Addressing a gathering after releasing Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi’s book “Straight Talk”, Venkaiah Naidu said the committee, he formed to review the Rajya Sabha rules to enable better functioning of the House, had started its work and would submit an interim report next month. He also took the occasion to argue that political parties should stop viewing each other as enemies and should be tolerant to diverse ideologies.
“Political parties are rivals but not enemies. They may have different ideas and ideologies, but all are trying to do the best for the country. So, we should treat them as rivals and not as enemies,” Naidu said at a function.
His comments were seen in the light of the controversy generated by former President Pranab Mukherjee’s decision to attend a function at the RSS headquarters on June 7.
“The people of one party in Tamil Nadu do not attend weddings and funerals of the people of the other party. This is not good. We are not enemies,” he said with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress leaders P Chidambaram and Jyotiraditya Scindia and DMK’s M Kanimozhi gracing the dais.
Referring to suggestions from Singhvi in his book that members disrupting proceedings should be automatically suspended, Naidu expressed hope that the committee would consider the senior lawyer’s view.
The Vice-President also seconded radical suggestions Singhvi has made in the 63 articles he wrote over the years and has now collated as a book. “Singhvi argues that the party whip should not apply to legislation issues to enable bipartisan legislations to be enacted. He speaks of mandatory judicial impact assessment of laws and disqualification of MPs at the stage of framing of charges. The author argues for fast-track courts to dispose of election pleas. I agree with these suggestions as also to another one related to the establishment of a Ministry of Excellence.”
Expressing concern over continued disruptions hampering proceedings in the Rajya Sabha, Naidu, who is the chairman of the Upper House, said a committee reviewing the rules of the house business would submit its report next month.