New Delhi: Expressing concerns over people’s declining faith in legislative bodies, Lok Sabha Speaker Shri Om Birla said that there is a question mark about legislatures and people’s representatives in the general public. He stressed that we have to address this question mark as well and improve the image and productivity of the Legislatures. Shri Birla said that the discussions in the Legislatures should be more disciplined, meaningful and dignified. Referring to the provisions of the Constitution, Shri Birla said that the intention of our constitution makers was that our democratic institutions should work as effective institutions to ensure socio-economic change in the lives of common people. Shri Birla emphasized that there is a need to make Parliament and Legislatures more effective, responsive and productive. He suggested that it is the responsibility of the Presiding Officers to give adequate opportunities for the expression of the hopes, expectations and concerns of the citizens through the people’s representatives in the Legislatures. Shri Birla also said that there should be active participation of the public in making progressive laws by the legislative bodies and youth and women should be involved in the process.

Shri Birla said that in order to make Parliament and Legislative Assemblies more effective, accountable and productive, information technology should be used extensively in the system. He suggested that communication technology tools should be used for capacity building of public representatives. In this context, Lok Sabha Speaker, referring to the Digital Parliament Project, said that realizing the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘One Nation One Legislative Platform’, all the legislatures of the country are being brought on a digital platform. He sought cooperation of all the Presiding Officers for implementation of the project.

Speaking on relationship between the legislature and the judiciary, Shri Birla said that the legislatures in our country have always respected the powers and authority of the judiciary. The Presiding Officers of Legislatures have endeavored to ensure that their relationship with the Judiciary is in accordance with the spirit and decorum of the Constitution. He stressed that the Judiciary is also expected to follow the principle of separation and balance of powers conferred by the Constitution among all institutions while exercising its constitutional mandate, emphasized Shri Birla. He opined that Legislature, Executive and Judiciary – all three institutions draw their powers and jurisdiction from the Constitution and they should work in harmony, trust and balance, taking care of each other’s jurisdiction. He advised the judiciary to stay within constitutional limits.

Referring to India’s G-20 chairmanship, Shri Birla said that under the Presidentship of the G20 Group, India will strongly present the theme of its oldest democratic tradition and cultural diversity on the global forum. On the sidelines of G-20, the Parliament of India is also going to organize the P-20 Conference of the Parliaments of these countries, in which we will get an opportunity to showcase our rich democratic heritage on the global stage, said Shri Birla. On this occasion, Shri Birla mentioned that in the journey of 75 years, democracy in India has become stronger and resilient. Shri Birla observed that today, the world is impressed by our capabilities and potential and is looking towards us for solutions to global problems. Today the rise of India is clearly visible all over the world.

Chief Minister of Rajasthan Shri Ashok Gehlot observed that the nation has strengthened parliamentary democracy in the 75 years of independence. Compared to many other countries, India has strengthened the parliamentary system which has provided direction to the nation. Describing Parliamentary democracy as nation’s good fortune, Shri Gehlot said that both the government and opposition are an integral part of the legislature and strong traditions are established by mutual harmony between the two sides, leading to effective discharge of legislative tasks. Emphasizing on proper parliamentary conduct and rules and regulations of legislative institutions, Shri Gehlot emphasized that it is the collective responsibility of all Members to maintain decorum and dignity of the House. Referring to the relationship between the judiciary and the legislature, Shri Gehlot said that it is essential for both the organs to work together.

Speaking on this occasion, Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha, Shri Harivansh stressed on quality debates in legislatures. He stressed that our legislatures have been forum of best quality of debates and it must be our endeavour to maintain that tradition and to enhance it further. Mentioning that legislatures have played an important role in positive transformation in society, he suggested that we should work to ensure that people’s faith, particularly faith of the youth, on politics and democratic institutions do not decline. He further mentioned that with changing scenario legislatures are adapting themselves with use of technology to evolve to fulfill hopes and aspirations of the people of the 21st century.

Welcoming the Presiding Officers to the Conference, Rajasthan Legislative Assembly Speaker Dr. CP Joshi said that the legislature has special importance in all the organs of democracy in the Amrit Kaal. He further said that it is the first responsibility of the legislature to ensure the accountability of the executive. Scrutiny of the executive in fulfilling the aspirations and expectations of the public makes democracy mature, said Dr. Joshi. On financial autonomy of legislative institutions, Dr. Joshi observed that in the absence of financial autonomy the legislature remains ill-equipped to discharge its responsibilities. Referring to the changes brought about by the information revolution, Dr. Joshi said that there is a special need to review the legislative rules and laws. He further said that the balance between legislature, executive and judiciary is very important for effective governance.

Updated edition of Presidential Addresses to Parliament published by Lok Sabha Secretariat and CPA Rajasthan Branch’s Souvenir Titled “Naye Aayam” were released on this occasion.

Leader of Opposition in Rajasthan Legislative Assembly, Shri Gulab Chand Kataria, delivered Vote of Thanks.

Later, in the 83rd AIPOC the following topics were discussed:

i. Leadership of India in G-20 as the mother of democracy;
ii. The need to make Parliament and Legislatures more Effective, Accountable and Productive;
iii. Integration of State Legislatures with Digital Parliament; and
iv. The need to maintain a harmonious relationship between the Legislature and the Judiciary in accordance with the spirit of the Constitution.

The Valedictory Session of the 83rd AIPOC will be held on 12 January 2023. Governor of Rajasthan, Shri Kalraj Mishra ,will deliver the Valedictory Address. Lok Sabha Speaker, Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha and Speaker, Rajasthan Vidhan Sabha, will also grace the Valedictory Session.