabha member Tarun Vijay said.
He was speaking during a round table discussion on ‘Bicameralism and Role of Upper House in Indian Parliament’ organised by Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) here.
BJP’s Sanjay Jaiswal, who represents Paschim Champaran constituency in Bihar, underscored the importance of Rajya Sabha but observed many of the Upper House members don’t take up issues pertaining to the states they represent. Rajya Sabha MP of NCP DP Tripathi and Secretary General of Lok Sabha Subhash Kashyap echoed the view.
“Efforts should be made to achieve what was envisaged in Constitution. Rajya Sabha is a Council of State. It is supposed to represent states. But we see someone who has never stayed in a particular state, doesn’t know people there, is unaware of culture there, becoming that state’s representative in Rajya Sabha…so, this is a contradiction,” Kashyap said.
Tripathi said the need for introducing people with expertise in different domains as members of Rajya Sabha was envisaged while it was being formed and the need for giving the MPs adequate time to raise and discuss issues. “Hence, there is a need for improvement, rules need to be amended. The House should function properly, there should be no obstruction. There should be debates,” Tripathi said.
Noting the Rajya Sabha gives an opportunity to “non-political talent” to perform, Independent Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar said the only reform required is to see political parties use veto right for the right purpose than for obstruction.
Former Union Minister Kishore Chandra Deo, MPs Bhartruhari Mahtab (BJD), MV Rajeev Gowda (Congress) and Shivkumar Udasi (BJP) also took part in the discussion which was moderated by Prasar Bharti chairman and VIF distinguished fellow A Suryaprakash.