Venkaiah Naidu warns not to stray from public mandate
Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday chastised a section of legislators for unruly behaviour and cautioned them “not to stray from the mandate of the people”.
“As chairman of Rajya Sabha, it pains me if members choose to disregard… [code of conduct], resulting in pandemonium which, in turn, erodes the stature of the House of Elders in the eyes of the public,” he said at a function in Mumbai, organized by the Maharashtra State Election Commission.
Pointing out that democracy is all about debate, discussion and decision, not disorder, Naidu said, “The ruling and opposition parties should not look at each other as enemies or adversaries. Instead, they should function as joint stakeholders in the well-being of the people and socio-economic transformation of the country.”
Naidu said Parliament functions according to rules of the constituent Houses, conventions, earlier rulings of the Chair and a code of conduct for MPs. As members of the House of Elders, MPs have a special responsibility of leading by example, he added.
“During this session, some members in their wisdom have preferred to tear official papers and throw them at the Chair on some occasions. Such conduct does not speak well of the functioning of our parliamentary democracy,” he said.
The Rajya Sabha often faces disruptions and protests, forcing the Chair to adjourn proceedings. In the ongoing budget session, the Lok Sabha has worked overtime to utilize 126% of its scheduled time while the Upper House has worked 96% of its time. While the Lok Sabha has cleared 17 bills, the Rajya Sabha has cleared 14. A comparative study by PRS Legislative Research has said that the Rajya Sabha is lagging behind the Lok Sabha in Question Hour, legislative business and financial business.
On Friday, as many as 17 Opposition parties, including the Congress, wrote to Naidu expressing “serious concern” over the government’s hurry in passing legislations “without any scrutiny by parliamentary standing or select committees”.