GUWAHATI, Oct 8 - Speaker of the Assam Legislative Assembly Hitendra Nath Goswami today said that a healthy democracy ensures a strong economy, higher standard of living and better human rights record.
Addressing the 17th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) India Region, Zone III, and launching of the North East Chapter of the Speaker�s Research Initiative (SRI) of Lok Sabha held here, Goswami said that the public�s trust on the elected representatives is a fundamental ingredient to a healthy democracy.
�If the elected public representatives demonstrate high standard of ethics and conduct consistent with their public interest roles, then public trust is bound to enhance and the end result is that it reinforces democracy. Thus, in a democracy, it is the duty of all of us to put public interest above everything else. At the same time, for sustenance of a healthy democracy in the years to come, it is imperative on the part of the elected representatives to work hard to gather the views of young people about political issues that have importance for them,� he said.
Goswami added, �In our region we must step up to take this challenge through responsive parliamentary outreach � including internship programme, Youth Parliament, direct question-answer sessions of the young talents with elected representatives, including Chief Ministers, Speakers and other Ministers. Such collaborative initiatives are bound to encourage and promote the ideals of Parliamentary democracy for the future generations.�
He gave a background regarding the formation and evolution of North Eastern Regional Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (NERCPA).
Goswami said that the NERCPA has now been recognised as CPA India Region, Zone III, by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
Expressing happiness that Sumitra Mahajan, Speaker of Lok Sabha, herself came to formally inaugurate the North East Chapter of SRI, Goswami said that necessary arrangements have been made to accommodate the wing at the North East Regional Institute of Parliamentary Studies, Training and Research (NERIPSTAR) at Guwahati with financial support of all the member States of this region.
�I also request the Lok Sabha Secretariat to kindly depute at least two senior officials permanently in order to carry forward the mandate of this Chapter. I also, at the same time, request my colleague Speakers of Zone III to depute required number of personnel to the North East Chapter of SRI, Lok Sabha, which is being launched today,� said Goswami.
He also expressed concern over the low number of elected women legislators in the North Eastern region.
�... in the North Eastern region we have very less number of elected women representatives in the Assemblies. In some Assemblies, we have no women representatives at all. I think this is a matter of concern as the Commonwealth Chapter recognises gender equality and women empowerment as essential components of human development and basic human rights.� said the Speaker.