Sansad Ratna Awards 2013 – Electoral Reforms + Disruption of Parliament

April 28, 2013
T S Krishna Murthy (Former Chief Election Commissioner of India)   and Dr K Rosaiah, Governor of Tamil Nadu
T S Krishna Murthy (Former Chief Election Commissioner of India)
 and Dr K Rosaiah, Governor of Tamil Nadu
In our earlier posting, we had published a brief report about the presentation of Sansad Ratna Awards and launching of ezine PreSense to mark the inauguration of National Seminar on politics, democracy and governance.

Mr T S Krishna Murthy, Former Chief Election Commissioner of India presented the Awards to six top performing MPs of Lok Sabha.  

Quoting Mr Edmund Berk, a well known Parliamentarian of UK, T S Krishna Murthy said that the people should elect a Member who takes care of national interest, if there is a conflict between constituency interest and national interest.  He expressed concern over (1) the election of members with 15 to 20 percent of votes (2) money power in elections and (3) lack of internal democracy in political parties.  He recalled the suggestions for Electoral reforms  submitted by him, when he was the Chief Election Commissioner of India to the Prime Minister in 2004.  The Government is yet to take action on these suggestions.  

Mr T S Krishna Murthy also suggested that Government  can set up a fund to take care of the election expenses of the political parties.  All corporates can be asked to donate to this fund which can be given tax exemption.  This would avoid nexus between corporates and the political parties,  The entire audience applauded when he gave this suggestion.

Dr Rosaiah launched the special edition of ezine PreSense marking the inauguration of National Seminar on politics, democracy and governance.  

Dr K Rosaiah, Governor of Tamil Nadu during his speech expressed concern over the disruptions in Parliament.  Quoting PRS Legislative Research, he said that 32% of the Parliament time was wasted due to disruptions in the current 15th Lok Sabha.  Due to such disruptions, many bills could not be discussed and passed.  Even many of the MPs could not present their views in spite of their preparations.  Quoting the speech of  Mr Pranabkumar Mukherjee, President of India in the Joint Session of Parliament recently,  Dr Rosaiah said that such disruptions may create cynicism in the minds of people who may lose faith in the democratic institutions. He appealed to all Members of Parliament to ensure zero disruption.  He also wanted the MPs to explore the visionary projects for their constituency that can help the develop of neighbouring districts also during their tenure .

In the panel discussions that followed the inauguration, the panelists discussed these two aspects viz. (1) elctoral reforms and (2) disruption of Parliament to find some solution.   There was a general consensus among the panelists and the audience that electoral reforms and the smooth functioning of Parliament are essential for a healthy democracy.  Though disruption is permitted under Parliament rules to register the protest, everybody felt that it should not exceed the limit.

Please watch this video (20 minutes) to see the presentation of Awards and inspiring speeches of Dr K Rosaiah and T S Krishna Murthy.

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