Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday asked newly elected members “to leave politics outside” and focus on people’s welfare inside the House.
Naidu inaugurated a two-day orientation programme for the new members of the Rajya Sabha here and spoke with them on different aspects of the functioning of Parliament for about an hour.
He made a passionate appeal to all MPs to ensure smooth functioning of the Rajya Sabha and Parliament by making good use of opportunities and improving the quality of debates.
“I firmly believe in discipline and upholding rules. I do get emotional if rules are violated and the House is disrupted,” he said.
“Mobocracy should not be allowed to derail deliberative parliamentary democracy. A group of MPs rushing into the well of the House and disrupting the proceedings subverts democracy. We need to respect each other irrespective of being in majority or minority. We need to respect the people’s mandate,” he told the members.
Naidu complimented Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri for attending the ‘Orientation Programme’ despite having piloted quite a few bills and answering several questions in both the Houses of Parliament over the last one year.
“Puri has been one of our leading diplomats for a long time and minister for over a year, but he is attending this programme to know more from seniors about the functioning of Parliament like a fresher. This shows learning never stops,” statement quoted Naidu as saying.
Puri sat through the day-long interaction on Saturday.
Rajya Sabha member Derek O’Brien, one of the country’s most famous quiz masters, explained the role and functioning of the committees of Parliament and their strengths to the delight of all.
Leaving the podium, he took a cordless mike and conducted a quiz from amidst the MPs. He gave the first word of the acronym ‘STRENGTHS’ and asked the newly elected MPs to indicate which function of the Standing Committees that letter suggested.
He offered chocolates to those who gave correct answers and his quiz show enlivened the interaction and got a huge applause.
Rajya Sabha secretary general Desh Deepak Verma gave an overview of the Secretariat, including the support services being extended to members of the House. Over 40 MPs attended the first day of the ‘Orientation Programme’.