UP Vidhan Sabha Speaker Satish Mahana has said that the perception about the state assembly has undergone significant change in the recent past.
“Earlier, the members of the state assembly were known more by their caste identity and criminal background. Now the members are known by their abilities and professional competence,” Satish Mahana said on Friday while addressing a press conference on completion of one year in office.
“Sustained messaging to the educated people to come forward and join politics is necessary to clear the mess in electoral politics created during the last over three decades,” the speaker said.
He said the perception about the state assembly had changed following the positive message emanating from the assembly with meaningful debate and participation of more members of the House.
Expressing concern over the attempts in the last over three decades to undermine the dignity of the institution of legislature, the speaker said, “During the last 3-4 decades concerted attempts were made to weaken the state assembly but the situation has radically changed and UP assembly is now the most prominent state assembly of the country.”
“During the last one year several innovative measures were taken. Earlier the role of the UP assembly was insignificant in the annual conference of the presiding officers of the state assemblies. Now UP assembly figures prominently in the conference of the presiding officers,” Mahana said.
On the innovative measures taken by the state assembly during the last one year, the speaker said, “In September last year, during the five-day session, one day was reserved for women members. One member pointed out why the whole day for women and I said not one day in a five-day session, only one day in the last 75 years.”
He said the new rules of business for the conduct of the proceedings of the UP assembly were likely to come into force from the next session of the state assembly. He said the rules drafted in 1958 were being revised to accommodate the rapid technological changes that had taken place in the last 65 years.
“Earlier, the MLA had to personally file the question to the question section of the UP assembly secretariat. Now this can be done online 24x7, round the year,” Mahana said, and added, “Many other changes have been incorporated in the rules as the proceedings of the assembly have been digitised and made paperless.”
Mahana said due to digitisation of the proceedings of the assembly, more seats had been added. He said earlier there were only 397 seats in the assembly which had increased to 401 in the House with the strength of 403. He said additional seats had to be provided as 14 ministers were members of the legislative council, the upper house of the UP legislature.
He said during the last one year four sessions of the assembly were held and proceedings had to be adjourned only for 36 minutes.
Mahana said the legislative assembly would take suggestions from the IIM faculty on better management in the House in view of the changing technology.
He said many other schemes were also on the anvil including a 'Best Legislator Award' which would be given on the basis of conduct, activity and participation of the assembly members.
"The role of management has increased in the changing era of technology therefore experts from Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) will be called in ‘Legislative’ (legislature) to take suggestions for better management," Mahana said.