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Legislator voice of people: Atwal

india Updated: Oct 07, 2006 15:55 IST

LOK SABHA Deputy Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal said on Friday that a legislator is not only a representative of his party but is also the voice of the people on the floor of the House. The welfare of the masses must be his first concern, he opined.

Speaking as chief guest at a seminar on ‘Five decades of development of parliamentary procedures with reference to the participation of public representatives and public in MP’, organised to mark the golden jubilee of MP Assembly here, Atwal said the legislators should feel the pulse of the people to ascertain their grievances and expectations and strive to fulfill them.

He said the legislators, besides setting standards of exemplary behaviour inside and outside the houses, must interact with the people on the imperatives of democracy and how democratic values should be nurtured and nourished. 

Atwal said transparency in governance is the main aspect of democracy and the right to information holds the key to it. Such a right helps in building healthy public opinion and also facilitates in the smooth functioning of democratic system, he said.

Atwal said the Right to Information Act, 2005 will go a long way in promoting accountability and transparency in the functioning of government.

The Act would enable the people to secure access to information under the control of public authorities in order to promote transparency in the working of every public authority, he said.

Former secretary general of Lok Sabha Dr Subhash Kashyap said that highest form of democracy exists in the country, adding that there are nearly 32 lakh elected representatives from Parliament to Panchayat level in the country. ‘I think nowhere else in the world such huge number of elected representatives exist’, he said.

Presiding over the function, State Assembly Speaker Ishwardas Rohani said it was sometimes disturbing to note that the people still face hardship even after so many years of democracy in the country.