Parliament shouldn’t be platform for scoring brownie points: VP

Kolkata: Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday said parliament should not become a platform for scoring political brownie points.

“The time has come for serious introspection on the part of political parties to see that parliament does not become a platform for scoring political brownie points,” Naidu said.

“There is no other alternative but to ensure that parliament functions in an effective and responsive manner to further peace, progress and prosperity in the country,” the Vice President added.

Addressing a seminar here on ‘Revitalizing Parliamentary Democracy in India’ on the occasion of the 187th anniversary celebrations of Calcutta Chamber of Commerce, Naidu expressed concern over the functioning of parliament in the backdrop of the severe criticism from various quarters, including the parliamentary fraternity itself.

“This criticism is due to the way parliament and the state legislatures are functioning. It may be due to a decline, in recent years, in both the quantity and quality of parliamentary work,” Naidu said.

According to him, disruptions during parliament session are a matter of “concern” as they have become the order of the day with the political parties failing to rein in their members.

Over the years, parliament’s legislative business and the number of hours it devotes to debate crucial issues of national importance have come down, he said, adding that even, the relatively fewer days when Parliament meets are often marked by pandemonium, resulting in frequent adjournments on trivial topics.

Naidu pointed out political parties need to arrive at a consensus on this important issue so that the precious time of parliament and legislatures is “not wasted on issues which can be best resolved through debates and dialogues”.

“But unfortunately, at present healthy debate and discussions, the hallmark of parliamentary democracy’ are overshadowed by disruption, confrontation, and forced adjournments of the house. On many occasions, Parliament gets stalled resulting in wastage of public money and loss of working hours,” he said.

As a result, parliament finds itself unable to discuss and deliberate on important socio-economic issues which affect the people and the country, Naidu added.