Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Sunday exhorted Rajasthan legislators to instill confidence among people with their leadership and said they count on their leaders to ensure that the politics of fear does not prevail over the politics of hope.
He was speaking at the concluding session of the orientation of the Rajasthan Assembly members in Rajasthan capital Jaipur.
"A few days ago, a distinguished academician pointed out that there are dangers that politics of fear may take over politics of hope. People depend upon legislators to ensure that the politics of fear does not prevail over the politics of hope, which this country needs," Dr Singh said.
He said that the country's basic problems are poverty and diseases which afflict millions of people.
"You, as legislators, know the problem in the first instance. Therefore, it should be your priority to instill confidence among the people that they are under your distinguished leadership which will allow them to lead a life of happiness," he said.
"I am extremely optimistic about our future as a nation. I ask that we continue our journey on the path of democracy by imbibing the words of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who said ''I hope that we shall look into the future with a stout heart and with confidence in ourselves," Dr Singh said.
The former prime minister also said that a legislator should have the habit of listening to others, particularly, if they happen to be opponents.
Dr Singh said he was pained at some instances of unruly behaviour by legislators in some state assemblies.
"Proceedings of Parliament and many state assemblies are now being telecast live. It is regrettable that sometimes legislators indulge in unruly behaviour which pains me a lot. Such incidents create a wrong impression for the younger generation," he said, suggesting that the content and quality of debates should be of a high order.
He also stressed that assembly lawmakers should fully utilise local area funds for the development of their constituencies.
Referring to media reports on CAG findings, he said that a large share of local area funds remained unutilised in Rajasthan from 2011 to 2016.
He said the money should be utilised for promotion of infrastructure and construction of schools and hospitals which can be beneficial to a large number of people.
Dr Singh said cooperation and consensus hold the key to success in a democratic system of governance.
He said the government as well as the opposition should have a broader perspective regarding the exigencies the state has to deal with and they should cooperate with each other irrespective of political affiliations.
Dr Singh said that members of the house should show utmost respect to the presiding officer and added that it was important for them to be well acquainted with rules, procedures, conduct of business and customs of the assembly if they wanted to become an effective at their work.
Dr Singh also praised the state, saying that the reason Rajasthan was agriculturally, industrially and educationally developed, it was because of the high quality of its political leadership and administrative machinery.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, in his address, mentioned Singh's contribution as finance minister and later as prime minister towards the economic reforms in the country.
Different sessions were held for the members of the Rajasthan Assembly in the one-day workshop, which was inaugurated by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Sunday morning.