Vice President-elect M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday expressed his disapproval of disruptions in Parliament and said he would enforce rules to run the Rajya Sabha but also seek cooperation from members. A day before he is sworn in as vice president, Naidu said the government needs parliamentary approval to push legislations so it can implement the agenda for which it had received the people’s mandate.
“Both Houses of Parliament have the responsibility to have legislators discuss them (government bills). That is the duty of legislatures. If we do not allow the House to function, then how do you legislate? That is why I said earlier if a government proposes, opposition opposes, then let the House dispose either way,” Naidu told PTI.
As vice president, Naidu will be the Rajya Sabha chairman and the government is hopeful that his presence will result in the House running more smoothly. Opposition members, who outnumber treasury benches in the House, have often blocked its legislations.
“We must be mature enough to conduct the proceedings of Parliament in a smooth and meaningful manner. The chair is not only presiding officer but also custodian of the House.
“He is duty-bound to run it in accordance with responsibilities cast on him under rules, procedures and conventions. It is for the Chair to enforce rules but also seek cooperation from members,” said the 68-year-old leader and former Union minister.
As custodian of the rights and privileges of members, he will see to it that the House is run smoothly according to the the procedures laid down, Naidu said.
The responsibility, he added, lies equally with members,
There was an impression about Parliament functioning and it needed to be corrected, Naidu said, a reference to frequent disruptions resulting in fall in productivity.
The former BJP president and four-term Rajya Sabha member said everyone should respect the mandate of the people once elections were over. The verdict of the people was binding on all.
This mandate was on account of some promises, principles and manifesto, he said, adding that it was the government’s duty to implement it, at times by getting legislative approval from both Houses of Parliament.
Naidu quoted former President Pranab Mukherjee’s advice to MPs that they should discuss, debate and decide but not disturb Parliament, and said they should follow him.
He also referred to the pledge adopted at a special session of Parliament on the occasion of the golden jubilee of Independence to make his point about the need for the House to run smoothly.
The pledge said, “… the prestige of Parliament be preserved and enhanced, also by conscious and dignified conformity to the entire regime of rules of procedure and conduct of business of the… refraining from transgressing into the official areas of the House, or from any shouting of slogans…”
Noting that the protocol demands of his new job may not allow him much freedom to being among people, something he always cherished, Naidu said he was “immensely satisfied” with his life as an active politician, now coming to an end, at least for the next five years.