Speaking at an Award giving function of Legislative Council (LC) in
He said that he always welcomes criticism of press for wrong doing but at the same time media has the responsibility to also write a word for the good works and positive actions.
Congratulating the recipients of awards for best legislators of 2010, the Chief Minister said that at the end of the day the best legislative work, proper representation and fruitful debating in the Houses earn repute and awards to the Members. He said that people want their representatives to ventilate public issues and seek redressal of grievances at all forums. “It is not the raising of noise and walkouts which count in public eye but the actual legislative business, a Member is capable of rendering in the House”, he elaborated.
Best Legislators Awards for 2010 were given to Ajay Sadhotra, Abdul Gani Vakil and Syed Mohammad Rafiq. They received cash prizes and a shawl each from the Chief Minister.
The best awards for balanced and quality reporting of Legislative Council business during the year 2010 were received by Excelsior, Rising Kashmir, Kashmir Times (English dailies), Udan, Hind Samachar, Kashmir Uzma (Urdu dailies) and Amar Ujala, Dainik Bhaskar (Hindi dailies) while Punjab Kesri, Taskeen, Himalayan Mail, Shadow, Journey Line, Early Times were among over 20 recipients of consolation prizes.
In his welcome address, Deputy Chairman, Legislative Council, Arvinder Singh Micky said that the separate awards for best legislators and media persons have been initiated for the first time by the Legislative Council this year. He expressed gratitude to Omar Abdullah for extending his all help and patronage to the Council to constitute these awards.
Leader of the House in Legislative Council and Minister for Medical Education, R. S. Chib presented vote of thanks while Speaker, Legislative Assembly, Mohammad Akbar Lone, Minister of State for Tourism, Nasir Aslam Wani, Political Advisor to the Chief Minister, Devender Singh Rana were present on the occasion among others.
Earlier Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah said that time has come when the doubts in this regard are cleared once for all by bringing LC elections at par with Rajya Sabha.
“We should look for open ballot system for electing LC Members like that prevalent in Rajya Sabha”, he said adding that transparency and openness in the matter is need of the hour to avoid speculations and misgivings from the minds of people.
Chief Minister said that during the recently held elections to six seats of MLCs, some cross voting by BJP legislators has been observed for the reason best known the party.
However, he said, this has created some doubts among the people and questions about horse-trading are raised. “To do away with all such misgivings the ballot system for the election of MLCs should be open and at par with Rajya Sabha”, Omar asserted.
Highlighting the importance of Upper House in a democratic system, the Chief Minister said that Legislative Council is imperative to ensure checks and balances in Legislative functioning and law making. “Without the Upper House the democracy and the legislature will lose its strength”, he opined.