A majority of presiding officers of Legislative Assemblies and Councils from across the country are in favour of fixing a minimum number of days when their respective Houses should function in order to avoid unnecessary disruptions which are sometimes “planned”, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said on Wednesday.
“Sittings are being reduced constantly. If we want to strengthen democracy, then we have to let public representatives speak on issues concerning people,” Mr. Birla said on the sidelines of the 83rd All India Presiding Officers Conference here.
The Speaker said protesting and raising issues was a fundamental right of public representatives, but sometimes the House was being disrupted in a planned manner. “You can walk out. There can be small adjournments. But not letting the House function for the entire day is not correct. This will not help democracy function,” he said.
Mr. Birla said this issue had been discussed numerous times in meetings of presiding officers and many felt that the number of sitting should be fixed at 60 days a year for Houses which have more than 200 members. This can also be brought about by a Constitutional amendment if needed.
A single platform for all legislatures was one of the other things that everybody was on board is with, he said.
The single digital Sansad platform would enable easy exchange of information in legislative bodies across the nation. This would also increase the efficiency and quality of communication between the legislators and the public, Mr. Birla said.
The conference, one of the largest gathering of presiding officers of the country’s legislative bodies, was inaugurated by Vice-President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar.