Governance Now Visionary Talks Series

Legislatures and people's hopes: Meira Kumar for self-assessment

Lok Sabha speaker inaugurates presiding officers' conference

PTI | February 3, 2010

File photo of Meira Kumar at an event at Parliament House Annexe on January 16, 2010
File photo of Meira Kumar at an event at Parliament House Annexe on January 16, 2010

Expressing concern over the gradual declining standards of legislatures in performing their duties, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on Wednesday said there is a need for legislative bodies to make a self-assessment on meeting the people's expectations from them.

"In recent past, there has been a general disquiet about the gradually declining standards of our legislatures in the performance of their duties," Kumar said inaugurating the '74th Conference of Presiding Officers of Legislative Bodies in India' at the State Assembly in Bhopal.

"Debates and discussion, which are considered to be the hallmark of democracy, are often marked by disruptions, confrontations and various non-democratic alternatives," she said.

"Under the given circumstances, it becomes imperative that all our legislative bodies across the country make self-assessment with regard to their functioning in the realisation of the urges, aspirations and expectations of the people," Kumar said.

The speaker said that the February 2-6 conference will deliberate on the topics - "Self-Assessment by Legislature for Enhancing its Relevance", "Creation of Smaller States - A National Perspective," and "The Role of Speaker in the Administration of Legislature".

On the issues of smaller states, Kumar said that "Of late, there have been demands for carving out new state from the existing bigger ones.

"There have also been demands from different quarters for the creation of a second States Reorganisation Commission," she said.

About the speaker's role, Kumar said: "The speaker is constitutionally vested with definite powers in running of the House from both administrative and legislative angles, and as such his or her role in the administration of the legislature forms the bedrock of the entire legislative functioning.

"This conference is an opportunity for us to exchange views on the intricacies involved in the administration of our respective legislatures so that we can benefit from one another's experience, insights and perspectives," the speaker said.



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