Union minister Piyush Goyal on Monday called for freeing India from corruption as he remembered the contributions made by various leaders over the 75 years of the country's parliamentary journey and also stressed the Opposition's role of keeping the government in check.
A special five-day session of Parliament began on Monday. The session will witness a discussion on the 75-year journey of Parliament and the House proceedings moving to a new building. Eight bills have also been listed for consideration and passage during the session.
The Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha are holding a discussion on the "Parliamentary Journey of 75 Years Starting from Samvidhan Sabha -- Achievements, Experiences, Memories and Learnings".
In his opening remarks in the Rajya Sabha, Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar said the hallowed precincts of Parliament for years have witnessed highs and lows, which need to be reflected and deliberated upon so as to take the country to its rightful place in 2047, when it celebrates the centenary of its independence.
"The honourable members' use of wit, humour, sarcasm and even acerbic comments inside Parliament are an important, inalienable facet of a vigorous democracy. These days we do not get to hear such light-hearted exchanges. Hopefully, we will see the revival of wit, humour and scholarly debates," the chairman said.
Starting the discussion, Goyal recalled the contributions made towards strengthening parliamentary democracy by various chairmen of the Upper House, including Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Zakir Husain, Shankar Dayal Sharma, Kocheril Raman Narayanan, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Mohammad Hamid Ansari, M Venkaiah Naidu and Dhankhar.
He said while the elected MPs have made big contributions to strengthen democracy, the nominated Rajya Sabha members have also given their best.
The Union minister also recalled the abrogation of the provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution, the process for which started in the Upper House.
The legislations concerning "triple talaq" and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) too figured prominently in his nearly 40-minute speech.
While most of Goyal's speech focused on the achievements of the 75-year journey of India's parliamentary democracy and the last nine years of the Narendra Modi government, he also highlighted certain unpleasant memories, such as Emergency, the 2001 Parliament terror attack, the cash-for-votes scam and the parliamentary proceedings associated with the creation of the state of Telangana.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader noted that the opposition has a key role to play in keeping the government in check and said Parliament is an institution to keep democracy alive.
The commerce and industry minister called upon the Members of Parliament to work towards women empowerment and making India a corruption-free, developed country.
When the House assembled for the session, Dhankhar lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision for a successful G20 Summit.
He also announced that the House will discuss the "Parliamentary Journey of 75 Years Starting from Samvidhan Sabha -- Achievements, Experiences, Memories and Learnings".
The chairman said all members will get an opportunity to express their views during the six-hour discussion.
Leader of Opposition and Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge also requested the chairman to revoke the suspension of two Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) members -- Sanjay Singh and Raghav Chadha -- at a time when the House is holding the session and moving into the new Parliament building.
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