Speaking at the inauguration of The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy, a think tank set up by The Hindu newspaper in Chennai, Mukherjee said that the issue of constant disruptions in Parliament cannot be brushed aside any more and raised the question whether the tactic puts pressure on the government to perform or denies the rights of members of the House to discuss and debate issues.
“In my younger days we were taught that the essence of democracy is 3D — debate and discussion, dissent, and finally, decision. But when I retired from Parliament, I found there was another D — disruption of proceedings of the House,” the President said, adding that a solution now needs to be found. “We cannot simply brush it aside and say it may be necessary. The persons who are doing it, these are persons in Parliament who are equally responsible personalities. Is it now time to find out how to address the issue,” he said.
Mukherjee recalled that in the years following Independence, Parliament would have extensive discussions on the budget and finance Bills. Even though the first plan size was Rs 2,000 crore, the President recalled that Parliament discussed the approach paper for four days and had a mid-term appraisal debate. While the size of the Bill has increased tremendously, Mukherjee raised questions on whether the level of debate and discussions had gone down.
The ceremony was attended by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, senior BJP leader L K Advani, among others.