By Pragya Kaushika, New Delhi [India], Dec 16 (ANI): Giving impetus to the Modi government’s plan to increase the number of seats in Lok Sabha through delimitation, former president Pranab Mukherjee on Monday advocated an increase in the enhancement of Lok Sabha seats to 1,000.
Underlining the need to have more Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members of Parliament, Mukherjee said that the last enhancement of seats in the lower house of Parliament took place in 1977 when the population of the country was 55 crore.
“In 1977, population was 55 crore or 550 million whereas today it stands at 1.3 billion.
There has been an embargo on increasing the seats in Parliament and in state assemblies till 2026. Even by 2011 census of population, the number of voters has increased per Lok Sabha constituency,” Mukherjee said at 2nd Atal Bihari Memorial lecture organised by the India Foundation in the national capital.
“How do you expect the representative to connect with so many of the electorates? The freeze on the seats should be removed through the exercise of delimitation,” he suggested.
The former president also said that the number of increased seats in Lok Sabha should be taken to 1,000 and that seats in Rajya Sabha too should be increased accordingly.
“If British can have 650 parliamentarians, Canada can have 443 and US 535 why can’t we have 1000? ” asked Mukherjee who even suggested as to how to make space for extra MPs.
“Convert central Hall into Lok Sabha and Lower House premises can be turned into Rajya Sabha. And also have an adequate number of women representatives. We have the highest percentage of 14.6 per cent of the total house strength elected since 1952,” added Mukherjee.
He recommended giving powers to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which is a watchdog of Parliament as it keeps close eye on its expenditure.
He said, a number of members in each parliamentary standing Committee can be increased and power should be given to standing committees to scrutinise financial irregularities, flagged in Comptroller and Auditor General reports if there are any.