President confers Outstanding Parliamentarian Award for 2013-2017

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New Delhi : Aimed to motivate elected representatives to work better, President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday presented the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award for 2013-2017.

While the 2017 Outstanding Parliamentary award went to Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader in the Lok Sabha Bhartruhari Mahtab, Trinamool Congress member of lower House Dinesh Trivedi took away the award for 2016.

The Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad (Congress), received the award for 2015.

For the year 2013 and 2014, Kovind conferred the award upon former Rajya Sabha member Najma Heptulla ( BJP) and Lok Sabha Member Hukumdev Narayan Yadav, also of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), respectively.

Congratulating the winners, the President said that as parliamentarians, each of them has added value to the proceedings of the House.

"They have done so while maintaining the dignity of Parliament, using their knowledge and wisdom. They have conducted themselves in a manner that is a model for other members," he said.

The President said that the people of India, especially the poor and the underprivileged, look upon their representatives with great expectations.

"They nurture the expectation that their representatives will make every effort to improve their lives and those of their children. And for this reason, they want to see their representatives busy and relentlessly at work for the welfare of common citizens," he said.

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan were also present in this year's award ceremony in the Central Hall of Parliament.

Established in 1992, the annual Outstanding Parliamentary Award is given to a sitting member of Parliament after considering his/ her overall contribution in the Parliament.

Announcing the 2017 award for Mahtab, Mahajan said: "He was elected to the 12th Lok Sabha in 1998 from Cuttack constituency in Odisha. He is one person who never says no to any good work and he is such a sincere man, that even if he walks out of the Parliament, he will do it with respect."

The names were shortlisted by a committee headed by Sumitra Mahajan.

She said that since "everyone looks up to us, all the elected representatives should uphold the integrity of Parliament".

Congratulating the award winners, Modi said that their contributions to Parliament and the country would always be remembered. He added that it is an honour to work with and learn from these outstanding parliamentarians.

He further said that disruptions in Parliament usually affect the common man and the parliamentarians who represent them the most.

"It is the responsibility of the parliamentarians to ensure smooth functioning of Parliament so that every parliamentarian gets a chance to speak and thereby become part of history," Modi said.