Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla Sunday suggested longer sessions of legislatures and asked legislators to raise more questions, saying this makes a government more accountable. Speaking at the inaugural session of a one-day program for orientation of members of the Rajasthan assembly, he called on legislators to rise above party lines and take part in debates in the House in the interest of the state and the country.
The Lok Sabha speaker said a minister gets more scope to review his department if the number of questions related to his portfolio raised in the legislature is high. He suggested that sessions should be longer as it makes a government more responsible.
Birla, who has been a member of the Rajasthan assembly, also said the tradition of storming into the Well of the House is not good as it usually leads to adjournment. "One does not become a leader by storming into the Well (of the House). I have made it clear in the Lok Sabha that the time has changed. Now, it is the time when a member speaks in the House and the people like them," he said.
Birla said protests in the Well of the House leads to adjournment and this has been told to the members of the Lok Sabha. "When the Lok Sabha runs properly, this will be followed by state assemblies too," he said. The speaker said that members should speak on issues under rules of business and should level allegations on the basis of facts and in a modest manner. Birla said he on different occasions has cited the examples of parliamentary traditions that are followed in the Rajasthan assembly.
Rajasthan assembly speaker C P Joshi said the program will enhance the capacity of members and give them an opportunity to learn more about the parliamentary procedures. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot also said such programs help members increase their understanding about the rules and parliamentary traditions.
Leader of Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shati Dhariwal also addressed the inaugural session. Besides the present members of the house, several ex-MLAs also attended the program held in the assembly. Birla on Sunday also launched the new website and a mobile app of Rajasthan assembly. The site has information on complete house proceedings since the first in 1952 whereas the app provides information like details of members of the house, questions and list of business.
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