Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Wednesday called for ‘collective efforts’ to stem the ‘unparliamentary behaviour’ of public representatives in the democratic institutions of the country.
In his inaugural address at the 81st All India Presiding Officers Conference (AIPOC) at Parliament House Annexe here, attended by presiding officers from Austria, Guyana, Maldives, Mangolia, Namibia, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Mauritius, Birla said ‘discipline’ and ‘decorum’ had to be restored in the democratic institutions.
“Unparliamentary behaviour of public representatives have increased in recent years which have tarnished the image of institutions. Collective efforts are needed to ensure discipline and decorum in democratic institutions,” Om Birla said adding, “credibility of legislatures is linked to the conduct of its members.”
The Lok Sabha Speaker said there was a need for collectively deliberate on the way of maintaining discipline and decorum in democratic institutions. He said, “Privileges of public representatives come with their responsibilities.” Speaker Om Birla’s comments assume significance in view of the disruption of House proceedings by members during the monsoon session of Parliament.
“Being an elected public representative, a member has certain privileges and these privileges, which come with responsibilities, are meant for performing their duties as parliamentarians in an effective manner and without any hindrance.” Birla called for introspection by members, individually and collectively, about their conduct, discipline and decorum, as public representatives.
Birla suggested that a mega Conference of MPs and MLAs may be organized in the country on the completion of 75 years of independence. Also, on the occasion of completion of 75 years of independence, Conferences of present and former MPs and MLAs above 75 years of age may be organized in their respective states, he suggested. He also informed that the centenary year of the Public Accounts Committee will be celebrated on next 4-5 December 2021.
President of Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Duarte Pacheco, President of the National Council of Austria Wolfgang Sobotka, Speaker of Parliament of Guyana Manzoor Nadir, Speaker of Peoples’ Majlis of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed, Speaker of State Great Hural of Mongolia Gombojavyn Zandanshatar, Speaker of National Assembly of Namibia Prof Peter Katjavivi, Speaker of Parliament of Sri Lanka Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, Speaker of the National Assembly of Zimbabwe Jacob Francis Mudenda, Deputy Speaker of Parliament Mauritius Nazurally Mohammud Zahid, Deputy Speaker of National Assembly of Bhutan, Members of Parliament from Kenya, and Members of Parliament from Russia, among other foreign dignitaries were present on the occasion.
Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha Harivansh, presiding officers of legislative bodies of India, secretaries-general of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Utpal Kumar Singh and Dr P P K Ramacharyulu were also present.
Duarte Pacheco, greeting everyone on the occasion of International Day of Democracy said, ‘Indian democracy is inclusive and an example for the world’. He congratulated India for being the world’s largest democracy. Wolfgang Sobotka said parliaments play a crucial role in strengthening democracy. Mr Manzoor Nadir praised India for its diversity and dynamism. Nasheed called India a Shining example of democracy. Abeywardena said that transparency and accountability are the cornerstones of democracy. Mudenda invoked Dr B R Ambedkar and said that we must walk on the path shown by him.