President addresses Uttarakhand Assembly
Legislators must always keep in mind that young and aspirational Indians expect them to be service providers, says President
The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee addressed the special session of the Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly in Dehradun today (May 18, 2015).
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that governing a country of the size and diversity of India and managing challenges that arise on account of region, language, ethnicity, caste and religion is a stupendous task. Yet, the Parliamentary system has taken deep roots in our soil and we have successfully conducted sixteen General Elections to the Lower House of Parliament as well as innumerable elections to our State Legislatures and local bodies. Our Parliamentary democracy today evokes awe and admiration across the world.
The President said that the job of a legislator is a 24×7 responsibility. Legislators must at all times be committed to addressing the problems of the people. They must give voice to the grievances of the public by raising them on the floor of the Legislature and act as the link between people and the Government. They must always keep in mind that young and aspirational Indians expect them to be service providers. They will demand an account of how they have performed at the end of five years. Every one of us who are in an elected office must remember that the people are our masters. Each one of us is here because we solicited votes and received their endorsement.
The President said that in the Assembly, discipline and decorum must be always maintained and rules, conventions and etiquette observed. Parliamentary practices, procedures and conventions are meant to provide for orderly and expeditious transaction of business of the House. Dissent should be expressed with decency and within the contours and parameters of Parliamentary devices. It is unfortunate that time devoted by legislators towards legislation has been gradually declining across the country. With the heightened complexity of administration, legislation must be preceded by adequate discussion and scrutiny. If not, it will fail to deliver the desired results or meet its objectives. In particular, there is need for utmost caution in matters of legislation, money and finance.
The President urged the Uttarakhand Assembly as well as other Assemblies to consider increasing the number of sittings so that issues of the state can be thoroughly discussed and debated. He suggested Legislative Assemblies to establish museums for the public on legislative practices in order to bring people closer to the Legislatures. They could also invite students to witness sessions and organize capacity building programmes for members of local bodies such as Gram Sabhas and Panchayats.
The President said that every legislator should ensure that the content and quality of debates that take place in the chambers are of the highest order. In a parliamentary democracy, the oversight function of the Legislature is important and dynamic. The Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly has over the years promoted the welfare of the people of the State through numerous progressive enactments. The time has now come to show leadership in catapulting the state to new heights.