Jaipur: Veteran Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday called for good relations between ruling and opposition party legislators, recalling his own interactions with former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Speaking at the inaugural session of a seminar on ‘Parliamentary System and People’s Expectations’ in the Rajasthan Assembly, the former leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha said understanding is an important factor in the legislature and good work can get support only when there is a good understanding among the members.
“Ruling and opposition party legislators should have a working relationship. There should be enough understanding that if there is good work, then it gets support. If there are distances, even good work will not get the support. Therefore, there is a need to make working relationships,” he added.
Sharing his experience with the leaders of opposition parties, Azad said when he was the Union parliamentary affairs minister, he used to share a strong bond with then leader of opposition Vajpayee and they used to have lunch together every two to three days.
The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said differences should only be seen during elections.
The veteran Congress leader said in election rallies, he never used to refer to the name of the rival candidate.
“During poll rallies, we have to tell people what we will do,” he said.
Azad is part of the G-23 group which wrote a letter to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi last year seeking organisational overhaul.
Speaking on the role of the members of the legislature, he said the legislature, judiciary and executive have their roles and responsibilities well defined in the Constitution. However, the legislature is the first among the equals.
He said in India, apart from making laws, legislators have to look after their constituency and address various demands of the people be it related to water or electricity.
Azad also asked the legislators to maintain the dignity of the House by understanding and following rules.
The senior Congress leader rued that public representatives get so engaged and engrossed in work that they leave behind their families and children.
He advised them to spare some time for their family and friends. The seminar was organised by the Rajasthan chapter of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA).
Assembly Speaker and CPA Rajasthan president CP Joshi, leader of opposition and vice president of CPA Gulab Chand Kataria and independent MLA and CPA secretary Sanyam Lodha also addressed the inaugural ceremony.