Prez anguished over disruptions in Parliament, assemblies

Thiruvananthapuram: With frequent disruptions in Parliament and state assemblies weighing heavily on his mind, President Pranab Mukherjee today asked political parties to ensure their smooth functioning.

"There is a need for collective thinking by political parties and leaders of our country on how to ensure smooth running of our Parliament and legislative assemblies and whether some of the existing rules need to be amended for the purpose," he said in his address to the Kerala Assembly.

Cautioning that frequent adjournments of the House and unruly behaviour by members would create a negative impression in the people's mind, he said, "Disruption should never be allowed to be used as an effective parliamentary intervention."

"Dissent is a recognised democratic expression, but it should be expressed with decency and within the contours and parameters of parliamentary devices," he said.

"The cardinal principle of effective functioning of the parliamentary system is that majority would rule and minority would oppose, expose and if possible, depose. But this should be done within the framework of rules framed by legislatures themselves," he said.

"Parliamentary practices, procedures and conventions are all meant to provide for orderly and expeditious transaction of business.

Mukherjee, who has presented several budgets during his tenure as Finance Minister, said legislators should strive to devote more time and attention to debates on budgets.