No consensus on tweaking anti-defection law at presiding officers’ meet in Shimla

Tribune News Service

Shimla, November 18

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Thursday said consensus could not be forged among the Speakers of Vidhan Sabhas and Vidhan Parishads on the issue of making suitable changes in the Anti-Defection Bill to plug the lacunae.

"Though the report of the CP Joshi committee has been laid on the table of the House but there is still no unanimity on the issue," admitted Birla, who is here to chair the 82nd All India Presiding Officers' Conference, which concluded today.

He added that further talks will be held on the issue, which was part of the agenda at the conference held here over the past two days.

"A resolution has been passed at the conference, desiring that there should be no disruptions during the President's or Governor's address, budget presentation and during question hour in the legislatures," said Birla.

He added the Speakers and Deputy Speakers had been requested to take up the matter with respective political parties in their states to seek their consent on the issue.

Sharing the recommendations of the conference, Birla said a resolution has also been adopted, urging all legislatures across the country to explore the possibility of introducing Zero Hour. "Having a provision for zero hour will provide opportunity to the members to raise public issues concerning their constituencies," he disclosed.

He added that the issue will have to be deliberated upon by representatives of all political parties in every state to arrive at unanimity on the issue.

Birla while agreeing that the Speaker, whichever political party he or she belongs to, must remain independent and refrain from political activities. "We all must respect this tradition as it is only then that people will have faith in the legislatures and democracy will be strengthened," he stated.

While stressing the need for ensuring that there are disruptions which result in wastage in precious time of the house, Birla said it is political parties which will have to enforce self discipline among its members in the house. "It is only by enforcing self discipline that the high traditions of the legislatures can be upheld," he said.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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