Bahra University

New Delhi: Everything is not looking well within the grand old party as its tallest leaders are out in an open, exchanging barbs at each other. Following a letter of 23 party leaders – advising complete overhaul of Congress structures down to block committees, now a Congress Veteran and Rajya Sabha MP Anand Sharma has advised critics within the party to stop belittling the role of Rajya Sabha leaders.

Former Cabinet Minister Anand Sharma has asked some leaders in the party to stop undermining Rajya Sabha leaders. He questioned that “Whom are they belittling? Do they know that India’s tallest leaders, be it Indira Gandhi and Atal Behari Vajpayee or Somnath Chatterjee and LK Advani were members of the Rajya Sabha at some point.”

Giving a lecture on the constitution and history behind the induction of Rajya Sabha, Sharma reminded that “The need of a bicameral legislature was felt by the framers. The people ought to read what Nehru, who was the chairman of the constitution committee, Dr Ambedkar, and Gopalaswami (Ayyangar) had said in the constituent committee. India is a union and RS members represent states. All the members, each one of them, are elected members. None of them, including former PMs or ministers, have been from the nominated category. All the former PMs were elected to the Rajya Sabha, and RS is the first house of Parliament, because we are a union of states. There are certain issues which are state subjects. Important bills are first brought in the Rajya Sabha like creation of the union territories of J&K and Ladakh,” Sharma added.

Advising to show decency and respect to the leaders of Rajya Sabha, Anand Sharma said “Decency and decorum should be discussed. People must have a sense of history and understanding of the constitution of our republic. In the recent past we have had a PM for two successive terms, Dr Manmohan Singh, who was a member of the Rajya Sabha, continues to be in the Rajya Sabha, and continues to be respected as Prime Minister and earlier as finance minister when opening of the Indian economy was set in motion. Many other former PMs have been members of the RS at various times, including (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee and Indira Gandhiji.”

Responding to a comment of a fellow Congress leader, Anand Sharma said it was no political favour when leaders were given Rajya Sabha nomination. Political parties nominate a candidate to the Rajya Sabha based upon their potential and capabilities, Sharma further added.

Congress Veteran leader advised his party man to stop assaulting and belittling the dignity of Rajya Sabha and its elected members to score cheap political gains.