New Delhi: Underlining that all religions are equal before the Constitution, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla Sunday said MPs should avoid making provocative statements about any religion and maintain the dignity and decorum of parliament at all times.
Birla, who completes three years in office on Sunday, thanked leaders of all political parties for contributing towards making his journey so far successful, and said it was a big achievement that the House's average productivity during the period has been above 100 per cent.
The House has functioned for nearly 1,000 hours across eight sessions so far in the 17th Lok Sabha, he said.
Terming discussions and debates "ornament of a democracy," Birla told PTI in an interview that parliamentarians should avoid unnecessary aggression and shouting while speaking in parliament."Discussion, debate are crucial parts of a parliamentary democracy. Sarcasm, taking digs at each other are also acceptable during debates. But unnecessary aggression, shouting and interrupting each other should be avoided by MPs in parliament," Birla said.
He further said parliament should not be used as a platform to make baseless allegations and counter-allegations by political leaders.
On the question of heated debates among politicians these days on religions, Birla suggested members of parliaments should refrain from making provocative statements against any religion as all religions are equal before the Constitution.
"While speaking on religious issues MPs should keep in mind that their statements do not hurt the feelings and sentiments of any other religion. We all should diligently follow this practice and convention. Our Constitution gives everyone the right to practice their own religion," Birla said.