VP concerned over political discourse reaching a new low



Vice PresidentM Venkaiah Naidu Saturday expressed concern over political discourse reaching a new low in recent years and called for reversing the trend at the earliest.

“It is a matter of concern that political discourse is reaching a new low in recent years.We should reverse this trend at the earliest.

A credible opposition is an essential prop for a healthy democracy. People in public life should understand that they are only rivals, not enemies.

I have often been quoting Pranab Da’s (former President Pranab Mukherjee) mantra– ‘Discuss, Debate and Decide but not Disturb’,” he said.

Naidu, who was speaking at the Hyderabad Management Association’s 46th Annual Awards function here, also expressed concern over frequent disruptions in Parliament and state legislatures, an official release quoted him as saying.

The Vice President said legislatures beingreduced into ‘disruptive platforms’ was a clear negation of the vision of those who framed the Constitution.

“In a way, it is an affront to the spirit of the Constitution of India.

It is apathy towards the hopes and aspirations of the people. It is an utter disregard for peoples mandate. It is a betrayal of the peoples faith in these pillars of democracy.”

Observing that dysfunctional legislatures would strengthen the demand for ‘recall of legislators’, he said, “I am afraid that we are moving towards that stage.”

Naidu said cases of violations of anti-defection should be dealt with speed and alacrity.

Similarly, election petitions and criminal cases against political leaders must be decided quickly by special benches of higher courts in a time-bound manner, he said.

The Vice President said the people of the country have made their choice with resounding clarity in the recent elections and voted for stability and continuity.

He said the nation must step up the crusade against hunger, poverty, illiteracy and disease and translate the economic growth into happiness for the masses through good health, education, employment, improved infrastructure and amenities.

Observing that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was a revolutionary taxation measure, he lauded the managerial and leadership skills of former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in bringing 17-year-long discussions to fruition under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi

“In the 34 GST council meetings held, not even once there was a voting,” he said.

Referring to the country’s economy, he said India today was the fastest growing economy in the world.

The latest World Bank report had stated that the economy grew by 7.2 per cent and was expected to grow by 7.5 per cent in the next two fiscal years, he said.

“The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) too forecast that India would continue to be the world’s fastest growing major economy and that Indias growth rate would touch 7.5 per cent by 2020,” he said.

The report highlights India as the bright spot amidst the otherwise bleak global economic growth prospects, he said.

Naidu recalled that liberalization of the economy began under former Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao, which gained momentum during the regime of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi initiated a series of economic and administrative reforms, from tackling the menace of corruption and black money to ensuring that the fundamentals of the economy remained strong.

“Thanks to these reforms, India has emerged as a top destination for investments in the world.

There is a need to further accelerate reforms as India forges ahead to become the third largest economy in the coming years,” he said.

Stressing that strong principles of corporate governance must be the driving force of any company, he said the principles of transparency, integrity, ethics and honesty must be upheld at all times and reflected in every business activity.

“At this crucial juncture of our development, we simply cannot allow scams, frauds and scandals to happen.

Financial fugitives, who defraud shareholders and other stakeholders of a company must be brought to justice before they seek safe havens in other countries,”he said.