The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee addressed the members of 12th Vidhan Sabha of Himachal Pradesh today (May 24, 2013) on the occasion of its Golden Jubilee Celebrations.

Speaking on the occasion, the President expressed sadness and anxiety over repeated disruption of the functioning of the Parliament and State legislatures without transaction of any business.

The President said every legislator has got his job after begging people for their votes, after gaining their trust. It would not be fair if he does not discharge his responsibilities. Dissent is a recognized democratic expression. The cardinal principle of effective functioning of a Parliamentary system is that majority would rule and minority would oppose, expose and if possible, depose. But this should be done within the framework of rules framed by Legislatures themselves. 

The President said the role and functions of an Assembly can be described as three D’s i.e. debate, dissent and decision. A fourth ‘D’ that is ‘disruption’ should be strictly avoided. Disruption has no role in a parliamentary democracy. It is a small minority forcing their will on all others. Neither are they doing their job nor letting others do their job. He requested leaders of political parties to discuss and find a solution to this problem. He expressed confidence that the Indian political system is capable of finding a solution.

The President complimented the Himachal Pradesh Assembly for holding disruption free sessions and said it speaks well about our democratic system.

The President said the Legislative Assembly is the master of the Executive in the sense that the Chief Minister along with his Council of Ministers is accountable collectively and severally to the Legislative Assembly. The Executive can be unseated at any time by passing a resolution of No Confidence in the State Legislative Assembly by a simple majority. Moreover, most of the instruments of governance are executed through appropriate laws passed by Legislatures.

The President said elected representatives have exclusive control over money and finance. No expenditure can be incurred by the Executive without approval of Legislature, no tax can be levied except by a law passed by the Legislature and no money can be withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund of the State without the approval of the Legislature. Therefore, Legislators must ensure adequate discussion and scrutiny before passing of legislation.

The President said the completion of 50 years of Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly is a golden event in the history of this august institution. He expressed hope that the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly would lead and continue to maintain the highest standards of democratic practice and parliamentary traditions.