New Delhi, November 18
Impressing upon the members to make a distinction between “checking and clogging”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the Rajya Sabha was “integral and essential” wing of Parliament to bring effective “checks and balances” in parliamentary democracy, while his predecessor Dr Manmohan Singh insisted the Upper House, being a council of states, should have a greater say in legislations dealing with redrawing boundaries of states.
Taking part in a discussion to mark the 250th session of Rajya Sabha, Modi made a special mention of Sharad Pawar’s NCP and the Biju Janata Dal, as he lauded them for never rushing to the well to raise their points and yet remaining effective. He said all other parties represented in the House, including the ruling BJP, had a lesson to learn.The PM lauded the RS by saying no one could forget its role when Bills pertaining to banning of instant triple talaq, Articles 370 and 35(A) were passed. The PM said the House gave an opportunity to those away from electoral politics to contribute to the nation and its development. “Who can forget that it was through the Rajya Sabha that a stalwart like Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar could contribute even more to the national progress,” he said. Dr Singh, who spoke after the PM, said: “…On some matters, this House should be given greater respect by the executive, which is not the case now.”
“For example, important issues like redrawing the boundaries of a state… Converting them into UTs, is such a far-reaching proposal or legislation, this House, a council of states, should be given more powers to deal with these issues.”Speaking on scrutiny of Bills by parliamentary panels, Singh said: “For our chamber to be fully functional, it is required that we scrutinise the Bills more thoroughly in committees, where members can apply their mind and even solicit opinion of stakeholders.” He told the House that in the 16th Lok Sabha, only 25 per cent of the Bills introduced were referred to the committees, much lesser than the 71 per cent and the 60 per cent in the 15th and 14th Lok Sabha.