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President cautions govt against ordinance route

Ordinances are meant for specific purpose "to meet an extraordinary situation under extraordinary circumstances", the President said citing the Constitution.

Amidst talk that the government may convene a joint session of Parliament to pass legislations in view of the deadlock in the Rajya Sabha where it does not have a majority, Mukherjee said passage of legislations in that manner "is not practicable because I have seen from 1952 till today only four times laws were passed by joint session".

The remarks of the President, who was answering questions during an address to Central varsities and research institutions, come against the backdrop of the Modi government having issued eight ordinances including those for raising the FDI limit in the insurance sector and e-auctioning of coal mines.

The President had recently called three senior ministers including Arun Jaitley and raised questions over the urgency of the ordinance relating to acquisition of land. However, he later gave assent to it

The President said there is a growing tendency to resort to disruption as a means of Parliamentary intervention.

"Dissent is a recognised democratic expression, but disruption leads to loss of time and resources, and paralyses policy formulation... But, under no circumstances should there be disruption of the proceedings. A noisy minority cannot be allowed to gag a patient majority," he said.

He said India's diversity and the magnitude of its problems require that the Parliament becomes a more effective platform to build consensus on public policies and a bulwark of our democratic ideals.

"The proceedings in Parliament must be conducted in a spirit of cooperation, harmony and purpose. The content and quality of debates should be of a high order. Maintenance of discipline and decorum in the House and observance of etiquette and decency are necessary," Mukherjee said.

The President said th e Parliament must not yield its space for legislating and policymaking to mass mobilisation and street-protests, for that may not always provide considered solutions to our problems.

"To retain the trust and faith of the people, the Parliament must enact laws to put in place policies that address the concerns and aspirations of the people," he said.

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