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President Pranab Mukherjee today asked lawmakers to improve the quality of debates in legislatures, saying India cannot remain a role model to the world simply because of the size of its electorate. Delivering the first Bhairon Singh Shekhawat Memorial Lecture here, President Mukherjee lauded the parliamentary democracy in India and said Parliament's functioning is based on 3Ds -- Debate, Dissension and Decision. The president asked members of Parliament and state Assemblies to improve the quality of deliberations, discussions and debates in the House, saying people have vested immense power and privileges in them. He said every issue should be debated and members may express their disagreements but finally a decision has to be taken by the House. "Once the decision is there, it's not the decision of the majority party or the ruling party, it's the decision of the House and so the decision of the state or the decision of India," the president said, adding that this is the tradition of the parliamentary democracy. "You cannot remain the role model to the world simply because of the size of your electorate," he said. He said what is applicable to Parliament is applicable to legislative Assemblies in all 29 states as well. "There is huge power and responsibilities vested in MPs and MLAs of all 29 states by 800 million people.
If we do not use these power and privileges, we have to blame ourselves and not anybody else," said Mukherjee, who has over five decades of experience as a lawmaker. According to available data, 19.58 per cent of the total time was lost due to interruptions/adjournments in the 14th Lok Sabha, 41.6 per cent in the 15th Lok Sabha and about 16 per cent in the 16th Lok Sabha (up to the 10th session). According to available data, 19.58 per cent of the total time was lost due to interruptions/adjournments in the 14th Lok Sabha, 41.6 per cent in the 15th Lok Sabha and about 16 per cent in the 16th Lok Sabha (up to the 10th session). The president recalled prominent personalities in the early days of Indian politics and asked the lawmakers to uphold the high tradition established by them. Earlier, Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling was conferred the first Bhairon Singh Shekhawat Life Time Achievement Honour in Public Service by President Mukherjee. The president lauded Chamling's contribution to his small state and said it was emerging as a role model for other states. Those present on the occasion included Rajasthan's Governor Kalyan Singh, his Punjab counterpart V P Singh Badnore, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and former chief minister Ashok Gehlot. The programme began with the opening address of Gehlot who said Shekhawat was a warmhearted and fearless political leader who was born into a very simple family and was elevated to the post of the vice president of the country. Shekhawat was the vice-president between 2002 and 2007. Before becoming the vice-president, he served as the the chief minister of Rajasthan for three terms.
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