VISAKHAPATNAM : Whips have a pivotal role to play in making the Parliamentary mechanism work to its potential and thus, there is a need for them to meet frequently to deliberate and express views, devise ways and means to promote efficient functioning of the Parliamentary system, said Union minister for Parliamentary Affairs M Venkaiah Naidu. He asked the political parties to reach a broad consensus for efficient and smooth conduct of the proceedings in Parliament and legislatures which in turn would correct the public perception of the legislatures and also establish credibility.
Presiding over the 17th All India Whips Conference which began here Tuesday, Venkaiah Naidu opined that there is a need for broader institutionalised political consultation mechanism in various legislatures for effective coordination in respect of the business proceedings of the Houses. “In view of increasing number of political parties and groups being represented in the legislatures, inter-party forums would help in arriving at a broader consensus regarding the agenda for legislative sessions,” he added.
Further, the Union minister said that the Centre would release more funds to the members of Parliament (MPs) if the funds allocated to them for the local area development are utilised properly to meet the demands of people at the lower rung of society. He said the MPs should assess the needs of the people in their respective constituencies especially at the village-level in the areas of education, medical aid and cleanliness and sanitation.
More Conferences Needed: CM
On the occasion, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu stressed the need for more such conferences to clearly understand Parliamentary practices and evolve standards to strengthen the working of Parliamentary democracy. He opined that the practice of political parties going with their own agendas to the House is not good for democracy. “On many occasions, the members do not even bother to attend the House proceedings which is a bad practice. Views of all members should be allowed to be presented in the House. Let people judge us based on our performance but not for stalling the proceedings,” he asserted.
Andhra Pradesh Assembly Speaker Kodela Siva Prasada Rao said that it was high time to stop disruptive tactics by political parties and instead devote time to discuss public issues in the legislatures. “Political leaders are under high scrutiny of people through media and social media. The smooth functioning of the Houses can be ensured through close consultations between the political parties on a day-to-day basis,” he stated. He also said measures should be adopted after discussions to ensure that MLAs, MLCs and MPs behave responsibly.
AP Council Chairman A Chakrapani expressed his support for uniform rules in all legislatures across the country and suggested deliberations over issues like introduction of the Code of Conduct for members, codification of privileges and powers of the presiding officers.
As per the agenda, major issues on smooth functioning of the House will be discussed during the conference which will also study the guidelines laid down by the Constitution and the practices that have to be adopted and also take a closer look at the deviations made to these guidelines and practices. In all, 105 delegates, including 71 whips and chief whips, are participating in the two-day conference.