Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has cautioned MPs about the growing perception that democracy is in danger through “dysfunctional legislatures” and advised them to recalibrate their ways of thinking and acting.
In his observations to the House, Chairman Naidu recalled the concern he had expressed time and again about disruptions and the negative public perception arising out of “this dysfunctional state of affairs”.
Observing that substantial loss of functional time results in very low productivity, the pendency of crucial legislation and lapse of some Bills on the dissolution of the Lok Sabha, he said that every Question Hour lost means an opportunity to seek answers from the government on eight issues of policy implementation and governance by 40 members.
Stating that he was deeply disturbed by the recent happenings in the House, the Chairman said that people were equally getting disturbed and disillusioned with the way the House was functioning.
“The trust and confidence of people in our institutions is getting eroded. This downslide should end,” he added.
Pointing out that people of the country want the august House to be a performing one, Rajya Sabha Chairman Naidu said as the House of Elders, we need to lead by example. This is a privilege that people bestow on a few. The expectations are high. He warned “If we fail we fail our people, we fail our nation, and we cannot allow this to happen”
Appealing to all Parliamentarians to make an inspiring fresh beginning with this session, he said: “Our Parliament over the next few years has a very crucial role to play in the making of a New India by 2022 in which we all can take pride.”
Observing that India was an aspirational country with youth consisting almost two-thirds of our population, he said citizens want to be active partners in development.
“Against this backdrop, we have to make our systems work better, make the institutions respond faster and the governance patterns altered to become more citizen-centric. We, in the Parliament, have an onerous responsibility,” he added.
Reminding the members that Rajya Sabha, being the house of elders has an added responsibility, he said “people expect from us a mature outlook, dispassionate and sensitive contemplation and meaningful deliberations on issues of public importance. We have to live up to their expectations and be role models for other legislatures.”
The Rajya Sabha Chairman also sought members suggestions on the automatic lapsing of bills in Rajya Sabha and on how to make Parliament a more effective forum of decision making.