Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu (File Pic)
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu (File Pic)

Disregard to rules, parliamentary conventions erode stature of Rajya Sabha: Naidu

ANI | Updated: Jul 27, 2019 19:34 IST

Mumbai (India), July 27 (ANI): Expressing his anguish over the chaotic scenes in Rajya Sabha during voting on RTI bill, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said on Saturday that any disregard to the rules and parliamentary conventions erode the stature of the Upper House.
"Parliament functions based on the Rules of the constituent Houses, conventions, earlier rulings of the Chair and code of conduct for members. As the Chairman of Rajya Sabha, it pains me if members chose to disregard them resulting in pandemonium which in turn erodes the stature of the House of elders in the eyes of the public," he said addressing a gathering after presenting Democracy Awards by the State Election Commission, Maharashtra.
His remarks came in the wake of unruly scenes witnessed in Rajya Sabha during the voting process on Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019 as some of the treasury benches members were seen instructing some members of the like-minded parties. One of them even allegedly collected the voting slips, which is usually the job of officials. The Opposition members vehemently opposed it and later staged a walkout in protest.
"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. Members of Rajya Sabha has a special responsibility cast on them of leading by example being the members of the House of Elders," he said.
The Chairman said it was the responsibility of both the treasury and the opposition benches to ensure smooth functioning of the Parliament by taking on board concerns of each other.
"Opposition parties do have the right and responsibility of seeking the governments to deliver on the promises made by them during the polls. They can and should take the governments to task if they deviate from what has been offered to the people for which various effective instruments are available in the Parliament and State Legislatures," he said.
Naidu said the elections cannot be completed without peoples' participation but it is not limited to contesting elections and taking part in voting every five years.
"When I say peoples' participation, I am referring to the importance of continuously encouraging and enthusing people about elections. It is also equally important to recognise the efforts put in by various agencies, including the security personnel and Civil Society organisations. Therefore, it becomes essential to train individuals in democratic practices, especially at the grassroots level," he said.
He said India is on fast track of economic development and it was important to ensure that there is equitable distribution of the fruits of development.
"All the states must review the progress they have made with regard to devolution powers and see that all the 29 subjects are transferred to the local bodies immediately. Any further delay would be tantamount to violating the constitutional mandate.
"I have been always stressing the need for devolving adequate funds, functions and functionaries--three Fs--to empower the Panchayati raj bodies. Democracy would be more meaningful and robust when people participate in their own affairs," he said. (ANI)