Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan today said politics must not come in the way of development and a leader should understand the pulse of the people and work for their welfare and happiness. At the inaugural session of the 6th conference of Commonweatlh Parliamentary Association, India Region, here, Mahajan said: “It is our responsibility as legislators to ensure that governmental policies and programmes reach every section of society.” “Legislators need to create awareness about policies among the people,” she said, adding parliamentarians could also help in speedy achievement of sustainable development goals “through laws and debates and active participation in seminars, workshops and conferences”. Mahajan also lavished praise on Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who was present on the occasion, recalling his tenure as a Union minister during which he earned a reputation for efficiency and humility. She also lauded his efforts like ban on alcohol and campaigns against child labour and dowry. Speaking on the occasion, CPA Chairperson Emilia Lifaka underscored the need for development “that was not only participatory but also guaranteed inclusiveness”.
Lifaka, who is the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Cameroon, also thanked the CPA India Region for its support that led to her election as the association’s chairperson last year. Lifaka told Kumar “your state is beautiful”, drawing applause from the audience. In his speech, Kumar said his government was committed to eradicating poverty and starvation and providing good education, health care, energy and clean environment. He stressed on the relevance of Gandhi’s philosophy in achieving sustainable development, recalling the Mahatma’s words “the world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed”. The chief minister also spoke about the initiatives taken by his government for empowerment of women which included quotas for the fair sex in panchayats and urban local bodies besides schools like free bicycles and uniforms for girls studying in schools.
Earlier, Bihar Assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Chaudhary welcomed the dignitaries noting that the CPA has 52 countries as its members which are home to 70,000 parliamentarians. Later in the day, a plenary session was held inside the Vidhan Sabha where keynote addresses were delivered by Chairman of Estimates Committee (Lok Sabha) Murli Manohar Joshi and Union Minister for Law and Justice and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad. While Joshi delivered his address on the theme “Parliament’s role in the development agenda”, Prasad spoke on “Legislature and judiciary – two important pillars of democracy”.