Vice President of India and Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu on May 30, 2018 said that a Committee set up by him to review the Rules of Rajya Sabha to enable better functioning of the House has started work and will submit an Interim Report next month.
Venkaiah Naidu spoke about the need for reforms in the functioning of various constitutional organs for realising a better and new India. He voiced concern over the functioning of the legislatures, judiciary, political parties, etc. after releasing a book ‘Straight Talk’ based on the articles of Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Member of Rajya Sabha in New Delhi on May 30, 2018.
Venkaiah Naidu complimented Singhvi for evidence based analysis of India’s potential and the need for making a ‘Better India’, M. Venkaiah Naidu. Saying that Singhvi’s vision of Better India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s New India are the same intent aimed at meeting the dreams and aspirations of every citizen, M. Venkaiah Naidu urged upon the political parties to work together to inspire confidence among the people.
Naidu said “We need to ponder if our legislatures are sending out the right message to the people who have lot of expectations from these temples of democracy. The ‘ruling and opposition parties divide’ that is becoming increasingly manifest in our legislatures does not inspire confidence in the people. While the governments and ruling parties of the day seek to push legislative proposals, the opposition is mandated with ensuring the best possible scrutiny. At the end of the day, the best possible legislations should follow which further the aspirations of the people. This can be realized without both losing their respective identities. This calls for a new political approach based on ‘Less Fission (division) and more Fusion’. Incidentally, this is a title of one of the articles in Singhvi’s Straight Talk”.
The Vice President further stressed that political parties are only rivals and not enemies. He said that rivals play out their roles within a set of rules while enemies seek to destroy each other and political parties should abide by this distinction.
Stating that Singhvi’s writings reflect his concern over the virulently aggressive disruptions of the proceedings of the House, M. Venkaiah Naidu said the Rules Review Committee set up by him would consider Singhvi’s recommendation for automatic suspension of the allowances of Members for the period of disruption combined with suspension of named Members for a prolonged period without revocation based on misplaced benevolence.
Appreciating Singhvi for making concrete suggestions for better functioning of various institutions, M. Venkaiah Naidu called for wider public debate and awareness on them. These suggestions include: Allowing a group of specified number of MPs to initiate legislative proposals, Disqualification of law makers with criminal antecedents at the stage of framing of charges by the Courts, Announcing successor judge a month before a judges retires, Fast Track courts for adjudicating election related cases, Mandatory judicial impact assessment of all legislations for assessing the litigation potential and a New Ministry of Excellence to institutionalise, internalise and make operational excellence at all levels.
In the context of complaints against Electronic Voting Machines, M. Venkaiah Naidu quoted Abhishek Manu Singhvi who opined that “Despite periodic taunts and criticism of EVM, there is a near unanimity that it yields a remarkably accurate and virtually unassailable results.”
The Vice President also quoted Singhvi about judiciary’s overreach of constitutional provisions. Singhvi in his book said “Judicial activism, in the sense of excessive judicial interference in the working of a democratic polity, is a basic and undeniable truth in India. Judicial overreach is a living reality, making lament formal and protest ornamental. From the monkey to the dog menace, from corruption to cleaning up cities and rivers, from the comic to the divine and from the useful to the banal, India has all varieties of Judicial activism on offer”.