Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday said that the opposition should refrain from criticism for the sake of it and members of the House should follow the etiquettes and courtesies of legislative procedures. Members of the opposition should play a constructive and positive role in the interest of the people, he said during the inaugural session of a two-day special orientation programme for legislators at the Punjab Assembly. The event is being jointly organised by the assembly and the Mahatma Gandhi State Institute for Public Administration here.
“Constructive opposition of the government’s policies and programmes will help it achieve better results in implementing pro-people initiatives, and members should follow the etiquettes and legislative procedures, traditions, courtesies and conventions for discussions in the House,” he said. “The Congress government in the state welcomes healthy criticism, but the opposition should refrain from criticism for the sake of criticism, Singh said.
The sessions, during the progarmme, will be conducted by experts and would benefit first-time legislators by helping them understand legislative procedures and the correct manner to raise issues during proceedings, he said. The discussions will also help MLAs become aware of their rights during the Question Hour and Zero Hour, a statement said quoting Singh.
The chief minister urged members to adopt a value-based and ethical approach while raising issues related to their assembly constituencies and the state. Recalling his experience as an MP, Singh said that late prime minister Indira Gandhi used to hold regular orientation programmes for parliamentarians, and remembered participating in one such session in Surajkund in Haryana. Speaker Rana K P Singh said that the initiative, mooted by the chief minister, was aimed at transferring knowledge on legislative traditions and practices to new members.
The programme, he said, would help equip members to fulfil their roles and responsibilities in the interest of the people. Leader of Opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira said that it would strengthen the legislature and particularly help first-time legislators.
Khaira stressed on the need to hold sufficient sittings of the House to allow members raise issues concerning their constituencies. Recalling that in the last session of the assembly, a first-time MLA had crossed the floor of the House in a wrong manner, Punjab minister Brahm Mohindra said it was imperative to provide them with the necessary training in the etiquettes and procedures of the House.