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Dasmunshi, Joshi, Mohan Singh get outstanding Parliamentarian Awards

President Pratibha Patil presenting the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award for the years 2007 to Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, the award received by his wife Deepa Dasmunsi, at a function, in New Delhi on August 18, 2010. Vice President Mohd. Hamid Ansari, the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Speaker, Lok Sabha, Meira Kumar are also seen.
President Pratibha Patil presenting the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award for the years 2007 to Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, the award received by his wife Deepa Dasmunsi, at a function, in New Delhi on August 18, 2010. Vice President Mohd. Hamid Ansari, the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Speaker, Lok Sabha, Meira Kumar are also seen.

President Pratibha Patil today conferred the Outstanding Parliamentarian Awards for the years 2007, 2008 and 2009 on Mr Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi of the Congress, Mr Mohan Singh of the Samajwadi Party and Dr Murli Manohar Joshi of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

While Mr Singh and Dr Joshi received their awards in person, the award for Mr Dasmunshi, who has been unwell for a long time, was received by his wife, Ms Deepa Dasmunshi.

Ms Patil noted that all of them had been associated with public affairs for a long time and had been articulating issues of public concern in Parliament.

She recalled that Mr Dasmunshi had as a dynamic youth leader showed his efficiency and as a dynamic Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, showed an immense capacity for deft floor management.

"His sudden unfortunate illness deprived Parliament of an experienced hand, who had a deep understanding of its functioning. I remember him for his many qualities and convey him my good wishes. Recently, while following the matches in the Football World Cup in South Africa, I was reminded of his passionate interest in football and his association with the All India Football Federation. I pray for his speedy recovery," she said.

The President said Mr Singh, who has been a member of the Lok Sabha and is now a member of the Rajya Sabha and earlier of the Uttar Pradesh State Legislative Assembly, had vast experience of legislative bodies both at the Centre and State, and brought into Parliament an approach infused with an understanding of ground realities. "His mature and seasoned demeanor is a feather in his cap," she remarked.

Ms Patil said Dr Joshi, as a leading member of the Treasury as well as the Opposition benches, had been drawing attention to developments in the country, through his well articulated and erudite interventions.

"With his knowledge of science, his scholarship and his deep commitment to serving the people of India, he has contributed to parliamentary processes," she said.

The President said Parliamentary was the repository of the sovereign will of the people and the premier institution of representative democracy in India.

"We can be proud that we have carried forward the torch of democracy in a manner that today, the concept of democracy and India are inseparable," she said.

Ms Patil said that it was in the period between elections that people expected their elected representatives to give expression to their cherished aspirations and serious concerns and take the nation forward in the direction of growth, equity and stability.

"The people's faith in democratic institutions rests upon how effectively the elected representatives perform, and how attentive they are to issues that impact public welfare. This is an enormous responsibility and Parliamentarians must work to meet the expectations of the people, as they perform their parliamentary functions," she said.

The President underlined that the basic mandate of Parliament was to enact legislation, deliberate on public policies with a view to address people's concern, and perform its role as a body for executive accountability.

She said the successful functioning of Parliament was a joint responsibility of both the Government and the Opposition.

"The art of democracy lies in finding a way forward, in which, differing viewpoints and interests are discussed, and a solution found through a process of consultations and discussions. Naturally, there will be some sound and fury in the process for the search for answers, but it should never happen that in the din we loose our way forward. It is important that the image of Parliament in the public mind should be one where debates and discussions take place with a view to find an outcome through a constructive and co-operative approach," she said.

Vice-President M Hamid Ansari regretted that oratorical skills were often replaced in Parliament by lung power and discussion was sought to be drowned in noise and disruption.

"It creates momentary excitement, but is no substitute for persuasion. It detracts from the dignity of Parliament and invites public scorn," he said.

According to him, legislation, deliberation and seeking accountability are the three principal areas of activity that must be explored on a continuous basis within the legislative chamber.

"The three Award winners today and many others before them earned name and fame by skilful indulgence in each of these. They set standards worthy of emulation," he said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said there was no doubt that, in today's age of information overload, Parliament had to raise the standard and quality of its debates and discussions. "We need many more Parliamentarians like those we honour today," he said.

He stressed that it was important to keep in mind that the duty of a parliamentarian was to raise the voice of the people and to seek answers from the government of the day, on matters of public interest.

"Disruptions and walkouts may make good headlines but it is a good parliamentarian, who has done his homework, who can take the Government to task," he said.

NNN

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