Parliamentarians must work to meet people’s expectations

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The Hindu, August 19, 2010

With disruptions in Parliament apparently weighing heavily on her mind, President Pratibha Patil on Wednesday said its functioning must meet an ?exacting standard? to set an example for the rest of the world.

The President noted that people’s faith in democratic institutions rested upon how effectively elected representatives performed and how attentive they were to issues that impacted public welfare. ?This is an enormous responsibility and parliamentarians must work to meet people’s expectations,? she said.

Ms. Patil was speaking after conferring the Outstanding Parliamentarian Awards to the former Union Minister, Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi; senior Samajwadi Party leader Mohan Singh; and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Murli Manohar Joshi for the years 2007, 2008 and 2009 respectively.

A galaxy of leaders, including Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, Leaders of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, and several Union Ministers attended the function.

Congress MP Deepa Dasmunsi accepted the award on behalf of her husband, who has been seriously ill for some time.

Mr. Ansari lamented that oratorical skills were replaced by lung power and that discussions were drowned in noise and disruption. ?It creates momentary excitement, but is no substitute for persuasion. It detracts from the dignity of Parliament and invites public scorn,? Mr. Ansari said.

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