New Delhi: Political parties need to “evolve a consensus on the code of conduct for their members, both inside the legislature and out of it,” to ensure people do not lose faith in the political process, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu was reported to have said. Speaking at the release of his book Moving On, Moving Forward: A Year In Office, to mark the completion of a year as the Vice-President and Rajya Sabha Chairperson, Naidu said election petitions and criminal cases against politicians should be disposed of within a set time frame. According to The Indian Express, Naidu said special benches of the Supreme Court and high courts should be formed for the matter, if necessary. (Also read: Naidu Smells Conspiracy Behind Ruckus in RS)

He said the need for a national policy on having an Upper House in the states. The high profile event at Vigyan Bhawan saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former prime ministers Manmohan Singh and HD Deve Gowda, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Congress leader Anand Sharma in attendance. Naidu said it was important for the media, an “invaluable partner in strengthening democratic culture”, to refrain from focusing on the disruptive activities of House members.

Expressing his displeasure over the functioning of Parliament, Naidu listed out reforms he felt were necessary for its effective functioning. He said, “if a member desires to change his party, he must do so by resigning from the membership of the House. The anti-defection laws should be implemented in letter and spirit expeditiously, within three months.” “True nationalism is not just garlanding a picture of Bharat Mata and shouting Bharat Mata ki jai, it means not discriminating against any Indian based on his caste, religion or gender,” he said. Speaking on the occasion, PM Modi said, “Venkaiahji is a strict disciplinarian. But in our country, the situation is such that it is very easy to brand discipline as undemocratic. If anyone calls for some discipline, he is called autocratic and every such label in the dictionary.”