VP Dhankhar on Chidambaram: if you don’t participate in debate, you don’t perform your duty

New Delhi : Referring to former Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s comment that the three new criminal laws were drafted by part-timers, without naming him, Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar on Monday said if a member of Parliament doesn’t participate in a debate, it amounts to not performing their duty.
Interacting with Rajya Sabha interns, Dhankar said a senior MP had commented on the three new criminal laws, but had not spoken inside the House when the Bills were being debated. Dhankhar was referring to Chidambaram’s reply to a question in an interview to The Indian Express published on July 6 in which he said “non-professional people have drafted the new laws” and that “they were part-time members of a committee”. Referring to the comments, Dhankhar said at an event on July 6 that they were an “insult to the wisdom of Parliament”.
On Monday, Dhankhar, again expressed his concerns over the comments. He said a Parliamentary Committee had examined the Bills.
“If a member is part of the committee, makes his point of view before the committee, the committee by majority holds otherwise, that member has great opportunity to participate in the proceedings before the house, make his point known to the house, try to convince the house by persuasion, logic and rationality. If you do not discharge your constitutional duty, if you do not participate in the debate, if you do not take your point further, you are in a sense not performing your duty,” Dhankhar said.
“And then if you say something outside, you suffer the handicap that you had valuable opportunity, constitutional platform, a rare opportunity that is available only to members of Parliament, you fail to avail the opportunity, in a sense you forfeit your right. You show your concurrence by non-participation, by observing silence,” he said.
(Courtesy : The Indian Express)