Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda on Tuesday congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the introduction of the Women’s Reservation Bill (Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam) in Lok Sabha after 13 years.
“I want to congratulate the Prime Minister. At least, he took the decision in the Cabinet yesterday which was pending since 1996..,” the JD(S) patriarch said.
Never thought I would see new Parliament building in my lifetime: Gowda
As the Parliament started to function from the new building from Tuesday, Gowda, being one of its senior most members, advised younger colleagues that the Parliament has to be made use of for debates and not as a stage for protests, and to always come prepared to the House for informed discussion.
The 90-year-old veteran politician, who is also JD(S) patriarch, suggested that the bigger national parties should realise and acknowledge the contribution of smaller, regional parties and independent members to India’s progress as a nation and its democracy.
Stating that Parliament should never forget the poor, farmers, oppressed, marginalised, minorities and the voiceless, he hoped that the 90 per cent of the new Parliament’s time is spent discussing their needs and their development.
He shared a statement on X that read:
- 1. Parliament has to be made use of for debates and not as a stage for protests. In my entire legislative career, I only once for a very brief moment went to well of the house and I have regretted that decision.
- 2. Please make use of the Parliament library. Try to understand our legislative history well. When I came to Delhi in 1991, I had no friends – not that I have many now I spent all my time reading in the library. I had done the same when I entered the Karnataka assembly in 1962. Please always come prepared to the house. Let there always be informed discussion.
- 3. India is a multiparty democracy. The bigger national parties should realise and acknowledge the contribution of smaller, regional parties and independent members to our progress as a nation and our democracy. I speak here as a representative of regional parties and someone who has spent a majority of his time in the Opposition. In my sixty years as a lawmaker, I have been in power for only six to seven years. Regional parties and the Opposition have greatly contributed to the vibrancy of our democracy. I also led a large 13-party coalition government in 1996 made up mostly of regional parties and we did not perform badly. Managing Indian diversity is like managing a large coalition. India in many ways is a large coalition. We have to have enormous patience to nurture that diversity.
- 4. Finally, Parliament should never forget the poor, our farmers, the oppressed. the marginalised, the minorities and the voiceless. I hope ninety percent of the new Parliament’s time is spent discussing their needs and their development. I hope our long innings in this new Parliament house is happy, peaceful and productive.
(With agencies inputs)