IEP Chandigarh, February 15
Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker S. Kultar Singh Sandhwan, while addressing valedictory ceremony of the 2-day orientation program held for the MLAs of the state, expressed hope that after this program, the performance of the MLAs, especially new ones, will be improved during the upcoming session of Punjab Vidhan Sabha.
S. Kultar Singh Sandhwan, Delhi Vidhan Sabha Speaker Mr. Ram Niwas Goel, Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha Speaker Mr. Satish Mahana, Haryana Vidhan Sabha Speaker Mr. Gian Chand Gupta and other legislative experts shared their valuable experience with the MLAs on the last day of the orientation program being organised to acquaint Punjab MLAs about the legislative business, discipline during sessions and meetings, coordination between the opposition and the government and the methods of finding solutions to people’s problems in an appropriate manner.
Earlier, speaking on the topic “Discipline and decorum in the House” during the first session, Speaker of Delhi Legislative Assembly Mr. Ram Niwas Goel said that awareness about the legislative rules and positive attitude are the keys for MLAs to live up to the expectations of the people.
Mr. Goel said that MLAs should be punctual. Arriving in the House before the first bell rings during the session and attending public functions on time sends a good message among the people. Apart from this, in order to increase his knowledge on each and every subject, a MLA must participate in all the proceedings of the House, besides sitting on his allotted seat so that the proceedings of the House are not disturbed.
He said that starred questions are the lifeblood of the Legislative Assembly and bureaucrats fear these questions because they are bound to answer these questions including supplementary questions in the House and resolve the problem raised in the question. Therefore, study the subject thoroughly to enlist the starred questions in the house. For this purpose, the previous decisions of the legislative committees and the debates, kept in the Library of the Legislative Assembly, held in the House should be examined. This study leads to constructive transformation in MLA.
Highlighting the need to maintain decorum by ruling and opposition MLAs in the House, the Speaker of the Delhi Vidhan Sabha said that frequent attempts to go into the Well of the House are merely a waste of time. He suggested that district MLAs should sit together to deliberate on common problems at the district level and concerned officials should be made accountable.
Addressing the gathering, Speaker of Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha Mr. Satish Mahana said that Vidhan Sabha is the strongest platform to resolve the people’s issues and the MLAs should ideally use this tool.
Mr. Mahana further added, MLAs have given the biggest responsibility by the people, thus MLAs should have to perform accordingly to fulfill the aspirations of the voters. MLAs are much more aware of the ground realities as compared to bureaucrats thereby it is necessary to take guidance from the decisions of the various Legislative Committees and study the books of the Vidhan Sabha Library to run the bureaucracy through the legislative system.
Haryana Vidhan Sabha Speaker Mr. Gian Chand Gupta said that not picking up the phone by any government officials amounts to violation of privilege of representatives of the people. He said that MLAs should work more effectively and aggressively to fix the accountability of the officials.
Speaking on the theme ‘Legislators and Social Contracts’, Seasoned Journalist and Editor Dr. Swarajbir Singh exhorted that Legislators have the unwritten declaration with the society that he is accountable to the people. Enlightening on the chronicles of accountability, he described the struggle from the beginning of humanity to the period of monarchy and then to the establishment of democracy in detail. He also gave considerable insights on women-hood struggle to attain the right to vote. “If the legislators are attend the meetings of the Gram Sabha regularly, then a bustling of positivity would be created among the bureaucracy, said Dr. Singh, exhorted the legislators to protect the truth inside the pious house.
Sharing his views on “Committee system in Legislature-Soul of Parliamentary Democracy”, Lok Sabha Secretariat Director Mr. Arvind Sharma apprised about the functioning of various committees of the House, saying that if people’s representatives read the reports of various committees, they would be able to take up the issues of their people in a better way.
Former Secretary General of Lok Sabha and Adviser to Delhi Vidhan Sabha Mr. PDT Achary said, most of the members do not read the confidential documents provided by the Vidhan Sabha during the meetings of the Vidhan Sabha Committees, due to which questions are not asked in the committee meeting. He said that the chairmen of the committees must discuss the matter with the committee members before questioning the officials in the evidence meeting, and should make a strategy for asking appropriate questions in a planned way.
Similarly, Mr. Ram Narayan Yadav, former Adviser to Speaker Punjab Vidhan Sabha and former Additional Secretary, Haryana Vidhan Sabha highlighted the topic “Role of Legislature in 21st Century-Challenges, Privileges and Immunities of Legislator.” Deputy Commissioner of Tarn Taran Dr. Rishi Pal Singh shared his views on centrally sponsored schemes (MNREGA) as well as state sponsored schemes.
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