Speakers at WB Assembly Special Session Call for Upholding Principles of Constitution

Kolkata, Nov 26 (PTI) Speakers at the West Bengal assembly's special session on Tuesday called for upholding the fundamentals of the Constitution, with former governor M K Narayanan saying principles like secularism enshrined in it are "under threat".

Former West Bengal governor and national security advisor Narayanan, former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar, former chief election commissioner S Y Qureshi, along with several other dignitaries, spoke at the special session held on 'Constitution Day' to mark 70 years of the adoption of Indian Constitution.

Narayanan said progress does not mean suppressing democratic rights and liberal values.

"Just like several other principles enshrined in our Constitution, secularism is under threat in present day situation. Pluralism too is under threat," he said.

He stressed on strengthening the federal structure of the country.

States are not subordinate to the Centre as both draw their strength from the Constitution of India, Narayanan said.

Narayanan was the governor of West Bengal from 2010-2014.

Kumar, who was the speaker of the Lok Sabha from 2009-2014, said sanctity of the Constitution has to be protected.

"The Constitution of India is not just a legal book but a living book as well. The Constitution was drafted for the people of the country. Now there are certain challenges in upholding certain principles enshrined in it. But the sanctity of the Constitution has to be protected at any cost," she said addressing the special session.

"If all the other pillars fail to protect the Constitution then the duty lies on the people of the country," she added.

Speaking against horse-trading, Qureshi said a culture of "Aya Ram, Gaya Ram" is on in the present day politics which is bereft of any political ideology.

The "Aya Ram, Gaya Ram" expression here indicates to floor crossing and switching parties by elected representatives.

Advocating in favour of electoral reforms in the country, the former CEC said the present concept of electoral bonds is more of a "deform than reform".

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