New Delhi, (IANS) Bitterness has crept into the political discourse and it should be removed by both the ruling and opposition parties, Congress leader Anand Sharma said on Friday as the upper house bid farewell to 53 retiring members.
Sharma said disruptions in the house were part of democracy.
“Whenever this house has had a debate, it has added to the glory of this house… and when there is roadblock, there are reasons for that as well. This is also a part of democracy,” Sharma said.
“It is true that some laws get delayed; debate is important for some legislations. Parties have different points of view so law should be made with consensus, and both ruling and opposition parties should understand this,” Sharma said.
Speaking soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi rued non-passage of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill, Sharma said the bill had remained stuck during the UPA tenure as well.
“When we were on that side, GST was stalled for years. We feel an atmosphere should be created so that the bitterness that has become a part of political discourse can be removed,” Sharma said.
“We have to work together for reform. We need to discuss and debate,” he said.
Samajwadi Party member Ramgopal Yadav, meanwhile, stressed on the importance of the House of Elders.
Yadav, bidding farewell to retiring members, cited an example from the time when the US senate was formed.
“Many times people feel the Rajya Sabha is not an important house,” Yadav said.
Yadav said Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence of US, had questioned George Washington on why he agreed to the two house system with the House of Representatives and Senate.
“He asked Washington why did you accept the Senate. Jefferson was having tea at the time and he transferred tea to a saucer… Washington said you answered your question yourself. The Senate is like the saucer, it will cool things down,” Yadav said.
“That is what Rajya Sabha does, if the Lok Sabha takes a hurried decision, we rectify it,” Yadav added.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati called for the opposition and government to stand united and work together in the constitutional framework, adding that the fight between political parties has led to the judiciary surpassing the legislative.
She also called upon the government to bring the GST bill and debate it.
“We said in the last session as well that the bill should be brought. All parties will give their suggestion and government should accept good suggestions,” Mayawati said.
Earlier, Chairman M. Hamid Ansari stressed on the importance of debate.
“Excitability is a human trait, tempering it with moderation, good sense and serious debate produces better results. This is the public’s expectation from the senior house and this is our endeavour,” Ansari said.