Legislatures should respect people’s mandate to Governments, asserts Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu

New Delhi : The Vice President of India and Chairman of Rajya Sabha  M. Venkaiah Naidu has asserted that with the Constitution of India requiring the country to be a democratic republic, legislatures of the country should be guided by ‘dialogue and debate’ and should not be rendered dysfunctional through persistent disruptions. He expressed concern over steady decline in the productivity of the Rajya Sabha.  Shri Naidu elaborated on the disjunction between the spirit and provisions of the Constitution and the actual practice while speaking on the occasion of ‘Constitution Day’ in the Central Hall of Parliament today.

Stating that the Constitution is a statement of values, ideas and ideals and seeking to ensure justice, liberty and equality for all in the true spirit of fraternity, the law of the land sought to promote national unity so that India could emerge as one community. He recalled Sardar Patel asserting that “….in the long run, it would be in the interest of all to forget that there is anything like majority of minority community in this country and that in India there is only one community”. He stressed that all citizens and stakeholders should work with passion for the nation.

Expressing concern over the dysfunctional legislatures on account of persistent disruptions, Rajya Sabha Chairman Shri Naidu informed that the productivity of the House  has hit the lowest ever of 35.75% during 2018, a year before the last General Elections and further slipped to 29.60% during the last 254th Session. He further said that while the annual productivity of Rajya Sabha has been over 100% for 16 years from 1979 to 1994, it has been so only twice in 1998 and 2009 during the next 26 years. The Chairman urged all concerned to ponder over rendering the legislatures so dysfunctional.

Arguing that in a democracy, people’s will is conveyed as the mandate to the Governments of the day, Vice President Shri Naidu stressed that “Tolerance towards the mandate of the people by the guiding spirit for the legislatures”.

Referring  to dialogue and debates in the Constituent Assembly marked by openness  to new perspectives and willingness to listen to diverse views, Chairman Shri Naidu urged the elected representatives to choose between being a bad lot or a good lot who can respectively fail even a good Constitution and work a defective one. He expressed concern over disruptions resulting in inadequate scrutiny of the Bills.

The Vice President Naidu lauded the empowerment of women with the Constitution granting them the Right to Vote in one stroke while it took 144 years for the US and 100 years for the UK to do so and enable women as partners in shaping the destiny of the country.

Stating that ‘inclusion’ is the sole object of Constitution, Shri Naidu stated that this spirit is echoed in the overarching philosophy of the Government led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi that believes in “Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayas”.

Stating that the Constitution of India has worked broadly well so far, he referred to certain unfortunate efforts to subvert its spirit and philosophy during the dark period of Emergency which were fortunately undone and said “We, the people, have time and again demonstrated that we will now allow this beautiful tree to wither”.

Naidu called for strict adherence to the spirit and provisions of the Constitution of India so that the country can be taken to the next level and occupy its rightful place in the comity of nations as a Sushikshit Bharat, Surakshit Bharat, Swastha Bharat, Atmanirbhar Bharat and ultimately Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat.