VP Naidu urges people to influence conduct of lawmakers

Let's launch 'Mission 5,000' to influence behaviour of lawmakers in Assemblies, Parliament: VP Naidu

As part of 'Mission 5,000', Naidu urged people to identify the disruptors and question them during their visit

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu. Credit: PTI File Photo

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday urged people to be part of what he called 'Mission 5,000' to influence the conduct of MPs, MLAs and MLCs, which include identifying disruptors and questioning them during their visits to constituencies and shaming them on social media.

Delivering the first 'Pranab Mukherjee Memorial Lecture' organised by the 'Pranab Mukherjee Legacy Foundation', Naidu also expressed hope that the country would have a Prime Minister from the weaker sections besides at least half-a-dozen women Chief Ministers in states by the 100th year of Independence.

Describing Mukherjee as "a consensus builder" with a "sharp mind" and "phenomenal memory" who was the "envy of every aspiring politician but the pride of the nation", he said the former President's visit to an RSS training camp in Nagpur in 2018 showed his "ability to rise above the usual divide in the larger interest".

In his speech titled 'Constitutionalism; Guarantor of Democracy and Inclusive Growth' delivered on Mukherjee's first death anniversary, Naidu expressed "concern over the rising disruptions" in the legislatures and the "declining quality" of the country’s parliamentary democracy.

Calling for a people's movement 'Mission 5,000' to influence the way around 5,000 MPs, MLAs and MLCs in the country behave, he said such a campaign is necessary to save the parliamentary democracy from losing its "sheen and appeal"

With Opposition protests in Parliament during the Monsoon Session fresh in mind, Naidu said protests on the floor of the House are fine as long as they do not breach the dignity and decorum of the House.  "The emotional underpinnings of such protests should not cross the limits of decency and decorum that should mark parliamentary democracy," he said.

"Disruptions negate the principle of accountability of the executive to the legislatures, thereby promoting the tendency of arbitrariness, which Constitutionalism seeks to checkmate...Disrupted and dysfunctional legislatures can disrupt the lives of the people and the dreams of our nation," he said.

As part of 'Mission 5,000', Naidu urged people to identify the disruptors and question them during their visit, launch social media handles and post the names of disruptors along with comments, hold meetings to discuss the functioning of legislatures and lawmakers, write letters to news dailies voicing concern over the conduct of such disruptors and send messages of concern directly to such legislators.

More importantly, he said, people should take into consideration the parliamentary performance and conduct of elected representatives while voting in the next elections.

Speaking on the agenda for the country for the next 25 years till 2047 when India celebrates 100 years of independence, he said inclusive developmental strategies and polity should be ensured to eliminate the remnants of poverty, illiteracy, gender discrimination and inequities.

He also called for a major shift of workforce from agriculture by doubling the share of manufacturing in the GDP when free India turns 100 besides the country emerging as the preferred destination for investments and immigrants.

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