Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged the opposition to let the parliament function “constructively” so that the parliament able to fulfill the expectations people have from his government. He expressed his opinion a day before the Parliament’s winter session is due to begin. Modi was speaking at the all-party meeting called by the government, as it braces to face the opposition over a series of issues, including the row triggered by Bollywood actor Aamir Khan’s recent remarks on intolerance. Previously, eminent writers, scientists, and film-makers had returned their awards as a mark of protest over the growing intolerance in the society, that has set alarm bells ringing.
The government is very keen to pass the ambitious Goods and Services Tax Bill, along with other key reforms, and has stated that it is willing to discuss any issue in Parliament as long as it is “constructive”.
“PM Narendra Modi has said at the all-party meeting that GST legislation is in the interest of nation,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu told reporters after the all-party meeting.
“Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will speak to all parties to address their doubt on the GST legislation,” Naidu, quoting Modi, said. In his various trips abroad, PM Modi has assured the foreign investors of making the GST a reality by 2016.
All signs, so far, indicate that, the winter session, like the monsoon session before it, is likely to be stormy with most opposition parties supporting Khan, and accusing the government of bullying dissenters, as well as crushing the right to freedom of expression. The opposition parties – Congress, the Janata Dal-United and the CPM have made their intention clear by deciding to give notices for the debate on intolerance and attacking the government on reform measures, including the GST Bill.
“We hope the winter session will be a constructive, progressive and fulfilling one. We hope the opposition will support us on issues of development,” minister of state for parliamentary affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.
The session is set to be a stormy one, with Opposition parties closing ranks, to target government on issues including ‘intolerance’, even as the ruling dispensation, which is keen to pass the GST bill, expressed its readiness to discuss all issues.
Naqvi said, the bills pending to be passed in Parliament do not belong to any one particular party. “These bills are for reforms in the country and for the development of all,” he said.