Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has stressed that the Constitution requires the country to be a democratic republic and said legislatures should be guided by dialogue and debate and not be rendered dysfunctional through disruptions.
Speaking at a Constitution Day event in Parliament, he also voiced concern over disruptions in Parliament proceedings and said the people’s mandate to the government should be respected.
The Rajya Sabha chairman said, “During the last 254th Session, the productivity further slipped to 29.60 per cent, which means that Rajya Sabha has lost about 70 per cent of functional time.”
Therefore, all concerned need to ponder over rendering legislatures so dysfunctional, Naidu said.
“Clearly, we need to have more meaningful, productive use of our time in Parliament. We need to recognise the exalted place that Parliament occupies in public perception,” he said.
He stressed that all citizens and stakeholders should work with passion for the nation.
Expressing concern over disruption of proceedings, Naidu said the productivity of Rajya Sabha hit the lowest ever of 35.75 per cent during 2018, a year before the last general election, and further dipped to 29.60 per cent during the last 254th Session.
He said that while the annual productivity of Rajya Sabha was over 100 per cent for 16 years, from 1979 to 1994, it has been so only twice in 1998 and 2009 during the next 26 years.
Naidu said that in a democracy, people’s will is conveyed as the mandate to the government of the day and stressed on “tolerance towards the mandate of the people as the guiding spirit for legislatures”.
The vice president observed that dialogue and debates in the constituent assembly should be marked by openness to new perspectives and willingness to listen to diverse views.
Naidu said that elected representatives must choose between being a “bad lot” and a “good lot”.