Integrity of parliament cannot be compromised: Sonia Gandhi
New Delhi, May 13 (ANI): Asserting that India's parliament could take immense pride in the laws that it passed in the past 60 years, Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Sunday said the integrity of parliament must be protected at all times and cannot be compromised.
Addressing a special sitting of the Lok Sabha to mark 60 years of parliament, Gandhi said: "We shouldn't forget the struggles of the past. People's power is felt constantly at highest powers of governance. India's Parliament elected by largest electorate of the world has grown into a great representative political institution."
She also said: "That this great institution must be a source of power and justice, but also compassion."
Stating that the 'Aam Aadmi' (common man) has become the strength of India's democracy, Gandhi said: "The common man has become the strength of India's democracy. They voted with great wisdom."
"To our eternal credit and gratitude, our early parliamentarians persevered and built the edifice of a strong parliamentary democracy. People's power has fared well at the highest level of democracy," said Gandhi.
Like Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Gandhi touched upon the need for debates and described as unfortunate and regrettable the frequent disruptions in house proceedings.
She also paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion.
"He (Mahatma Gandhi) was no longer alive when Parliament first met 60 years ago. My deepest tribute to the Mahatma. His wisdom prevailed, however, and he gave this institution dignity, love and peace."
The Parliament is having a special sitting on Sunday to mark 60 years of the first session of the Lok Sabha.
Two living members of the first Lok Sabha Reishang Keishing and Resham Lal Jangde will be hounoured on the occasion. Ninety-one-year old Keishing, a member of the Rajya Sabha, was a member of the first and third Lok Sabhas, while Jangde was member of first, second and ninth Lok Sabhas.
President Pratibha Devi Singh Patil will address members of both Houses in the Central Hall of Parliament at 5.30 p.m.
She will also release five-rupee and 10-rupee coins and publications of the secretariats of both the Houses on the auspicious occasion.
A cultural programme featuring Santoor maestro Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, Sitarist Debu Chaudhuri, Carnatic vocalist Maharajapuram Ramachandran, versatile singer Shubha Mudgal and Iqbal Khan will light up the evening.
India became a Republic on November 26, 1949, but the first general elections were only held in 1951-52. Constituted on April 17, 1952, the Lok Sabha held its first session from May 13, 1952. (ANI)
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