Seeking to narrow down political differences and honouring right to dissent,leaders of major political parties in the Rajya Sabha on Sunday admitted that negative mindset had impacted welfare of the people.
BSP chief Mayawati said that narrow political interests had impacted parliamentary democracy,and hampered welfare measures. We have also not been able to eradicate corruption because of which the people of the country have been forced to demand something like the Lokpal Bill, she said,adding that during the first 30 years,much more attention was paid to the welfare of people and political interests were secondary.
Shivanand Tiwari of the JD(U) said that fundamental forces were strengthening and the poor and backward,who are a majority,have started asserting themselves through their vote. Force is being used to decide which book to read and which not to read,what can be written and what cant be written,which cartoon can be made and distributed and which cant…There is no space for dissent, he said.
Sukhendu Sekhar Roy of the TMC expressed fear over growing political cynicism. Mohan Singh of the SP said efforts must be made to further strengthen democracy. V Maitreyan of the AIADMK said that there has been a tendency to undermine the powers of states. Tariq Anwar of the NCP said that if MPs wanted to strengthen democracy,they must debate without disruption.
Devender Gaud T of the TDP demanded that a mechanism be set up to maintain the countrys federal character while Barun Mukherji of Forward Block said the need was to make parliamentary standing committees more effective. LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan stressed the need for reservation for SCs and STs in judiciary,private sector and media. D Raja of the CPI,while referring to the controversy over B R Ambedkars cartoon in a textbook,said that Parliament had taken a stand on the issue,at the same time,Parliament does not undermine the importance of academicians.
Former deputy chairman K Rahman Khan said,We pass laws. We expect people to follow those laws. But in Parliament everyday we break rules and create disturbance in the House.