New Delhi, December 8
President Pranab Mukherjee said on Thursday that Parliament was not a place for dharna and disruptions that amount to the “gagging of majority” by the minority, in an apparent criticism of the Opposition which has stalled proceedings in the ongoing winter session over the government’s decision to ban high-value banknotes.
Mukherjee told parliamentarians that they were meant to discuss and transact business, and not disrupt the House.
“Disruption is totally unacceptable in parliamentary system. People send representatives to speak and not to sit on dharna and not to create any trouble on the floor,” he said, speaking on “Electoral reforms for a stronger democracy” on the occasion of Defence Estates Day Lecture in New Delhi.
Mukherjee, who was a member of Parliament before he became the president, said: “Disruption means you are hurt, you are gagging majority. Majority never participates in this disruption. Only minority comes to the well, shouts slogans, stops the proceedings and creates a situation in which the Chair has no option but to adjourn the House. This is totally unacceptable”.
“For demonstration, you can choose any other places. But for God’s sake, do your job. You are meant to transact business. You are meant to devote your time for exercising the authority of members, particularly Lok Sabha members over money and finance,” he said.
Maintaining that he is not targeting any single party or individuals, he said the responsibility is of everyone.
“Fact remains that this (disruption) has become a practice which should not be acceptable at all. Whatever be the differences, we have the opportunity, to speak our mind, to speak freely and no court can interfere in what I say on the floor of the House,” he said.
Mukherjee said that even if a member is levelling an allegation against someone, no court can prosecute him because he has said so on the floor of the House.
“This type of freedom should not be misused by causing disruption,” he said.