NEW DELHI – Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday said it was imperative for members of the Upper House to debate Centre-state relations since the Rajya Sabha was a council of states.
“Converting Jammu and Kashmir to a Union territory has such far reaching consequences. The government should consult the council of states before such drastic measures can be considered by the House,” Singh said in the Upper House.
Marking the 250th session of the Rajya Sabha, Singh added that structural changes needed to be introduced in the functioning of the House.
“It is our duty to ensure no law is passed in haste or in heightened emotion. The Rajya Sabha gets more time to deliberate since it is half the size of Lok Sabha and members get more time to share insights and criticism,” Singh said.
“The House must get access to bills much earlier and members should get resources such as research staff to allow them to study issues in more depth and members be allotted more time for their speeches.”
It was imperative for discussions and debates on “centre-state relations” to be held along with debates on the state of the nation’s health and education, he added. (KNT)