The Prime Minister made his intervention by lauding the role of the Rajya Sabha in our electoral democracy.
New Delhi: In a significant development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the Sharad Pawar-led NCP. With disruptions in the Rajya Sabha in the past having hindered the passage of crucial legislations, Mr Modi Monday said that the Upper House of Parliament was essential for checks and balances in a democracy but a distinction needed to be drawn between checking and clogging.
Speaking on the occasion of the landmark 250th session of the Rajya Sabha, the PM lauded Sharad Pawar’s NCP and the Biju Janata Dal for never rushing to the well of the house to raise their issues, and yet raising their points effectively.
Speaking on the occasion of the 250th session of the upper house of parliament, Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu said that the house had played a significant role in the socio-economic transformation of the country during its journey of the past 67 years but all was not well.
He urged members to look within to answer the question, “Are we contributing to enhancing the standing of this august institution by our words and deeds both within the house and outside?”
He gave several suggestions to members in order to make a difference to the functioning of the house, including a house meeting for about 60-70 days in a year. He also referred to a recent incident where the parliamentary committee on urban affairs had called a meeting to discuss the issue of air pollution in the national capital but 25 out of the 29 members did not turn up.
The Prime Minister made his intervention by lauding the role of the Rajya Sabha in our electoral democracy. Recalling the work done by the Rajya Sabha, Mr Modi said none could forget the role of the house when bills pertaining to Articles 370 and 35(A) were passed.
“This house has worked to further unity. Whenever it has been about national good, the Rajya Sabha has risen to the occasion and made a strong contribution. It was believed that the bill on triple talaq would not pass here but it did. Even GST became a reality after it was passed in the Rajya Sabha. The Rajya Sabha is about checks and balances. This is absolutely essential for our democracy. Debates have to be many and effective. But, there is also a difference between checking and clogging (and between) balance and blocking,” he said.
Participating in the discussion, Dr Manmohan Singh said that the Rajya Sabha should have a greater say in legislations dealing with redrawing the boundaries of states. He said, "The government should consult with the council of states much more effectively before such drastic measures can be considered by the house as a whole." Referring to the scrutiny of the legislative business, he added, "For our chamber (Rajya Sabha) to fully function, it is required that we scrutinise the bills more thoroughly in (parliamentary) committees, where not only the members can apply their mind, even the opinion of stakeholders can be solicited." Dr Singh demanded that the members get more resources like adequate research staff, which would allow them to study issues better. He also emphasised on the checks and balances of Rajya Sabha.