Don't do anything that could damage India's image: Naidu
New Delhi: Suggesting a few tips to new members of the Upper House, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday urged members of the House not to do or say anything that could damage India's image and might be used by the country's enemies against it.
Speaking at the inauguration of a two-day orientation programme for new members of the Upper House, Naidu stressed that "discuss, debate and decide" is the mantra of democracy and that members should not resort to disruption.
Calling upon members not to cause disruption citing rules, he noted that Rule 267, often cited by opposition members, should be used on rare occasions as a 'Brahmastra' for emergent or extraordinary situations. "If you start seeking recourse to (Rule) 267, you cannot run the House. It is very rarely used. It is like 'Brahmastra', (which is used) when other 'astras' (weapons) do not succeed. If you (frequently) start taking recourse to 'Brahmastra', it becomes an 'astra'," he said.
Notably, Rule 267 calls for setting aside of business of the day to take up a discussion on the issue pressed. Free writing and expression are allowed in a democracy, but they "shouldn't cause disaffection in society", he said, adding that the House frequently runs into problems on account of repeated recourse to certain rules.
Naidu further said that every stage of passing laws offers opportunities to oppose or support a bill. "You have the power to block a legislation provided you have the numbers. One cannot obstruct physically. Then that is the negation of democracy," he said.