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'I want to deepen democracy'

By A Ganesh Nadar
March 02, 2017 12:22 IST
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‘There is a gulf between the political process and young aspirations. I am trying to initiate a debate to bring the youth into the political process.’

Varun Gandhi explains why he has moved a private member’s bill in Parliament enabling voters to recall their representatives.

Feroze Varun Gandhi, the Bharatiya Janata Party member of Parliament from Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh, raised eyebrows by moving a private member’s bill in the Lok Sabha giving voters the right to recall their elected representative if not satisfied with their work.

According to the bill, the recall can be done after two years of the elected representative’s term, with 75 per cent of the voters asking for a recall.

Former prime minister Indira Gandhi’s grandson and Sanjay and Maneka Gandhi’s son, he has been in the news in the past for his fiery speeches.

Varun Gandhi tells’s A Ganesh Nadar that he is now concentrating on making the democratic process stronger.

I have been thinking about this bill for a while. I had to draft it in the right manner with high safeguards so that it cannot be misused. I did not want it to be hijacked by people with a vested interest. So I took a long time thinking about it before drafting it.

I wanted a system where the focal point is political resistance if you don’t like something. I did not want a mockery of democracy, my aim was the deepening of democracy.

I did not consult a lawyer for this. I understand the Constitution. Our Constitution and the laws we make are a work in progress. My bill is not perfect, it has to be debated and improved upon.

My initiative was that this bill should not just go into the annals of Parliament but it should be debated by civil society. Democracy is becoming more complex in our country. Young people are more aware now and more proactive.

The political class should live up to the aspiration of the young Indian. I wanted three things highlighted: Accountability; transparency; and deepening democracy

The Representation of People’s Act is a work in progress. A Constitutional amendment is (meant) to add to an existing law to make it better and suited to the times. It adds knowledge to the earlier Act.

My idea is to add value to make it more representative. We have to take the people’s concurrence today.

I don’t want a debate in the houses of Parliament alone but I want a nation-wide debate. The idea is to strengthen the democratic process.

India has become progressive. There is a gulf between the political process and young aspirations. I am trying to initiate a debate to bring the youth into the political process.

The time for this idea has come, so I have moved this bill. 

Image: Varun Gandhi. Photograph: Courtesy, Varun Gandhi's Twitter feed.

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