New Delhi, October 29: Vice President Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday pushed for the Women’s Reservation Bill and reforms in the way Parliament works including a code of conduct for lawmakers and greater powers to the presiding officer to deal with disruptive legislators. Naidu, who delivered the first Arun Jaitley memorial lecture at Delhi University, also pitched for a minimum sitting for both Houses in a year and a longer tenure to parliament’s standing committees.
Pointing out that women at present constitute only about 13% of Parliament, Naidu urged political parties to take forward “the legislation in the Parliament for reservation of women in legislatures”.
The long-pending women’s reservation bill that seeks to reserve one-third seats in Lok Sabha and state assemblies for women has faced many political upheavals in the past. The Rajya Sabha had once passed the bill in 2010. Naidu’s push for the quota bill comes weeks ahead of Parliament’s Winter Session beginning 23 November.
While the Congress has remained supportive of the bill, the BJP-led NDA has not pushed the bill after coming to power in 2014.
Naidu also suggested a list of broad framework of reforms for parliamentary institutions to “enhance the trust of the people in them.”
He suggested both “pre and post Legislative Impact Assessment” for “quality and informed law making. This, he said, would help in “creating wider awareness about the targeted outcomes by bringing out social, economic, environmental and administrative impacts besides the involvement of all stakeholders in law making.”
He also said that the practise of reconstituting Parliamentary standing committees every year can be stopped and nomination of members in the committees may be “based on academic backgrounds and their renomination on the same committees for a longer period.”
“Law makers should abide by the rules of the House and political parties to take responsibility in this regard by evolving and enforcing a code of conduct,” Naidu said adding that rules should be made that would “automatically take effect against erring Members in case of interruptions and disruptions.”
The Vice President also wanted political parties to ensure at least 50% of their members in the legislatures all through the proceedings of the House everyday to address the issue of lack of quorum. (Agencies)