Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla addressed the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly and called for working in coordination and harmony with all democratic institutions so that collective responsibility towards the people can be fulfilled.

Birla addressed the members of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly on Thursday.

In his speech, Birla spoke about the deep roots of democracy in the country and expressed that the representative institutions such as the Parliament, Legislative Assemblies and local bodies like Autonomous District Councils or Panchayats are temples of democracy, where public representatives give voice to the hopes and aspirations of the people.

“It is very important that all democratic institutions (Parliament, Legislative Assemblies and local bodies, be in the form of Autonomous District Councils or Panchayats), work in coordination and harmony so that the collective responsibility towards the people can be fulfilled,” he said.

Birla made his maiden visit to Meghalaya as Speaker for two days, and addressed the members of the state assembly in the presence of Meghalaya Legislative Assembly Speaker, Metbah Lyngdoh; chief minister Conrad K. Sangma; Leader of Opposition, Mukul Sangma and other legislators.

According to the Speaker, India has set examples of democracy for the entire world while stating that democratic norms gaining ground all over the world have Indian democracy as an exemplary model.

Birla fondly remembered former Lok Sabha Speaker and former chief minister of Meghalaya, late Purno Agitok Sangma and his significant contributions towards strengthening parliamentary democracy and constitutional practices.

“Purno Sangma has always been an inspiration for us for the standards set by him,” he recalled.

Reiterating that democratic institutions from Parliament to state legislatures and local bodies should work in harmony and share their best practices for greater efficacy, Birla emphasized that democracy can be successful only when it benefits the last person standing on the periphery.

“Dialogues, debates and discussions are the tools to achieve the above end,” he observed.

Talking about challenges in view of the Covid19 pandemic, the Speaker said that the responsibility of legislators during such challenging times becomes more onerous and the collective efforts have helped to successfully face the challenges posed by Covid19.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla in a photo session in Meghalaya.

The Lok Sabha Speaker also appreciated Meghalaya Legislative Assembly for convening the Assembly Session during the pandemic and commended the Assembly for their initiative of including ‘Zero Hour’ in their practice and procedure.

Invoking Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s vision, Birla said the youth should be committed to constitutional obligations and duties and ‘Nation First’ should be the mantra for the youth of India.

He also advocated for greater use of information and communication tools to improve the efficiency of legislative bodies so that they can cater to the aspirations of people in a faster and more transparent way.

Birla also offered all possible assistance and support to the state legislative Assemblies.

Terming Meghalaya as a land of opportunities and immense possibilities that can act as a model of development and prosperity for the entire nation, the Speaker said, “Natural resources of the State, skills and enthusiasm of people and the democratic spirit of Meghalaya provide an enabling environment for development and prosperity.

Birla appealed to the state governments, State legislatures, members and every other stakeholder to positively contribute towards making India Aatmanirbhar Bharat, adding that the Northeast has immense potential and capabilities that can lead the country on the path to progress.

He also lauded the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly and Meghalaya government for the construction of a new Assembly building.

Later, the Lok Sabha Speaker visited the construction site of the new building of Meghalaya Legislative Assembly and he was accompanied by the Assembly Speaker, chief minister and other ministers.

After visiting the site, Birla assured that all possible support and assistance will be provided to the Assembly by the Parliament in this regard.

“Meghalaya is pacing towards development with its culture intact. I can certainly say that in the days ahead, this State will emerge as an important hub not only in the region but in the entire country,” he said.

The Lok Sabha Speaker said efforts will be made to set up a Tourism Development Hub in Meghalaya. “Domestic as well as foreign tourists will start traveling to the State and we will be able to set up the hub in this State,” he added.

He also informed that a discussion will be held with the representatives on the issues of the State as well as its progress in the past 50 years.

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