Veteran BJP leader LK Advani on Wednesday received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions as a parliamentarian in the Lok Sabha.
JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav also received the Lifetime Achievement Award as a Rajya Sabha representative from Vice President Hamid Ansari at a function organised by the Lokmat Media Group to honour distinguished Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members.
While giving away the awards, the Vice President said that it is the duty of the elected representatives to prevent erosion of the vitality and the spirit of democracy that is the lifeline of our Parliament.
“To this end, the personal conduct and credibility of the parliamentary representative provides assurance to the public in the efficacy of the institutions of parliamentary democracy,” he said.
He added that a parliamentarian must believe in democracy, be a bridge between overarching national interests and the local dynamics and have the ability to communicate effectively with an economy of words.
The other awardees from the Lok Sabha included Revolutionary Socialist Party MP NK Premachandran (Best Parliamentarian), Congress leader Kumari Sushmita Dev (Best Woman Parliamentarian) and BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi (Best Debut Woman Parliamentarian).
The awardees from the Rajya Sabha included CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury (Best Parliamentarian), Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan (Best Woman Parliamentarian) and Congress MP Rajni Patil (Best Debut Woman Parliamentarian).
“The parliamentarians we honour today all posses these qualities in good measure. They have been eloquent and have added to the prestige and efficiency of the Parliament,” the Vice President said.
The awardees were selected by a jury, headed by former Lok Sabha Speaker Shivraj Patil.
While announcing the awards, Patil said that the criteria included whether the parliamentarians followed the rules of procedures of the House.
“We also considered if they spoke only about their constituencies, their states or the nation as a whole. We also considered if they took into account the situation developing across the world in terms of economic situation, international relations, cultural relations, war and peace as well as science and technology,” Patil said.
Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Vice Presidential candidate Venkaiah Naidu said the awards should inspire others to follow the standard set by the awardees.
“Parliamentarians should conduct themselves in a way that inspires others not just through their speeches but also through their conduct and values,” Naidu said.
He also advised them not to disrupt Parliament unnecessarily but to contribute constructively even while vehemently opposing the government’s stand.
“With thousands of TV channels these days, people are watching us,” he said.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari were also present on the occasion.