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Friday, September 24, 2021

Lawmakers should be held accountable for their conduct: Venkaiah Naidu

He also asked people to reach out to their elected representatives and influence them to conduct themselves positively.

Written by Krishn Kaushik | New Delhi |
Updated: September 1, 2021 6:09:24 am
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday asked people to participate in a ‘Mission 5000’, and as part of that he asked the country’s nearly 5,000 MPs, MLAs and MLCs for constructive participation for an effective Parliamentary democracy.

He asked people to reach out to their elected representatives and influence them to conduct themselves positively.

Delivering the first Pranab Mukherjee Memorial Lecture, on the death anniversary of the former President, Naidu said: “What is happening inside legislatures for some years now has emerged as a major area of concern. While legislatures are meant for deliberation on issues of wider public concern and making of effective laws for the benefit of people and the nation, disruption has emerged as the chief instrument of Parliamentary conduct and functioning.

“Disrupted and dysfunctional legislatures are a subversion of the noble principle of Constitutionalism. They result in blatant violation of the core principles of democracy.”

Naidu’s comments come days after the Monsoon Session of Parliament ended in a washout following protests by the Opposition.

The Vice President said that “dysfunctional legislatures prevent the much-desired wider stakeholder consultations before making of laws and framing of policies”. He said such disruptions “negate the principle of accountability of the executive to the legislatures, thereby promoting the tendency of arbitrariness, which Constitutionalism seeks to checkmate”.

In the 75th year of Independence, he said, “there is an imperative need to make a concrete beginning to restore the sanctity of our legislatures”.

He said that protesting against the “omissions and commissions of the governments on the floor of the legislatures is the right of the legislators,” but “emotional underpinnings of such protests should not cross the limits of decency and decorum that should mark Parliamentary democracy”.

“The sacred mandate given by the people, and the trust imposed by them, should not be betrayed by the elected representatives,” Naidu said. “The need of the hour is a behavioural change among the 5,000 lawmakers of the country who resort to disruptions.”

He said that the “mission of enhancing the dignity of our legislatures”, calling it Mission 5000, is very simple: “If the elected MPs, MLAs and MLCs can mend their ways and conduct themselves appropriately inside legislatures, our lawmaking bodies would certainly look much different from what they are now.”

To achieve it, Naidu said, there is a need for a campaign by the people to influence legislators to conduct themselves “positively in legislative chambers” and people can use various elements, including identifying the “disruptors” and raising the issue when they visit their constituencies.

“More importantly,” he said, voters should take into consideration Parliamentary performance and conduct of elected representatives while voting in the next elections. He said: “The broad objective is to convey to the erring lawmakers the concern of the people over their conduct in the lawmaking bodies and the need for legislatures to be the forums for debate and discussion, and not disruption. Disrupted and dysfunctional legislatures can disrupt the lives of people and the dreams of our nation.”

Naidu said, “If the soul of democracy is to be safeguarded, lawmakers should be held accountable for their conduct — both within and outside the lawmaking bodies.”

“In this landmark 75th year of our Independence, I appeal to all 5,000 legislators of our country to resolve not to disrupt the proceedings of legislatures during this year.”

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