New Delhi: Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Monday slammed the Central government for revoking Article 370 and said the Rajya Sabha should have been consulted before taking any ‘drastic measures’ of converting a state into Union Territories and redrawing of its boundaries.
“The Rajya Sabha as the council of states should be given ‘greater respect by the executive,’ and should have been consulted before the ‘drastic measures’ were taken of converting a state into Union Territories and redrawing of its boundaries,” Manmohan Singh said in a direct criticism of the government’s move to abrogate Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.
Addressing the Rajya Sabha on the first day of the winter session, the senior Congress leader said that it is a very important duty of the Rajya Sabha to ensure that no law is passed in a moment of heightened emotion.
Further criticising the government on the move to abrogate Article 370, Manmohan said that the mutual trust and self-confidence that serve as the bedrock of any social transactions foster economic growth, but that trust and confidence is now ruptured.
Suggesting that several measures can be taken to make the Rajya Sabha more effective, he said the Upper House should be allowed to discuss and deliberate important measures in greater depth.
He also said that the Parliament should follow the practice for all Bills to be brought before the Upper House. But Article 110 allows the Lok Sabha precedence in money bills, he added.
“We have seen the misuse of money bills leading to bypassing of the Rajya Sabha without any deliberation,” he said, adding that “Parliament should ensure that such instances are avoided as this reduces the stature of the institution.”
The former PM added that the Rajya Sabha has a major role to play in the form of checks and balances to a majority government as it presents the interests of the states.
He also added that the Rajya Sabha should be given more time to study centre-state relations as this is a council of states.
(With inputs from IANS)