Members mark 60th anniversary of the first sitting of Parliament; Advani joins Pranab in appealing for tolerance, respect for others
Congress president Sonia Gandhi Sunday called on members of Parliament to live up to the ideals of the founding fathers of the Constitution. The 60th anniversary of the first sitting of Parliament was an occasion for reflection, she said.
She said the “journey of Parliament had not always been smooth or without challenges” and the anniversary “was also an occasion for reflection.”
“Our conduct must be according to the standards of founding fathers,” Ms. Gandhi said.
Flagging concerns over repeated disruptions and “unwillingness” for discussions, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appealed to members to restore dignity and decorum in the Rajya Sabha.
The history of the functioning of the House over the last 60 years had proved that the trust reposed in it by the founding fathers of the Constitution has been substantially fulfilled.
“That is not to say that we should not reflect with concern on the repeated disruptions of proceedings and a regrettable unwillingness, on occasion, to engage in informed discussion,” the Prime Minister noted.
He hoped that on this momentous occasion of the completion of 60 years of the functioning of the House members “can write a new chapter and restore to it the sense of dignity and decorum that is expected of a House of Elders.”
Leader of the Lok Sabha and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday lamented that a handful of members throttle “silent majority” and called for a mechanism that will eliminate disruptions.
“On many occasions, this House has been tumultuous, tempers ran high, but disruptions were the least this House has adopted.
Mr. Mukherjee said Parliament has acted as a “shock absorber” on several occasions and whenever there have been disputes, dissensions, the Lok Sabha has played a role in defusing it.
Mr. Mukherjee noted there has been confrontation in the federal structure between various organs of the government and judiciary, executive and legislature. “But over the years we have evolved a system and able to find an amicable solution,” he said.
Endorsing the views of Mr. Mukherjee, BJP leader L.K. Advani said tolerance and understanding for each others' views and debates in Parliament can solve issues.
Highlighting the success of Indian parliamentary system, he said views of the Opposition are given due understanding and respect. “Parliament is a major example of that,” he said. The BJP leader said people sceptical of a country of poor and illiterate people becoming a successful democracy had been proved wrong.PTI