Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Ansari expresses strong displeasure over disruptions in RS

NEW DELHI, May 8, 2013 PTI

Expressing strong displeasure over the total wash out of the second part of the Budget session, Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari on Wednesday asked MPs whether they have assessed the "impact of disruptive behaviour on public opinion".

"The record of the work done, and not done, is in the public domain and in no need of commentary...The experience of this session, and particularly of second half, should induce cogitation on a number of matters arising out of situations in which the House finds itself in its daily functioning," the Chairman said before adjourning the House sine die.

Posing three questions before the members, which he said need to be addressed, Mr. Ansari wondered whether the "balance" between deliberations, legislations and accountability has been lost due to regular disruptions of the proceedings.

"Has the membership of this august body assessed the impact of disruptive behaviour on public opinion?" he asked.

The Chairman also posed as to whether time had not come to bridge the "growing gap" between the rules of procedures and the need felt by different sections of the House to voice their opinion on matters of concern.

He noted that this has to be done in an orderly manner to preserve the dignity of the House.

Mr. Ansari's remarks suggesting the need for some change in procedures are significant in the backdrop of a number of disruptions in proceedings in recent times by members, who wanted to raise a particular issue that went contrary to the established rules.

Question Hour could not be taken up on 21 days in the Upper House in this session due to pandemonium or disruptions.

The discussion on general budget, and appropriation bills related to both the general and railway budget also could not take place.

Similarly a discussion on atrocities on women and girl child listed in the wake of the Delhi child rape case also remained inconclusive due to continuous disruptions of the proceedings.

Senior Congress leader Karan Singh, who is a member of the Upper House from Delhi, said, "When Parliament becomes dysfunctional, the nation becomes dysfunctional."

Mr. Singh, who had been the Chairman of the Ethics Committee of the Rajya Sabha in the past, recalled that he had given a report but "it was respected more in the breach than in observance".

He hoped that such a thing is not repeated in future.
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