VP urges MLAs, MPs to ‘immobilise their remote controls’ to contribute maximum in Parl, assemblies

Thiruvananthapuram: Expressing concern over the growing tendency to “weaponise disruption and disturbance as a political strategy” in Parliament and Legislative Assemblies, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar on Monday urged MPs and MLAs to “immobilise their remote controls” to contribute their maximum in the temples of democracy.
Dhankar, also Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, said there was widespread pain and anguish among people over the growing tendency to “weaponise” disruption and disturbance as a political strategy in Parliament and Legislative Assemblies.
“Legislatures in particular — I leave a thought with you — can we weaponise as a political strategy disruption and disturbance of the House?” Dhankar asked while inaugurating the silver jubilee celebrations of Kerala Legislative Assembly building-Niyamasabha here.
He said people were asking why Parliament and legislatures are not debating and discussing and “why we are spending crores of rupees only for disturbance?”.
Dhankar appealed to legislators and presiding officers to urgently address this malaise.
“I preside over the Rajya Sabha. Each member of the Rajya Sabha is very talented. They bring on the table a huge experience. They need to immobilise their remote controls so that they contribute maximum in the Rajya Sabha, maximum in Parliament, maximum in the legislature,” the Vice President said.
Dhankar urged the Assembly Speakers and Leaders of the Houses to create a national consensus that the temples of democracy will be used for deliberations, debate, dialogue, and discussion.
“Trust me, democracy will be threatened if these temples of democracy do not do their job, and the job will be done somewhere else,” he opined.
Dhankar asked the legislatures to draw inspiration from the Constituent Assembly (the country’s first body of legislators who drafted the Constitution) which dealt with many complex issues without any disruptions, and underlined that effective and productive legislature functioning is the safest guarantee to blossoming and preserving democratic values along with holding executive accountable.
He also called for stamping out the “worrisome trend of intolerance towards the other point of view”.
Stressing that in a democracy not all issues can be evaluated via a partisan prism, the Vice President urged everyone to rise above one’s partial stance, giving primacy to the national interest.
He said the legislators should “take off their political glasses sometimes” when issues concerning the nation are taken up for discussion in Parliament and State Assemblies.
The Vice President lamented that wit, humour, and sarcasm, which were once hallmarks of parliamentary and legislative functioning, were disappearing.
The Vice President noted that the Constitution provides the privilege of freedom of speech within the precincts of the House, however, he cautioned that this freedom should be utilised for a healthy debate to sustain a vibrant democratic tradition, and not for disruptive purposes.

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