NEW DELHI – Irrespective of serious differences among members of the ruling and opposition parties over multiple issues, both houses of Parliament deliberated in favour of abrogation of Article 370 provisions in Jammu and Kashmir, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said on Tuesday.
Delivering the first Arun Jaitley Memorial lecture instituted by the Delhi University, he said the “idea of simultaneous elections needs to be seriously considered and discussed by all stakeholders”.
In his speech, he praised the Constitution and said despite naysayers casting doubt over its efficacy in the initial days, it has strengthened the democracy of the country in the last seven decades.
The vice president also referred to the amendments being made in the Constitution as and when required, and cited the recent abrogation of sections of Article 370 that gave special powers to Jammu and Kashmir.
“Irrespective of serious differences among the members of ruling and opposition parties over multiple issues, both houses discussed, deliberated in favour of abrogation of (sections of) Article 370,” he said.
Naidu said parliamentary system can be strengthened only if its roots, the democratic values, are strong.
“And Arun Jaitley was one such parliamentarian who strengthened the system by ably using the tools of democracy, be it debating, raising questions or listening to other’s arguments in the House,” he said.
In his address, he also pitched for instituting a “special bench” to expedite hearing of criminal cases against politicians fighting elections.
“Politicians having criminal cases fight elections years after years. There’s need for a system, a special bench to expedite those pending cases,” Naidu said.
The vice president also said that representation of women in legislatures needs to be raised.
Arun Jaitley, who died here in August, was an alumnus of Delhi University. His wife Sangeeta Jaitley and two children also attended the lecture.
A documentary on the life of Arun Jaitley, who had served as a finance minister and defence minister, was also screened.