In a stinging attack on the opposition over Parliamentary paralysis, President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said the House is not a place for dharna and disruption which amounts to “gagging of majority” by the minority. He told Parliamentarians that they are meant to discuss and transact business and not to disrupt.
“Disruption is totally unacceptable in Parliamentary system. People send representatives to speak and not to sit on dharna and not to create any trouble on the floor,” he said speaking on “Electoral reforms for a stronger democracy” on the occasion of Defence Estates Day Lecture here.
Himself a veteran Parliamentarian before he became the President, Mukherjee said, “Disruption means you are hurt, you are gagging majority. Majority never participates in this disruption. Only minority comes to the well, shouts slogans, stops the proceedings and creates a situation in which the Chair has no option but to adjourn the House. This is totally unacceptable”.
Mukherjee’s sharp attack on Parliamentary disruption comes in the midst of paralysis of Parliament for over a fortnight over the issue of demonetisation. The President noted that Parliament is in session for only a few weeks in a year.
“For demonstration, you can choose any other places. But for God’s sake, do your job. You are meant to transact business. You are meant to devote your time for exercising the authority of members, particularly Lok Sabha members over money and finance,” he said.
Maintaining that he is not targeting any single party or individuals, he said the responsibility is of everyone.
“Fact remains that this (disruption) has become a practice which should not be acceptable at all. Whatever be the differences, we have the opportunity, to speak our mind, to speak freely and no court can interfere in what I say on the floor of the House,” he said.
Mukherjee said that even if a member is levelling an allegation against someone, no court can prosecute him because he has said so on the floor of the House. “This type of freedom should not be misused by causing disruption,” he said.