December 6, 2013
WB CM calls for strengthening the federal structure of Indian polity
The Chief Minister of West Bengal today delivered the valedictory speech during the closing ceremony of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations of the West Bengal Assembly. She thanked the President for his valuable time, and called for strengthening the democracy by strengthening the federal structure of the Indian polity.
Excerpts from the Chief Minister`s speech:
The epitome of anti-apartheid movement, Nelson Mandela has passed away. We pay our condolence on his death. I met his daughter once at a conference on non-aligned movement in New Delhi. Our country stood beside Mandela`s movement. On behalf of the House we pay tribute to him for his inspiration towards struggle against oppression. He will be remembered for ever. He is an icon of struggle.
Let Democratic dignity, values of democracy bring a new wave in this country. The only renaissance in this country originated from Bengal. Our soil is rife with the spirit of freedom struggle, humanity, and culture. Bengal was the centre of democratic rights. Let that spirit be rejuvenated.
The West Bengal Assembly has a long history. It started its journey in 1937. After Independence, it came to be known as West Bengal Legislative Assembly. Since Independence, around 65 years have passed. We are here for 2 and half years. For the rest of the tenure the Congress and Left parties have run the Assembly. I congratulate them all. We are maintaining the democratic structure. The responsibility to protect democracy belongs to all. It is not right to boycott Assembly when one is not in power. We have never boycotted such momentous occasions like this, while we were in Opposition.
In a democracy, regional and national parties should act as a combined force. Our federal structure should be maintained and strengthened. We have to stay united. There are national as well as regional aspirations, but all must work together.
We need electoral reforms for future politics. A political party must be transparent, their accountability, their credentials should be justified. Judicial reforms are also needed along with political, administrative and economic reforms. Only then the country can move forward. There have been many recent attempts to weaken the democracy by destroying the federal structure of the country. Federal governments should work hand in hand with the central government.
We are grateful to the President of India for his valuable time. We are grateful to all the dignitaries and all those who are present.