NEW DELHI: Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu today dubbed the recent disruptions in the House a "sad commentary" on the functioning of India's parliamentary democracy and said matters of public importance could not be discussed because of the "collective failure" of the lawmakers.
Addressing the Rajya Sabha Day Celebration here, the Vice President lamented the repeated disruptions in the House during the second part of the Budget Session and said Parliament is for addressing people's concerns.
"It was a win-win situation, but we made it a lose-lose situation.
It is time to wake up and look at the way forward," he said.
"The whole country is watching our collective failure in disparagement and it certainly does not augur well for our parliamentary democracy," he said.
The Rajya Sabha Chairman expressed his "anguish and agony" over the issue of disruptions in the House and said that the recently concluded second part of the Budget Session witnessed continued disruptions despite his earnest appeals to the lawmakers.
"What happened earlier was a sad commentary on the functioning of our parliamentary democracy," he said.
"Only words will not do, deeds must follow.
We must make positive contribution and make our country strong, stable and prosperous," Naidu said.
The Rajya Sabha Day is observed on April 3 every year as the Upper House was constituted for the first time on this date in 1952.
However, the function to mark the occasion was held today.
Naidu is the first Vice-President and Rajya Sabha Chairman to attend the Rajya Sabha Day Celebration function, a statement from the Rajya Sabha Secretariat said.
The Vice President said in the last six decades, men and women of prodigious talent and caliber adorned the benches of Rajya Sabha and contributed significantly towards realising the vision of the founding fathers of the Constitution.
The framers of the Constitution, after a lot of deliberations in the Constituent Assembly, agreed to provide a bicameral legislature with Rajya Sabha as the Upper House.
He said the Rajya Sabha, over the years, has established a credible legacy of performance and justified its existence as a second chamber of the parliamentary democracy.
"However, our work is far from complete," he said.
As the presiding officer, Naidu said despite his assurance to accommodate the concerns of all parties, members preferred to engage in disruptions.
He said it was not a question of which party or which member, "but a question of our collective failure to transact important business and deliberate on matters of urgent public importance which has attracted public criticism".
Appreciating the work of Rajya Sabha secretariat staff, he said the effective functioning of a legislature depends largely on the support and service it gets from its secretariat.
He lauded the efforts of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat for organising various competitions involving children of the employees to mark the Rajya Sabha Day Celebrations and congratulated all the young winners.
Rajya Sabha Secretary-General Desh Deepak Verma delivered the welcome address on the occasion.