NEW DELHI: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor today demanded abolition of death penalty, describing it as an "aberration in a healthy democracy".
Raising the issue during Zero Hour, he said hanging people does not deter crime and there is a lot of subjectivity in application of death penalty.
"It (death penalty) is an aberration in a healthy democracy," Tharoor said, adding that instead preventive and reformative measures should be strengthened to prevent crimes. Contending that death penalty has mostly affected the marginalised people, the Congress leader said the state should not become killer.
"We should abolish death penalty to uphold the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi," he said. According to him, around 70 per cent of the UN member nations have abolished death penalty.
M B Rajesh (CPI-M) urged the government to review the hike in cancellation charges for railway tickets saying it is creating great difficulties for the passengers.
The "exhorbitant hike" in cancellation charges is exploitation of passengers and the Railway Minister should have a re-look at the matter as well as restore the old charges, he said.
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (Cong) claimed that over 200 tea workers have died in the last two months in West Bengal and alleged that the workers are not given the minimum wages.
He voiced concern over the deaths and said the Centre and state government should work together to address the situation.
Chowdhury said since Prime Minister Narendra Modi "boasts" of being a tea-seller in his childhood, he should help in giving a fair deal to the tea plantation workers.
Keshav Prasad Maurya (BJP) alleged that law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh has deteriorated and demanded the dismissal of the Akhilesh Yadav government.
He said many BJP workers have been killed in the state but action has not been taken by the state government.
Dushyant Chautala (INLD) sought amendment to MPLADS rules as he alleged that officials are delaying implementation of programmes that are funded with money from it. The rules need to be amended to ensure that programmes under it are implemented at the earliest, he said.
He was supported by members cutting across party lines.
AIADMK leader P Venugopal said many people have been affected by heavy rainfall and floods in Tamil Nadu and the central government should immediately release more funds for relief works in the state.
His party colleague V Sathyabama urged the Centre to establish a knitswear board in Tamil Nadu at Tirupur, which has a big knitswear industry.
Sumedhanand Saraswati (BJP) said the Centre should look at setting up a sports university in Rajasthan.