VP: Parties must have conduct code for MPs

Indiatimesworld News Service

New Delhi, August 11

Suggesting political parties in the country to incorporate a code of conduct for people’s representatives, including legislators and parliamentarians, in election manifestoes, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday said it should outline behaviour expected of them in the House.

In his capacity as the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Naidu has been impressing upon parliamentarians to discuss, debate and decide and not disrupt the proceedings.

As a way forward, he said the code should include stipulations that the members would not enter the Well of the House, resort to sloganeering and disruptions or any other unruly behaviour such as tearing papers and littering them.

The Chairman’s observations came at a lunch he hosted for Rajya Sabha officials and media personnel after conclusion of the recent Budget session where history of sorts in the form of number of questions being raised by members and responded to, special mentions and zero-hour submissions was made. Expressing happiness over the productive session, he said 32 Bills passed during 35 sittings of Rajya Sabha which was the best in the past 17 years in terms of legislative output.

The Vice President said that he was sure that the leadership and MPs of all political parties would appreciate the significance of functional Parliament and would maintain the positive momentum of the just-concluded session.

He also expressed concern over the tendency of the Opposition parties to boycott the legislature in some states, or while in certain other instances, Opposition members were sent out. In some states, the Assembly was meeting for a very few days, while there was continuous disruption in some others.

Pointing out that political parties were only rivals and not enemies, he was of the firm opinion that the ruling and the Opposition parties should interact more frequently to ensure smooth conduct of Parliament and legislatures.

Observing that parliamentary democracy was all about ensuring governance through accountability to the people, Naidu described three important functions of legislatures as “legislative, deliberative and accountability”. 

‘Never wanted post’

I expressed my interest to the Prime Minister, even suggested some names for the VP post. I wanted to quit the government, follow Nanaji Deshmukh and go for constructive work, but this did not happen. M Venkaiah Naidu, Vice president