The culmination of the last session of the 17th Lok Sabha on Saturday included an assertion by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the upcoming general elections will “bring glory and further strengthen democracy”. The tenure of the present Lower House is scheduled to end on June 16, before which a general election is likely to take place during April-May.
“These five years were about reform, perform and transform in the country. It is very rare that we see reformation, performance, as well as transformation happening before our eyes,” Modi said while participating in a special discussion on ‘Experience Sharing of 17th Lok Sabha.’ During the 17th Lok Sabha’s tenure, Parliament shifted to a new building, and it was marked by the passage of the historic Women’s Reservation Bill as also the abrogation of Article 370 and the banning of the practice of triple talaq. The House did not nominate any Deputy Speaker in the last five years.
The PM said the tenure of this Lok Sabha laid the foundation for strong India of the 21st century, as also several game-changing reforms. Among the achievements of his government, PM Modi cited the legislation to criminalise instant triple talaq, and passage of the women’s reservation bill. “The 17th Lok Sabha worked towards women’s empowerment,” he said.
The high point, he said, was scrapping of Article 370 that gave Jammu and Kashmir special status. “Many generations dreamed of one Constitution for the whole of India, but this House realised this dream by scrapping Article 370. People who had a role in creating the Constitution must be blessing us today. We ensured social justice for the people of Kashmir,” the PM said
Modi said the government should not intrude into people’s day-to-day lives. “When we talk about ‘Minimum Government, Maximum Governance’, I genuinely feel that the government should stay away from the lives of the people. That would help strengthen democracy,” he said.
He referred to the discussion on the Ram temple in Parliament. “The resolution passed in the Lok Sabha on the Ram temple in Ayodhya will make future generations proud of the country’s values,” he said. Praising the functioning and productivity of the Lower House he said: “The17th Lok Sabha has 97 per cent productivity. It was over 100 per cent in seven sessions.” He hoped that next Lok Sabha will aim for 100 per cent productivity.