Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu today said he was “deeply disturbed” over the way there was utter disregard for the parliamentary procedure and the unruly behaviour of members during the budget session. He urged members to maintain the prestige and decorum of the House and participate in constructive debates in the coming days when the House meets again on March 5.
“I must confess that I am deeply pained at the way this session has progressed… What I am deeply disturbed with is the utter disregard for the parliamentary procedure and the unruly behaviour so unbecoming of the high position we occupy in the society as parliamentarians,” he said.
He was speaking just before Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was to give the reply on the debate on the union budget.
Naidu said as chairman, it was his responsibility as he was accountable to the people, who will see how the House was conducted and how discussions are done.
“Let us not have slanging matches between parties and stoop down to competing with each other on unparliamentary language or behaviour.
“When we meet again in March, it is my fervent hope and an earnest appeal to each one of you that we shall turn a new leaf in our Parliament’s history through orderly, informed and constructive debates,” he urged the members.
Naidu asked members to keep the prestige and the decorum of the House and said they should feel privileged to be in this House because of the people’s trust on them.
“We must use the opportunity wisely by debating, discussing and evolving solutions to a vast number of public concerns,” he said.
The chairman asked, “Can we ever make our Parliament an effective instrument of change through informed debates, constructive criticisms and orderly proceedings?”
He hoped that all members would collectively strive to uphold and maintain the dignity, sanctity and supremacy of Parliament as they had pledged in 2012 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the first sitting of Parliament.
“I shall still keep hoping that we shall exercise the necessary restraint and behave with appropriate civility and dignity. I find it a sad commentary on our functioning, that we have lost nearly ten hours during this brief Session due to disruptions and forced adjournments,” he said.
Naidu added that the Question Hour and Zero Hour could not be held on five days.
He asked members not to carry on in this manner any longer and appealed to them to consider the House as a sacred institution which should reflect the hopes and aspirations of 130 crore people.
“This is not aimed at any party–this party or that party. As far as the Chair is concerned, I am concerned about the House. It is an institution that decides the destiny and charts the direction of national development. That is why people have high hopes on us,” he said.
After the finance minister spoke and after some clarifications, the House was adjourned and will now meet on March 5.