New Delhi: Discrimination on the basis of religion, caste or gender is unacceptable to any “nationalist” and this approach should be followed by everyone, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu said Sunday.
Naidu, who is also the Rajya Sabha Chairman, called for deciding upon a national policy on the need for the Upper House in state legislatures, and urged political parties to evolve a consensus on the code of conduct for their members both inside and outside legislatures.
He made the remarks during the launch of the book ‘Moving on…Moving forward: A year in office’. The event was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former prime ministers — Manmohan Singh and H D Deve Gowda, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Rajya Sabha’s Deputy Leader of Opposition Anand Sharma.
Noting that the last session was called the “Session for Social Justice”, Naidu said it was important to consider and pass legislations that reflect collective commitment to social justice.
“In order to build a more inclusive society, there is a need to move towards ensuring proportional representation of all groups, especially those which have till now been under represented,” he said.
There is a need to cleanse politics, strengthen parliamentary and governance institutions, give a big push to next level of reforms to harness the entrepreneurial and economic potential, harness the energies of young India, and ensure sustainable and remunerative agriculture, Naidu said.
He also called for upholding the rich traditions of cultural diversity and nationalism.
“Nationalism, according to me — Bharat Mata ki Jai…it means ‘Jai Ho’ to all the 130 crore people irrespective of their caste, creed, sex or religion.
“Any discrimination on the basis of religion, any discrimination on the basis of caste, any discrimination on the basis of gender, is not acceptable to any nationalist. That sort of approach should be there among everyone of us. I hope we all move in that direction,” Naidu said.
Talking about the issue of political defections, he said the anti-defection laws should be implemented in letter and spirit expeditiously, within three months.
“I know that this is absolutely feasible since I could dispose off the petitions that I received within this time frame,” Naidu asserted.
In his remarks, the Rajya Sabha chairman urged all the political parties to evolve a code of conduct for MPs and MLAs both within and outside the Houses for effective functioning of legislatures to restore the confidence of the people in parliamentary institutions.
Voicing concern over the functioning of legislators in the country, he also urged parties to come together, transcending political considerations, on issues of national importance.