New Delhi: Communist Party of India (CPI) National Secretary and Member of Parliament D. Raja today called for effective Parliamentary and Constitutional reforms to strengthen parliamentary democracy in India.
Participating in a Panel Discussion on "Reassessing the Executive Powers in India's Parliamentary Democracy", organized by Observer Research Foundation and Delhi University's Hindu College, Raja said that the Parliament worked less than 100 days a year when there was so much to do in the country.
The CPI leader also stressed the need for equipping the Members of Parliament with necessary and effective support systems so that they could work more effectively to cater to the increasing aspirations of the people.
Tracing the history of coalition governments in India, Raja said he was not of the opinion that the coalition governments were affecting the efficiency and effectiveness of the governance structures as some critics argued.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said the lack of absolute majority for a single government since 1992 was having its impact on decision makings by the governments. He suggested that the time has come for a debate on the issue.
He noted that common people, both in urban and rural areas, saw the State as an aggressor and themselves as victims. He said such a tendency was not good for democracy.
Former Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai regretted that there was a lack of direction from the political class to the executive, which is strong and efficient enough to implement any decision.
"If the rider is directionless, what can the horse do?" he asked.
Pillai said as the political class failed to take decisions, the judiciary stepped in to fill the vacuum and asked the executive to take certain decisions.
He said there was an urgent need to initiate reforms in many spheres, including police reforms. But, he said, the politicians were not interested in reforms, as it would affect them.
Pointing out the increasing crime graph, Pillai said crime rates would only increase in the next two decades. He gave two reasons for this. One, increasing aspirations of people to make quick money and two, ineffective criminal judicial system, which allowed 90 percent of the criminals go scot-free.
Eminent columnist Sanjay Guha Thakurta said even civil society groups, like that of Anna Hazare and others, came forward and filled in the space vacated by the failures of political parties.