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Pol parties rivals, not enemies; there should be 'less fission, more fusion' among them: Naidu


Asserting that political parties were "only rivals and not enemies", Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu today called for "less fission and more fusion" among them to realise a "better and new India".

Venkaiah Naidu

Speaking at the launch of the book 'Straight Talk' by Congress leader A M Singhvi, he said parties should also ponder if legislations are sending out the right message to the people, who have a lot of expectations from the "temples of democracy".

Naidu said the divide between the ruling and opposition parties is becoming increasingly manifest in the legislatures and "it does not inspire confidence in the people".

While the governments and ruling parties of the day seek to push legislative proposals, the opposition is mandated with ensuring the best possible scrutiny to see that legislations follow the aspirations of the people.

"This can be realised without both loosing their respective identities. This calls for a new political approach based on 'less fission (division) and more fusion'," he said, noting that this was also the title of the articles in the book by Singhvi.

"Political parties are only rivals and not enemies," he said, stressing that rivals play out their roles within a set of rules while enemies seek to destroy each other and political parties should abide by this distinction.

The Vice President's comments come in the wake of frequent disruptions in Rajya Sabha, of which he is also the Chairman.

He agreed with a suggestion in the book that functioning of various institutions in polity need to be widely discussed for the much needed transformation towards a 'better India'.

"Singhvi dreams of a 'Better India'. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is targeting a 'New India'. The underlying concerns and intent are the same. Every Indian has a dream and every citizen has an aspiration. This makes our country 'Aspirational India'," he said.

Naidu said the principal issue is realising this "new and better India" which every Indian dreams of.

In parliamentary democracy, political parties have an important role to play and "politics should not be the be-all and end-all of political activities. It should be transformation of India towards a 'new and better India'," Naidu said.

The Vice President said that lawmakers should be elected on the basis of four Cs-- Capacity, Caliber, Character and Conduct. He, however, said their election should not be on the basis of other four Cs-- Caste, Community, Cash and Criminal Prowess.

Agreeing with another suggestion in the book to have fast track courts for election related cases, he said that special tribunals or courts need to be set up to dispose of election petitions within six months. Government and Parliament should seriously think on this issue, Naidu said.

He also said that a committee to review rules and business of the Rajya Sabha to ensure its smooth functioning is likely to submit its interim report by next month.

"I have set up a Committee to review and revisit the Rules of Procedure and Business of Rajya Sabha for enabling smooth functioning of the House. This Committee has started work and an interim report is likely to be submitted next month," he said.

Referring to the suggestion made by Singhvi in the book for automatic suspension of allowances of lawmakers due to disruptions, he hoped that it would be considered by the committee.

The Committee is headed by former Rajya Sabha Secretary General VK Agnihotri and will look into all the rules of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha and give its suggestions.


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