Need for wide-ranging discussions to maintain discipline, decorum & dignity in legislatures: Lok sabha speaker

Bengaluru: Lok Sabha speaker Shri Om Birla addressed the Members of Karnataka Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly at the Karnataka Vidhan Sabha Chamber today. Speaking on the occasion, Shri Birla said that the foundation of democracy rests on the accountability of public representatives. Further observing that public representatives must remain sensitive towards the people and fulfill their hopes and aspirations, he said that it is important that the peoples’ faith in democracy is maintained in order to strengthen it. He added that it is only possible when public representatives set such an example through their conduct that the peoples’ faith in democracy increases.

Chairman of Legislative Council of Karnataka Shri Basavaraj Horatti, Speaker of Karnataka Legislative Assembly Shri Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri, Chief Minister of Karnataka Shri Basavaraj Bommai, Members of the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly and Lok Sabha Secretary General Shri Utpal Kumar Singh were also present on the occasion.

Shri Birla urged legislators that, ‘It is our duty to ensure that the laws must be passed only after extensive dialogue, discussion and the active involvement of legislators, so that the laws passed may stand scrutiny.’ Emphasizing on capacity building of legislators, he noted that the required level of extensive dialogue, discussion and participation from legislators is not being seen. He suggested that adequate action need to be taken in this regard.

Referring to the issue of disruption of proceedings and disorderly conduct, Shri Birla said that since public representatives are directly connected to the people and understand their wants, issues and difficulties, their active participation in the legislative process is required. For this, they must ensure that the valuable time of the Assembly is not wasted due to disruption.

Shri Birla said that once again there is a need for wide ranging discussions to maintain discipline, decorum and dignity in State Legislatures. Discussions in this regard have been held from time to time at various forums. He reminded that in 1992, 1997 and 2001 various conferences were held which saw the participation of Presiding Officers, senior leaders of the Treasury and the Opposition who held wide ranging discussions to maintain discipline, decorum and dignity in Legislatures. They also passed a few proposals and resolutions.

He added that this does not mean that legislatures will not have protests, differences and debate. In fact the differences and debates are the defining feature of our democratic system. They have made our democracy richer and more vibrant. He, however, emphasized that protest must be dignified and remain within parliamentary norms. Public Representatives must refrain from any conduct that lowers the efficiency and dignity of parliamentary democracy.

Shri Birla also presented the outstanding MLA award to former Chief Minister Shri B.S. Yeddyurappa on this occasion.

Earlier, Speaker, Karnataka Legislative Assembly, Shri V.S. Kageri said that the ruling and the opposition parties should fulfill their responsibilities as per the rules and procedures of the House. Similarly, the Opposition should not hesitate to give new and innovative advice to the ruling party. He stressed that the ruling party should remain devoted only to the interests of the citizens. In his speech, Mr. Kageri further said that it is a fallacy that the Members of the House do not have enough time to raise the issues pertaining to the Executive. He said that this responsibility can be fulfilled well by following the rules of procedure of the House. Regarding the accountability of the Executive, he said that it is important for the legislators to question the government effectively and get proper answers. He especially emphasized on ensuring financial scrutiny of the executive, proper utilization of the time of the House and constructive scrutiny by the media.

In his speech, the Chairman of Karnataka Legislative Council, Shri Basavaraj Horatti expressed the view that the basic aim of democracy is that everyone should have equal opportunity and benefits must reach everyone. He said that to fulfill this purpose, legislatures must work democratically and laws should be made which can help the people. He stressed that while passing bills, it is also important to keep in mind that public representatives respect the sentiments and aspirations of the people. He said that the legislature gives the right to free expression to all without distinction like religion, colour, caste etc. Therefore, it is the duty of the public representatives to show a sense of generosity in their conduct within the precincts of the House.

Advocating for more opportunities in politics to the youth, Shri Horatti said that it would only enrich our public life. He also expressed confidence that all public representatives would lead the youth towards the work of nation building.