In Bahumat vs Sarvamat, President Pranab Mukherjee’s Praise For PM Narendra Modi

Mumbai: While applauding the BJP’s recent victories in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand assembly polls and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clever steering, President Pranab Mukherjee emphasised the need to guard against “majoritarianism”, saying those in power must take the entire nation along at all times.

“Consultation and consensus is the best and often the only way forward,” he said in his speech at a conclave organised by India Today in Mumbai.

Mr Mukherjee was also impressed by PM Modi’s felicitation speech following the party’s resounding win and “was extremely happy to hear PM Modi speak about the need for humility in the aftermath of BJP’s big wins”.

“He said that while electoral verdicts are determined on the basis of ‘bahumat’ (majority), the states will be governed on the principle of ‘sarvamat’ (consensus). This is indeed India’s tradition and what the large majority of our people desire to see in action,” Mr Mukherjee said.

Mr Mukherjee also touched on the issue of frequent disruption in Parliament and said that it pains him “because my entire public life has been defined by my role in Parliament”. He added that it is difficult for him to stand and watch this fundamental pillar of Indian democracy being rendered ineffective.

“There is absolutely no justification for constant disruption of proceedings, low level of attendance, shrinking in number of days that the Parliament and state legislatures meet and the irresponsible manner in which important legislation, including the budget and financial proposals, get passed with hardly any discussion,” he said.

Mr Mukherjee, therefore, urged both the ruling party and the Opposition “to break this vicious cycle” of disruptions, disorderly behaviour and work in tandem towards the development of the country.