President Ram Nath Kovind. (File Photo: IANS). Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, Nov 25 : Emphasising the importance of the opposition in a democracy, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Wednesday that dialogue was the best way to not allow a debate to become a dispute.

He said that in a parliamentary democracy, the opposition also had an important role to play along with the ruling party, and therefore, harmony, cooperation and meaningful deliberation between the two was necessary.

"It is responsibility of the Presiding Officers to provide congenial atmosphere for a healthy debate to the peoples' representatives in the House and to encourage courteous dialogue and discussion," Kovind said while speaking at the inauguration of the 80th All India Presiding Officers' Conference at Kevadia, Gujarat.

Noting that fairness and justice were the bedrock of our parliamentary democracy, the President said that the chair of the Speaker symbolised both dignity and duty, and demanded sincerity and sense of justice.

"It also symbolizes impartiality, righteousness and fairness and it is expected from Presiding Officers that their conduct is inspired by these lofty ideals," he said.

The President observed that the democratic system had proved to be the most effective means of peoples' welfare.

Therefore, Kovind said, it was a matter of pride to be a member of Parliament and the legislature.

"Members and Presiding Officers should maintain each other's dignity for the betterment of people and progress of the country. Holding the Presiding Officers in high esteem, MPs and MLAs earn respect for themselves and for the parliamentary democracy itself." The President said that Parliament and Assemblies were the cornerstone of Indian parliamentary system and that they had an important responsibility to work for a better future of the countrymen.

In the last few decades, Kovind said, expectations, aspirations and awareness of the general public were on the rise and so the role and responsibilities of Parliament and state legislatures had come into focus even more.

"People's representatives are expected to remain true to the principles of democracy. The biggest challenge before democratic institutions and public representatives is to live up to the expectations of the people." Expressing happiness over this year's theme of 'Harmonious Coordination between Legislature, Executive and Judiciary- Key to a Vibrant Democracy', the President said that all three organs of the State were working in harmony and the tradition had taken strong roots in India.

He exuded confidence that the Indian democratic system would be further strengthened by adopting the conclusions drawn from the deliberations held during the conference.

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