Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu unveiled a 15-point reform charter as the basis for a new political normal to enable effective functioning of Parliament and State Legislatures. Mr Naidu dwelt at length on the present pitfalls of Parliamentary democracy while delivering the first Arun Jaitley Memorial Lecture on Strengthening of Parliamentary Institutions in the Country at Delhi University today. Mr Naidu called for a new political consciousness urging all the stakeholders to review their mindset with regard to their roles and responsibilities.
Expressing concern over poor attendance in the legislatures and the quality of debates, the Vice President urged the political parties to ensure attendance of at least 50 per cent of their legislators all through the proceedings of the houses by adopting a roster system. This suggestion came in the context of Parliament being forced to be adjourned due to lack of quorum of the required presence of 10 per cent of the strength of the Houses. Mr Naidu also advocated a thorough review of the Anti Defection Law to rectify the grey areas like incentivizing legislators to resort to actions inviting expulsion from the party besides providing for time-bound disposal of defection cases by the Presiding Officer.
Mr Naidu, who is also the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, said that he will discuss with Lok Sabha Speaker the measures needed for the effective functioning of these Parliamentary committees with longer tenure instead of the present one year. Mr Naidu also underscored the need for the governments to be responsive to the concerns of the Opposition and the Opposition to be responsible and constructive during the debates and while criticizing the government and opposing the legislation.