“Parliament is the country’s highest democratic forum instituted for the welfare of the common man.”
– Vijay Darda
Thousands of members have graced Rajya Sabha since its inception in 1952. Many illustrious personalities have served with distinction and left an indelible imprint on the nation’s polity. Vijay Darda is one such distinguished member who has performed his duties as a parliamentarian with dedication and commitment.
Darda has been a member of the Upper House for three consecutive terms spanning 18 years. He first got elected as an independent candidate in 1998, and was later nominated by the Indian National Congress for his 2nd and 3rd terms, in 2004 and 2010 respectively. He considers that every Member of Parliament has the sacred duty to pass meaningful legislations in the national interest.
Darda has raised important issues ranging from day-to-day concerns of the people to those bearing larger systemic and national significance. He championed the right to wear the Indian flag badge in the Parliament House premises which was previously not permitted. He is the lone member to have mooted the idea of establishing a House Commission to look after the administration of Rajya Sabha and matters connected therewith, having moved a Private Member’s Bill to this effect.
Darda remains steadfast in piloting several other Private Member’s Bills that seldom finds its way into the statute book. But the interest it generates among the members and the new ideas it brings to the fore, have made it a unique parliamentary exercise. Dedicated members have attached top priority to debate on the bills introduced by him.
Darda has utilised the legislative process to highlight the gaps in key areas of public policies, besides delivering on his personal convictions and commitments. He has never shied away from raising pressing issues including the cash-for-question scam, even though it involved his fellow members allegedly taking money to ask questions in the Parliament.
Darda has been part of several Parliamentary Standing Committees to conduct inquiry and help formulate various legislations. His vast knowledge and analytical thinking have been instrumental in policy-making on varied subjects ranging from economy, technology, environment, welfare to aviation, railways, tourism and media.
Darda has published a book ‘Public Issues Before Parliament’ that chronicles his contribution in Rajya Sabha comprising Private Member’s Bills, questions raised and speeches made by him. The book has received admiration from all members of the Parliament and servers as an important reference for students of Political Science.
Darda utilized his Member of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) funds for public interest projects like the construction of roads, schools, community halls and irrigation facilities. The Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Private Member’s Bills piloted by him on a variety of issues of abiding public interest are listed in the link below.