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I agree with the complaint that the legislature has weakened: Amit Shah

By Anuj Cariappa
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New Delhi, July 05: Home minister Amit Shah said that he agrees with the "complaint" that the legislature has "weakened" with time, allowing the judiciary and the executive to "dominate it a little", and asked lawmakers to work to enhance Parliament's prestige.

Addressing first-time Lok Sabha members at an orientation programme, Shah said the blame for it lay with the legislature and cautioned that if the balance between the three pillars of democracy is skewed, its consequences can be devastating and even imperil democracy.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah

"Over a period of time, this is everybody's complaint and rightly so that the legislature has weakened a bit, and the judiciary and executive have dominated it a little. For this, we sometimes blame judiciary or executive, saying that bureaucrats do not hear us or judiciary have encroached on our territory," he said.

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Continuing, he added, "I as a parliamentarian agree with this but will say that blame for it does not lie with the judiciary and executive but the legislature, us all."

There is such a fine balance that if they allow the legislature to go down, other institutions will automatically encroach on its turf, he told the MPs.

"This is our duty to strengthen it," Shah, who is also BJP president, said, giving lawmakers a number of tips to make contributions to Parliament.

He also asked them to use the MPLAD fund allocated to them annually as per prescribed guidelines, and said many MPs have received a "bad name" by not doing so.

Asking parliamentarians to do their duty and put across their points of views forcefully but decently, he gave the example of the Mahabharata war, saying it was caused because the members of its royal court accepted whatever the king said and lost the courage to speak up.

He described the Mahabharata war as the most destructive war India has ever seen as the country, Shah said, lost the best of its literature, science and culture to it.

"It is our duty to enhance Parliament's prestige," he said.

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Shah asked MPs to do adequate research, saying they should avail of the "material privileges" given to them but also deliberate over issues and do research to become effective.

Speaking at the programme, Union minister Nitin Gadkari advised parliamentarians to develop skills and focus on areas close to their heart to make an impact.

Speaker Om Birla said it has been his endeavour to give opportunity to all fist-time MPs, 264 of whom have been elected to the 543-member Lok Sabha, to raise their issues in the ongoing first session of Parliament.

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