Srinagar, May 10: Terming the role of the opposition as critical in strengthening democracy, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti Thursday said it has to act as a buffer between Government and the people by channelising dissent.
Speaking in the Legislative Assembly after the election of Nirmal Singh as the new Speaker, the Chief Minister said the opposition by bringing to fore the dissent of the people actually helps the Government in its due discharge of duties.
She said at the All Party Meeting on Wednesday also, she appealed the opposition to help the Government by reaching out to people in their own way and channelize their grievances to the Government.
Mehbooba Mufti reminded the House of her role as the opposition leader during which she reached every corner of the State which indirectly helped the Government of the day to further improve their service delivery and address the issues. Likewise, she added, the opposition at present should play its role by becoming a bridge between people and the Government to put across their grievances and difficulties so that these are discussed at appropriate fora like Assembly. For this, she assured whatever support required from the Government would be extended.
The Chief Minister said dissent is the essence of democracy and people in both Government and opposition should be tolerant enough to criticism and opposition. She said the position of Presiding Officer of the House demands that the voice of every section and thought be heard and addressed appropriately which needs patience and tolerance.
Complimenting Nirmal Singh on assuming the responsibility of the Speaker of the House, Mehbooba Mufti said over the past more than three years he discharged his responsibilities without any prejudice and with utmost tolerance. She said being a man of letters, Dr. Singh earned respect and accolades from every section of the society. She hoped that he would further elevate this position with his knowledge, genteel behavior and accommodative attitude.
The Chief Minister also had a word of appreciation for the former Speaker and now Deputy Chief Minister, Kavinder Gupta. She praised the maturity and wisdom with which he conducted the business of the House during all this time.
Mehbooba Mufti also complimented Deputy Speaker, Nazir Ahmad Khan for his acumen and understanding while discharging his responsibilities.
Earlier, Nirmal Singh was elected as the Speaker of Legislative Assembly.