3-day legislators’ conference to discuss ideas to improve federal system from June 15 in Mumbai

2,500 legislators from 25 state assemblies to attend the conference

PTI06_06_2023_000190B Former Lok Sabha speaker Dr Meira Kumar speaks during a press meet ahead of the National Legislators Conference | PTI

The inter-party acrimony directly impacts the functioning of legislative assemblies and Parliament, depriving houses of meaningful debates and affecting the learning process of lawmakers. To address such crucial gaps, a unique national-level conference will be held in Mumbai which will witness the participation of over 2,500 legislators from the 25 state assemblies.

The three-day conference, starting June 15, will bring legislators, assembly speakers, and former Lok Sabha speakers on a common platform to debate and deliberate on things that will improve the working of the assemblies. The conference will have discussions on ten key themes, including technology-driven economic growth, international legislative practices, collaborative efforts between bureaucrats and legislators for social progress, welfare politics, and nurturing of constituencies. There will be special sessions on stress management and maintaining work-life balance for lawmakers.

“The conference will serve as a platform for legislators from all states and Union territories to share experiences, exchange knowledge on governance and social welfare, and adopt effective models for better governance,” said Rahul Karad, the organiser of the conference.

In commemoration of India’s 75 years of Independence, 75 MLAs will showcase present constituency development practices, while 75 commendable democratic practices from around the world will also be highlighted during the event. Additionally, a round table discussion with spiritual leaders will also take place during the conference.

Addressing a press conference, three former speakers of Lok Sabha, Dr. Meira Kumar, Sumitra Mahajan, and Shivraj Patil, lauded the initiative saying it will be a good learning experience for the MLAs. “This conference holds a distinctiveness as it serves as a platform for MLAs to convene, exchange ideas, and gain insights into challenges faced by other states, ultimately seeking solutions,” Sumitra Mahajan said. She emphasised that a session on stress management will be held to address a key issue.

“Significant efforts have been dedicated to ensure the success of this conference. We are resolute in our stance against casteism, communalism, corruption, climate change, criminalisation, and the remnants of a colonial mindset,” said Dr. Meira Kumar. She added that India has a role to play at the international level.

“We have a Constitution. We have to take every word of our Constitution to the rural areas and slums and see if we are implementing it. We have to see what we can do so that person who often goes unheard in the society is heard,” she said.

Reacting to a question over the disruptions marring the functioning of the houses, Kumar said it should be addressed so that proper debates are held. Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel said the level of debate has gone down and there was a need to address this.

UP Assembly Speaker Satish Mahana shared his experience saying the state assembly functioned with the least disruptions as he had held meetings with the MLAs and highlighted the need of raising issues of importance.

The conference will also feature a variety of cultural events. One such event is Vidhayak Udayan, where MLAs and MLCs from across the country will bring soil and water representing their respective regions to create a symbolic garden. Another highlight is the lively 'Ramp of Democracy', an evening function hosted by Usha Uthup, where MLAs and MLCs will showcase traditional attires.

“The conference is specifically designed to address topics such as governance, elections, and the challenges associated with them. It is my belief that the tradition of convening such conferences should be upheld in the future as well, enabling discussions on development case studies, even in the midst of ongoing political competition within the country,” Kara’s said. He added that the concept originated from the establishment of the MIT School of Government (MIT-SOG) in 2005.

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