NEW DELHI: Poverty and unemployment continue to be the central challenge of policymakers with marginal farmers and casual workers being the worst sufferers of this situation, said former president Pranab Mukherjee at an event in the capital on Friday.
He was speaking at the launch of a book -Selected Speeches - Volume I, a compilation of speeches - of Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, which was released by the I&B Ministry. "There is a need to achieve higher social inclusion in which members can collectively participate, he said. Governments need to direct their efforts towards holistic policymaking and comprehensive strategies of the economy and social inclusion," said Mukherjee.
Aligning his views with Naidu, Mukherjee said there has been a decline in the quality of debates in Parliament. With debates and deliberations on policies being the very core of democracy and the spirit of Parliament being the ‘fountainhead of government’, ‘confrontational’ politics and restoring to ‘disruptions as an established Parliament practice’ should not encouraged. ‘Competitive and confrontational politics is responsible for disruption of Parliament,” said Mukherjee while quoting Naidu.
He also spoke of other shortcomings in the democracy like the inadequate representation of women in Parliament and a need for an increase in seats in the Parliament. “What could have been a platform for discussing all the burning issues became a platform of confrontation and disruptions,” said Naidu while speaking at the launch. He said that the ‘precious opportunity for a debate on public issues’ was lost.
He also added that with India being a huge country, there is a need to have sustainable development in agriculture to achieve food security.
Referring to Thursday’s Pulwama terror attack, he said it was unfortunate that India’s ‘neighbour’ was aiding and abetting terror. “There is an urgent need to for all countries in the world to combat this force of terror, the enemies of humanity. Terror has no religion it is the enemy of humanity. There is a need for a comprehensive convention with multi-pronged strategies to effectively root out terror. Peace is a prerequisite for sustainable growth," he said.