Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday donned the mantle of a mentor for first-time legislators — 98 to be precise — asking them to dump their initial inhibitions to ‘speak up’ in the house to seize the opportunity, as and when it presents, for leaving a favourable imprint.
In his inaugural address at the two-day 95th Foundation Day-cum-Orientation Programme function, organised in the legislative assembly annexe, Kumar drew from his legislative experience to emphasise if the newcomers used their first chance for ‘to the point’ articulation, they would get more opportunities in the future.
“For this to happen, you must be well versed in rules of legislative business to understand when to speak, when to raise hands and what to ask in supplementary questions, which should appear to be both relevant and genuine,” he said even as he suggested “it will help in catching the attention of the speaker”.
“The electorate also keeps a hawk eye on the conduct and performance of their representatives and, therefore, it is their duty to allow the house to function and make the most of the opportunity for mitigating problems of their constituencies and issues of public concern. This will help facilitate your return to the house,” he said.
Pepping them up further, Kumar said: “All those who have become public representatives must be having ‘something in them’. All you need is to stay through the session to familiarise yourself with the legislative process, participate in debates, hear out elders and get motivated for using the platform for delivering on expectations of people, who are the actual masters running the show through their elected representatives.”
“Though interruptions and small anecdotes are not part of the established legislative process, they often tend to make the debate lively and, at times, also help raise its level,” he said. “The presiding officers (speaker and chairman) should not be put off by the ruckus created by the Opposition, which may not have anything constructive to do for the next five years,” he added.
Overcome hesitation and grab opportunity to speak
Always speak “to the point” to leave a favourable impression
Get well versed in rules of legislative business
Stay through the session to learn tricks of the trade
Participate in debates, use technology and stay motivated.