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MPs are defenders of dignity of Parliament, says Kovind

Ram Nath Kovind, Venkaiah Naidu, Narendra Modi and Om Birla during ‘Samvidhan Divas’ at Parliament.   | Photo Credit: PTI

President Ram Nath Kovind said on Friday that Members of Parliament (MPs), whether they represent the ruling party or the Opposition, are defenders of the dignity of Parliament and one should not confuse competition to be rivalry.

Amid a boycott by around 15 Opposition parties, President Kovind addressed MPs in the Central Hall of the Parliament on the occasion of Constitution Day to commemorate the day the Indian Constitution was adopted.

President Kovind said there may be differences of opinion, but no difference should be so great as to hinder the real purpose of public service. “The Opposition is, in fact, the most important element of democracy,” he noted. “Without an effective Opposition, democracy becomes ineffective. It is expected that the Government and the Opposition, despite their differences, continue to work together in the best interests of the citizens. Our Constitution makers had envisioned this and it is also necessary for nation-building.”

Noting that it was natural for members of the ruling party and the Opposition to compete, he said it should be “about being better representatives and doing better things for the public good. Only then will it be considered healthy competition”.

“We all believe that our Parliament is a ‘Temple of Democracy’. Therefore, it becomes the responsibility of every parliamentarian to conduct themselves in this temple of democracy with the same spirit of reverence with which they do in their places of worship,” President Kovind said.

President Kovind also released the digital version of the Constituent Assembly debates, as well as the calligraphed version of the Constitution, at the event.

Speaking at the function, Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu, who is the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, said legislatures should be guided by “dialogue and debate” and not be rendered “dysfunctional through persistent disruptions”.

Mr. Naidu argued that the people’s will in a democracy is conveyed as the mandate to the Governments of the day, and stressed that “tolerance towards the mandate of the people should be the guiding spirit for the legislatures”.

The Rajya Sabha Chairman said productivity of the House — that was meant to be one for Elders — had hit the lowest ever productivity of 29.60% during the last session, slipping from the previous low of 35.75% during 2018.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, in his address, too spoke about Parliament being a forum for debate instead of disruptions. Mr. Birla, interacting with journalists after the function, expressed his displeasure at the boycott by Opposition parties.

“Constitution Day function was of Parliament and not of government. I am upset by the boycott of Opposition parties. It is my endeavour that there should be no tradition of a boycott during the address of President, Vice-President, and the Governor,” he told reporters, adding that arrangements had been made for both Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, and Leader of the Congress party in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury to sit on the dais.


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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 4:52:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/mps-are-defenders-of-dignity-of-parliament-says-kovind/article37711264.ece

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