Keen to pass key bills including GST, Government on Monday reached out to Opposition ahead of an expected stormy week of winter session, saying the credit goes to both the ruling party and the Opposition if Parliament transacts business.
Acknowledging that Opposition has the majority in Rajya Sabha, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu flagged the importance of collaborative parliamentary democracy and expressed happiness over the relative calm in Parliament in the last three days of the session contrary to speculation. Sources said that the ruling alliance members have been asked “not to get provoked” and engage in unncessary sparring with the Opposition as the government is keen to get through its pending legislative business.
The last Monsoon session was a complete washout and the government is running short of its deadline for the GST. Thanking Oppostion for “restoring normalcy in both the Houses and move forward”, Naidu said that the functioning of Parliament so far comes as a relief to the people. “The meeting between the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) and Congress president (Sonia Gandhi) has been widely welcomed across the country. This response is a clear indication that people strongly want collaborative parliamentary democracy and not confrontationist politics.
“This is also a clear indication that people want Parliament to deliver on matters that concern their life and aspirations. I hope that this spirit of collaborative functioning of Parliament will continue to prevail for larger good,” he said. Naidu said that the Prime Minister has made it clear that he prefers consensus based approach rather than going by the numbers of majority.
“Government has the numbers in the Lok Sabha while the opposition has it in Rajya Sabha. This dynamics of numbers highlights the need for collaboration in furthering the cause of the nation. “In such a scenario, for any good work done by the Parliament by way of passing important legislation, credit goes to both the ruling and opposition. This in essence means, both the sides have equal stakes and responsibilities in ensuring effective functioning of Parliament,” Naidu said.
With the Opposition raising the issue of “intolerance” in a big way, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister also assured that there is “no place for intolerance in our country”. “Both the ruling and opposition are equally concerned about any stray incidents betraying intolerance. Collectively, we need to promote unity and harmony. This message going out of Parliament would be a major outcome of this Winter session,” he said expressing hope that Parliament would go about passing major pending legislations including the GST.