Vice President M Hamid Ansari today pitched for a healthy democracy and asked members of Parliament to prevent “erosion of the vitality” and spirit of democracy, which he said, is the lifeblood of the parliament.
He stressed that a parliamentarian must first believe in the democracy himself or herself and underscored the need for proper personal conduct by MPs to stoke assurance among public to ensure them of the efficacy of the institutions of parliamentary democracy.
He said this addressing ‘Lokmat Parliamentary Awards 2017′ ceremony, organised by the media house from Maharashtra.
The Vice President felicitated BJP stalwart L K Advani and senior Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav, both members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha respectively, with ‘life time achievement awards’.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury was also felicitated during the event which was attended by political heavyweights cutting across party lines.
“Our Constitution provides a framework for our democracy. A framework is one aspect; its spirit is another and more important aspect.
“It is the duty of the elected representatives of the people of India to prevent erosion of the vitality and spirit of democracy that is the lifeblood of our Parliament.” Ansari said.
He also quoted former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, whom he described as one of the most charismatic parliamentarians in the history, to stress that House of Parliament is a place “where hopes, aspirations and frustrations of people of this country should be reflected and echoed”.
Describing parliamentarians as a “bridge” between overarching national interests and local dynamics and interests that affect the constituents who have elected him/her, Ansari said reconciling the two takes not only “political dexterity”, but also a broader vision and foresight that should characterise his/her functioning.
“The third quality that sets a good parliamentarian apart is the ability to communicate effectively with an economy of words,” he said, and insisted MPs must strive to bring the highest possible level of clarity, erudition and civility to their public discourses.
He also praised Advani in this context, saying the BJP veteran would always tell party parliamentarians that “ideology alone would not suffice, but there is a need of proper conduct”.
NDA’s vice presidential poll candidate M Venkaiah Naidu, who also attended the event, stressed that parliamentarians should conduct themselves properly keeping in mind that Indian parliamentary system is “recognised, appreciated” worldwide.
He also praised Advani in this context, saying the BJP veteran would always tell party MPs that “ideology alone would not suffice, but there is a need of proper conduct”.
Stating there is “no dearth of TV channels” these days, Naidu told the attendees, comprising parliamentarians in big number, to drive point that the public representatives should conduct themselves well as “people are watching”.
He also asked budding parliamentarians to read more to perform well inside the House.
BJP’s New Delhi MP Meenakshi, NK Premchandran of RSP and Congress’ Kumari Sushmita Dev – all from the Lok Sabha – received the awards in the category of best debutant (woman) parliamentarian, best parliamentarian and best woman parliamentarian awards respectively.
From Rajya Sabha, Congress’ Rajani Patil, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and SP’s Jaya Bachchan won the awards in best debutant (woman) parliamentarian, best parliamentarian and best woman parliamentarian awards respectively for the same year.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, former Lok Sabha Shivraj Patil, National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah, senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari were among the key leaders present at the event.