All is not well with democracy, all parties need to introspect: Vice President Dhankhar

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Mumbai, Jul 11 (PTI) Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar on Thursday lamented that democratic polity in the country was witnessing "a new low", and called for introspection by all political parties.

Addressing a joint session of both houses of the Maharashtra legislature to mark centenary celebrations of the state legislative council, Dhankar also said that democracy thrives on debate and dialogue, but dialogue among political parties was missing at present.

"Democratic polity is witnessing a new low and it calls for introspection by all political parties," the vice president said.

"All is not well in parliamentary democracy. We are suffering sacrilege of disruption. Dialogue between political parties is missing," he added.

Slogan shouting and marching into the well of House was a painful situation for any presiding officer, said Dhankhar, chairman of the Rajya Sabha, adding that the chairman and speaker are made convenient punching bags by both sides.

Decorum and discipline are the "heart of democracy" and the presiding officer should be respected, he added.

"We are also not accommodative to the other point of view," Dhankhar said, adding that parties often take confrontationist and adversarial approach instead of a cordial one.

Ethics and morality have been the hallmarks of public life in India, he noted.

While the state legislatures and Parliament are the "North Pole of democracy", legislators and MPs are its "lighthouses," the vice president further said.

Treasury benches are on the right side of the chair, but the heart in the human body is on the left side and that should define the working of the chair, he quipped.

The centenary celebrations of the Maharashtra legislative council was a remarkable milestone, Dhankhar said, while also evoking iconic 17th century ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. PTI MR VT KRK