The Vice President of India and Chairman of Rajya Sabha, M. Venkaiah Naidu today urged all the political parties to evolve a code of conduct for MPs and MLAs both within and outside the Houses for effective functioning of legislatures to restore the confidence of the people in parliamentary institutions. He also urged the parties to come together, transcending political considerations, on issues of national importance.Naidu voiced concern about the functioning of legislators in the country after release of a book titled “Moving On…Moving Forward: A Year in Office” on his first year as Vice President, by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi here today. Shri Naidu described the book as a report to the people on his mission and it’s outcomes during the year since he was sworn in as Vice President on August 11 last year.Naidu said “While there is cause for a great deal of celebration in the way Indian economy is shaping up and how India’s standing in the comity of nations has been steadily going up, I am a little unhappy that our Parliament Is not functioning as it should”.He suggested five reforms to improve the functioning of Parliament and State legislatures. These include; Code of conduct for legislators both within and outside the Houses, Legislators to resign before changing party and Anti-defection cases to be decided in three months time, Election petitions and criminal cases against political leaders to be decided quickly by special benches of higher courts, A national policy to ensure consistency in having upper houses in States and Cleansing of polity.
Shri Naidu also urged political parties to consider issues concerning women dispassionately to ensure their safety and dignity and by ending discrimination against women on the basis of religion and other factors. He called for reservation for women in all spheres including in legislatures.Stressing that agriculture is the basic culture of the country, the Vice President called for a clear bias towards farmers in resource allocation to ensure remunerative farming and a robust food security.The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi described Shri Naidu as a person ‘’ driven by a holistic vision aimed at improving the lot of common man”. He recalled that when former Prime Minister late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee was keen to offer to Shri Naidu an important portfolio, Shri Naidu, unusually requested to be given the Ministry of Rural Development. Shri Modi noted that the Prime Minister’s Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) launched by Shri Naidu became hugely popular among the MPs, given the importance of rural roads.Referring to the 50 years of public life of Shri Naidu, Prime Minister said Shri Naidu has set high standards of discipline, commitment and passion to do justice to any responsibility given to him which is the secret of Shri Naidu’s success. Shri Modi further said that while many compliment Shri Naidu for his energy and dynamism, he himself was surprised to see how Shri Naidu is restraining all that while presiding over the Upper House. Referring to Shri Naidu’s punctuality and discipline, Shri Modi said he used to be on alert whenever he was required to travel with Shri Naidu in the past. Prime Minister also said that Shri Naidu learned a lot during his long years of public life and also made others learn a lot.
The Former Prime Minister, Shri H.D. Deve Gowda said that running the legislatures these days has become a lot more complicated and Shri Venkaiah Naidu was doing his best in running the Rajya Sabha by protecting the interests of all sections of the House.Another former Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh said “Shri Naidu has enormous political and administrative experience and it was amply reflected during his first year in office”. He said that the four themes that Shri Naidu explored during his extensive travels during the last one year through extensive travels could become the national agenda to be pursued. These include; Untapped demographic dividend, An effective eco-system to ensure sustainable and remunerative agriculture, Orienting scientific and research gains to improve quality of life of people and Enhancing public awareness about the country’s rich cultural heritage and harmonious world view.The Speaker, Lok Sabha, Smt. Sumitra Mahajan said that the book on the first year of Shri Naidu is a chronicle of how a person from humble origins could rise to an exalted position and give effective leadership. She further noted that the book was perhaps inspired by Shri Naidu’s quest for an honest introspection to find out if he was on the right course.Recalling his 45 year long association with Shri Naidu, Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitely said “The unique feature of Shri Naidu is he is 24 x 7 x 365 without even a day’s rest and is intensely committed to farmers. He is more guided by heart and so is emotional. His last one year has been an act of balancing protocol and natural tendency. Shri Naidu has been promoting consensus on issues of national importance”.Deputy Leader of Congress in Rajya Sabha Shri Anand Sharma was also on the dais at the book release.A large number of union Ministers, MPs, MLAs and Mayors, senior serving and retired government officials, diplomats from several countries, officials from armed forces, lawyers, farmers, students, scientists and others attended the event.