President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday expressed strong displeasure over the ongoing parliamentary logjam and said “disruption of Parliament is totally unacceptable”.
Frequent elections are a costly affair and (the practice) should be done away with, the President said while delivering the Defence Estate Day Lecture 2016 here on ‘Reforms for a stronger democracy’.
The President said he favoured simultaneous polls to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies.
“I am convinced the country needs electoral reforms. We should (first) have a public debate and thereafter make the reforms,” he said.
“We are ready to pay the price for democracy but it should not be at the cost of development,” he said, adding that the country should find a way out to hold simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the state assemblies.
The President said people send their representatives to Parliament to work for the country and not to agitate.
He expressed concern that disruption of parliamentary work has become a practice.
“Do your job,” he told the MPs.
“Dharnas can be organised elsewhere,” he said asking all concerned to debate and discuss issues of public importance in the house.
Mukherjee said he was not criticising any particular political party but all concerned must work together to ensure the smooth functioning of Parliament.
Mukherjee shared his own experience when he urged countrymen to vote decisively as frequent elections, because of hung Parliament, were causing lots of problems to the country.
“I had urged the nation to vote diligently and I was criticised in some political quarters,” he said.
The President urged all political parties to give adequate representation to women in their organisations.
“Political parties are not doing enough to give adequate representation to women,” he said, adding that this should be explored.
Ending his lecture, the President said he did not use the written text but “spoke frankly”.