Lamenting the decline in standards of public discourse in politics over the last few years, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday asked for a consensus among political parties for a code of conduct that their members must adhere to. “It is unfortunate that the quality of public discourse has been steadily declining in the last few years,” said Naidu, adding that it must not be allowed to “persist”.
Political parties, Naidu said, “must evolve a consensus on the code of conduct for their members both inside the legislature and out of it”. If this is not arrested, he said that “people might soon lose faith in our political processes and institutions”.
Quoting the Gita, Naidu said that the “behaviour of the leaders influences the behaviour of all others” which is why people in leadership positions have a “higher responsibility than others”.
Naidu was speaking at the launch of books in English and Hindi which are a compilation of President Ram Nath Kovind’s speeches since he became the President. The English book named The Republican Ethic has 95 speeches, while the Hindi collection named Loktantra ke Swar includes 109 speeches.
Kovind was not present at the event, which was attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Minister of State (Independent) for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore. Citing the example of anti-defection law, Naidu said it must be followed in letter and spirit and “with sincerity”.
The pending 4,127 cases against politicians are a matter of “grave concern”, said Naidu, adding that their disposal should be fast-tracked.