Delivering the second Atal Bihari Vajpayee memorial lecture on Monday, former President Pranab Mukherjee stressed upon the need to increase the number of Lok Sabha seats to 1,000 through delimitation. Advocating the need to increase number of seats, Mukherjee said that last enhancement of seats in the lower house of Parliament took place in 1977 when the population of the country was 55-crore. Along with Lok Sabha, former President said, the number of seats in Rajya Sabha should be increased.
Former President Pranab Mukherjee: Every time a govt has behaved on the contrary the voter has punished the incumbent in elections that follow. We think we can do anything & everything, when we have an overwhelming majority in legislature but that should not be the case. (16.12) https://t.co/m8UHNBgCe1— ANI (@ANI) December 17, 2019
Giving impetus to the need of increasing seats, he added, “In 1977, population was 55 crore or 550 million whereas today it stands at 1.3 billion. There has been an embargo on increasing the seats in Parliament and in state assemblies till 2026. Even by 2011 census of population, the number of voters has increased per Lok Sabha constituency.”
“If British can have 650 parliamentarians, Canada can have 443 and US 535 why can't we have 1000?”, Pranab Mukherjee added.
“Convert central Hall into Lok Sabha and Lower House premises can be turned into Rajya Sabha. And also have an adequate number of women representatives. We have the highest percentage of 14.6 per cent of the total house strength elected since 1952”, news agency ANI quotes the former President as saying.
He advocated to give powers to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which is a watchdog of Parliament as it keeps close eye on its expenditure.
He recommended to increase the number of members in each parliamentary standing Committee and to transfer power to standing committees to scrutinise financial irregularities, flagged in Comptroller and Auditor General reports if there are any.