President flays frequent disruptions in Parliament

President flays frequent disruptions in Parliament

The joint sitting of Parliament on Tuesday marked the beginning of the 2016 Budget session as President Pranab Mukherjee criticised frequent disruptions and urged members to discharge their solemn responsibilities.

“Our Parliament reflects the will of the people. Democratic temper calls for debate and discussion, and not disruption and obstruction,” Mukherjee said in his address, approved by the Cabinet.

He also declared that the government will constantly strive for smooth and constructive conduct of Parliamentary business.

“Let noble thoughts come from all directions, should be the spirit behind the debate in this temple of democracy. Being a member of this great institution bestows great honour as well as important responsibilities,” Mukherjee added.

Modi’s outreach
With the Opposition raring to corner the government on issues ranging from the unrest in Jawaharlal Nehru University to suicide of Rohith Vemula and the Jat agitation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said: “I hope that Parliament would be utilised for in-depth debate and discussion. The government should also be criticised severely. The shortcomings of the government should be highlighted. This is the way to strengthen democracy and fulfil the hope and aspirations of the people.”

Modi’s remarks come at a time when disruptions by the Opposition on a range of issues led to the washout of the Monsoon and Winter sessions, leading to a slowdown in lawmaking.

The prime minister said “friends” from the Opposition had shown a positive attitude during various interactions and the results would be felt by the people during the session.

“Talks have been held by rising above formalities. One-on-one talks have also taken place,” said Modi, who has often been accused by the Opposition of failing to take them along in running Parliament.

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