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Varun Gandhi says against the idea of issuing whip on every issue

LiveMint logoLiveMint 09-09-2017 PTI

Patna: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member of Parliament (MP) Varun Gandhi on Saturday said he was against the idea of issuing whip by parties on every issue and advocated that people’s representatives should have the right to express their views freely inside Parliament.

Gandhi said whips are issued by parties on “90% issues” restricting MPs from airing their own views. “I am against the idea of issuing whip on every issue as I want to express my view also... Parties should not issue whips on at least 50% issues to let their members air their views,” he said while addressing ‘Parliament Conclave’ in Patna.

The BJP MP from Sultanpur also advocated for the e-petition system saying it is currently in place in countries like England, Australia and New Zealand. This system should also be adopted in India to give space to common people instead of restricting the doors of Parliament for its members only, he said. In this system, if 10,000 people sign an e-petition, the prime minister or the minister concerned will have to reply to it. When such a petition is signed by more than one lakh people, it has to be debated in the parliament, Gandhi said.

He said the time has come when the people should also have a say in the scrutiny of policies and schemes. “It is my opinion that Parliament should be the centre for formulating policies. It should not become a place for politics alone,” Gandhi said. MPs have increased their salaries four times in the past five years, he said, adding, “I am not against hike in salaries of MPs but I am certainly opposed to the system of parliamentarians themselves getting their pay hiked.”

Parliament had worked for 130 days a year during 1952-1972, but its working days have declined to 60 days a year in the past 15 years, Gandhi said. He said 51% bills were passed without any discussion in the past 10 years, while 61% bills were passed even without sending those to the government’s advisory committees during the same period.

Praising the Odisha government for mandating its Assembly to work for at least 110 days a year, Gandhi suggested that the Bihar should also follow it. He stressed on the need for infusing new blood in politics, especially from a place like Bihar, which, he said, has no dearth of talents. On personality driven politics getting prominence, Gandhi said there is nothing wrong in it as personality driven politics is getting prominence across the globe.

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