Distinction must between checking and clogging: PM Modi in RS

New Delhi, Nov 18 (PTI) With disruptions in Rajya Sabhain the past hindering passage of crucial legislations, PrimeMinister Narendra Modi on Monday said the Upper House ofParliament was essential for checks and balance in democracybut a distinction needs to be drawn between checking andclogging.

Speaking on the occasion of the landmark 250th session ofRajya Sabha, he lauded Sharad Pawar's NCP and the Biju JanataDal for never rushing to the well of the House to raise theirissues and yet raising their points effectively.

'The Rajya Sabha is about checks and balances. This isabsolutely essential for our democracy. Debates have to bemany and effective. But, there is also a difference betweenchecking and clogging (and between) balance and blocking,' hesaid.

With some within the ruling party questioning theeffectiveness of Rajya Sabha as crucial legislative work gotstalled because NDA lacked majority in the House, Modirecalled the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's wordsthat the Upper House 'may be the second house but no oneshould think of it as a secondary house.' 'Today, I echo the sentiments of Atal Ji and add that theRajya Sabha must be a vibrant supportive House for nationalprogress,' he said, adding makers of the Constitutionenvisioned a bicameral legislative framework and this visionhas enriched the democracy.

He, however, wanted the House to function and not disruptwork.

'Today I want to appreciate two parties - NCP and BJD.

These parties have wonderfully adhered to Parliamentary norms.

They have never ventured into the well. Yet, they have madetheir points very effectively. Much can be learnt from thesepractices,' he said.

'Our Constitution inspires us to work for a WelfareState. It also motivates us to work for the welfare of states.

The Rajya Sabha, as the Council of States, enables us tofurther the spirit of cooperative federalism,' he said.

Recalling the work done by Rajya Sabha, Modi said nonecan forget the role of the House when Bills pertaining toArticles 370 and 35(A) were passed.

'This House has worked to further unity.' 'Whenever it has been about national good, the RajyaSabha has risen to the occasion and made a strongcontribution. It was believed that the Bill on Triple Talaqwould not pass here but it did. Even GST became a realityafter it was passed in the Rajya Sabha,' he said.

The prime minister said the Rajya Sabha gives anopportunity to those away from electoral politics tocontribute to the nation and its development.

'Who can forget that it was through the Rajya Sabha thata stalwart like Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar could contribute evenmore to national progress,' he said, adding Ambedkar was neverallowed to be elected to the Lok Sabha.

He said two things about the Rajya Sabha stand out - itspermanent nature and it being representative of India'sdiversity.

'I can say that it is eternal... This House givesimportance to India's federal structure,' he said. PTI KKS ANZNABDV DV