Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that the role of Rajya Sabha will not be forgotten when Bills pertaining to Article 370 and Article 35(A) that granted special powers to Jammu and Kashmir were passed in the Upper House of Parliament.
“If we analyse the 250 sessions of Rajya Sabha, it has passed several bills that have gone on to become laws in the country, thereby defining governance. We can never forget the role of the Rajya Sabha when Bills on Articles 370 and 35(A) were passed. This House has worked to further unity,” he said at a special discussion on the 250th session of Rajya Sabha.
A bill, Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act 2019, aimed at reorganising Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories and a resolution on abrogation of Article 370 and 35 (A) was first tabled by Home Minister Amit Shah in Rajya Sabha in August. The Parliament ultimately passed both the legislations.
The separate UTs of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh came into existence on August 31.
Modi also recalled the passing of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Triple Talaq Bills in Rajya Sabha, saying the Upper House has made a strong contribution when it is related to the national good.
“Whenever it has been about national good, the Rajya Sabha has risen to the occasion and made a strong contribution. It was believed that the Bill on Triple Talaq would not pass here but it did. Even GST became a reality after it was passed in the Rajya Sabha,” he said.
Modi underlined that the welfare of the country is not possible without the welfare of the states.
“Our Constitution inspires us to work for a welfare state. It also motivates us to work for the welfare of states. The Rajya Sabha, as the Council of States, enables us to further the spirit of cooperative federalism,” the Prime Minister said.
He also said that the central and state governments should not compete but work in tandem to take the country forward. “The development of states and the nation are not two separate things and are directly linked to each other. This house teaches and inspires this emotion best,” Modi added.
Invoking former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s thoughts, Modi quoted him saying that Rajya Sabha should not be thought as a secondary house and should be a vibrant supportive house for national progress.
“In 2003, Atal ji had said that the Rajya Sabha may be the second house but no one should think of it as a secondary house. Today, I echo the sentiments of Atal Ji and add that the Rajya Sabha must be a vibrant supportive house for national progress,” he said.
“The Rajya Sabha is about checks and balance. This is absolutely essential for our democracy. Debates have to be many and effective. But, there is also a difference between checking and clogging, and balance and blocking,” the Prime Minister asserted.
The winter session of Parliament began from Monday and will go on till December 13.
Many key bills, including the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019, are scheduled to be tabled in this session of the Parliament. Other important bills that are expected to be taken up during the course of the Houses include the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, Anti Maritime Piracy Bill 2019 and Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019.