New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday invoked late Congress stalwarts and prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Rajiv Gandhi to urge the opposition to let parliament function “peacefully and responsibly”.
“Parliament is a forum where different view points are put forward, where questions are being asked to the government, where government is made accountable and nobody is spared, and one shouldn’t expect otherwise,” Modi said, replying to the discussion in the Lok Sabha on the motion of thanks to President Pranab Mukherjee’s address to parliament.
“And in doing so, it would be great if we uphold parliamentary traditions” to let the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha function “peacefully and responsibly”, he said.
“It is not me saying this… These are the words of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi,” Modi told the Lok Sabha with most of the MPs present in the house.
He also referred to India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and his speeches in parliament and urged the opposition to help the government pass crucial legislations, including the Goods and Services Tax bill.
“If house maintains decorum, we will be able to put our point of view in a better manner,” he said.
Modi also referred to Left leader Somnath Chatterjee who was Lok Sabha speaker during the first UPA government from 2004 to 2009.
“As far as disruptions are concerned, our former speaker and some members here whose guide and philosopher Somnath Chatterjee said that to disrupt is totally counter-productive.”
Modi also stressed that the nation suffers if parliament does not function properly.
“The House is a place where debates are to take place. When parliament sessions are not functional, the nation suffers and more than that the MPs suffer because they can’t discuss issues,” said Modi.
Parliament is a forum where the government is questioned and made to clarify its stand on various issues, Modi said and added that the sessions are fruitful if boundaries are maintained during a debate.
Taking a dig at the Opposition, he also said that members of the ruling NDA are not allowed to speak out of an inferiority complex, so that the nation cannot see their views and skills.
In an apparent dig at Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, he also said that while some people grow old, their intellect remains the same.
Gandhi had yesterday attacked Prime Minister Modi during a debate on the President’s address in the Lok Sabha.
Gandhi assailed the ruling dispensation when Prime Minister Modi was not in the house and nor were most of his front-line ministers, but the Congress vice president named them all and accused the Prime Minister of listening to none, including his ministers.