Express views in dignified manner: LS Speaker Om Birla tells lawmakers

Lucknow, Jan 16 (PTI) Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Thursday asked lawmakers to express their views in the House strongly and emotionally but in a disciplined and dignified manner to 'successfully stand the test' as a public representative.

In his inaugural address at the seventh Commonwealth Parliamentary Association India Region Conference at the UP Legislative Assembly, Birla said the faith of people in the democracy has gone up as the polling percentage in the elections after Independence has risen, and so has the responsibility of lawmakers.

'Therefore, the members should put forth their views strongly, emotionally, but in a disciplined and restrained manner while adhering to the traditions of Parliament and in a dignified manner,' he said in an apparent reference to the 'unruly behaviour' of lawmakers inside legislatures.

In a democracy, elected representatives act as a bridge between the government and the people and thus 'it becomes our moral responsibility' to successfully stand the test as a public representative, he emphasised.

He asserted that parliamentary discourse resonated vibrancy and dynamism of our democracy and norms of freedom of expression should imbibe informed and uninterrupted discussions. Thus parliamentary discussions should concur to established rules and norms.

'Our faith in democracy in very deep-rooted. Democracy is the soul of our nation. As far as faith in democracy is concerned, India is leading the world,' Birla said.

'India is a country where different religions, castes, languages, dialects exist. Unity in diversity has been the symbol of our country. Hence, our parliamentary traditions have always remained ''jeevant'' (alive) and active,' he said.

He also praised Lucknow's culture and heritage and paid tributes to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

He lauded the role of Uttar Pradesh in the freedom struggle, strengthening the parliamentary democracy and for giving the maximum prime ministers to the country.

Birla said in the past seven decades, Parliament has done commendable work to usher in social, economic and political changes.

The Lok Sabha Speaker said the Budget is a key instrument of a government's financial policy and to have informed and meaningful discussions on it is crucial.

The role of parliamentary committees, in this respect, is also important because committees evaluate and monitor the government budget, policies and programmes and also provide a platform to legislators to give their valuable opinion, irrespective of party or political considerations, he said.

Further, speaking on the theme for the second plenary, 'Enhancing Focus of Legislators on Legislative Business', Om Birla said legislators should have profound understanding of rules, procedures and constitutional provisions.

Madhya Pradesh Governor Lalji Tandon, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Speaker of UP Legislative Assembly Hriday Narayan Dixit and the Chairman of UP Legislative Council Ramesh Yadav also spoke at the programme. Madhya Pradesh Governor Lalji Tandon said he had witnessed many historical debates in the Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha by eminent legislators who later occupied high constitutional offices.

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed concern over the obstruction of business in legislatures, resulting in the loss of precious time.

'These hurdles make people lose their faith in the fundamental spirit of a democracy. Hence, the priority as the representative of the masses is to sustain the faith of the people in Parliament as well as the legislature to establish lofty traditions of parliamentary democracy,' Adityanath said.

Welcoming the delegates, Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly Speaker Hriday Narayan Dixit said the CPA is entirely concordant with the ancient philosophy of India.

'Our traditions have sustained faith in democratic ideals and representative organisations. The sabhas and samitis have existed since the Rigvedic times and democracy is, thus, inherent in character of India,' Dixit said.

Delivering the vote of thanks, Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council Chairman Ramesh Yadav said the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Union has been rendering its important services for over 100 years.

The Leader of Opposition in the UP Assembly, Ram Govind Chaudhary, said the Opposition keeps the government in check by asking questions.

On the occasion, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla released a souvenir, brought out by the Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha to commemorate the event.

Earlier, the Lok Sabha speaker inaugurated an exhibition, 'Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha: Historical Background', depicting the journey and the evolution of the legislature since 1922.

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association is composed of over 180 branches formed in legislatures of Commonwealth countries enjoying parliamentary democracy.

All CPA branches are geographically grouped into nine Commonwealth regions. The CPA India Region, earlier a part of the CPA Asia Region, became an independent region in September 2004. PTI NAV RDK