"I am deeply distressed about the derailment that we are witnessing from what the legislative bodies in their totality - whether it is the state assemblies or Houses of parliament, what they were meant to be and what they have become," Ansari, Chairman of Rajya Sabha, said.
    
He said that the legislative bodies are meant to be holding the executive accountable and debating issues. "Instead, increasingly they are becoming venues for agitation and slogan-mongering," he said.
    
Speaking at the launch of a book 'Public Issues before Parliament - Vijay Darda' which brings together the issues raised by the MP in Parliament, Ansari said, "Our cities have venues for agitation and they should not be interchanged with the venue of debate.”
    
Union Minister Farooq Abdullah echoed the views of the Vice President and said that Parliament is a place where freedom fighters like Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and others had once had debates.
    
He said that in the present situation where TV is covering the legislative proceedings, some members think that the more boisterous they are, the more they shout, the electorate would think that those members are fighting for them.
    
Abdullah said that when he had entered Parliament, he thought of himself as an Indian but there were others who put regional consideration above other things. He said that the people of the country must wake up to the dangers in the form of communalism and terrorism confronting the country.
    
Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sitaram Yechury also expressed concern saying, "If Parliament does not function or discharge its duties, then the Indian constitution becomes dysfunctional."

(Agencies)

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