I am PM of India, not of BJP: Modi offers olive branch, Oppn divided

  • HT Correspondent, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 17, 2016 08:11 IST
Finance minister Arun Jaitley with Congress leaders Anand Sharma and Ghulam Nabi Azad and the CPI’s D Raja after the all-party meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Arvind yadav/HT)

Eager to push crucial reforms related legislations through in the coming Budget session of Parliament, PM Narendra Modi on Tuesday reached out to the opposition saying that he is “the Prime Minister of the country, and not of the BJP” and offering to hold discussions on any issue that they wanted.

At the all-party meeting convened by the PM, the Congress and the Left looked isolated in their attempt to escalate the issue of arrest of JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar in the Budget session as most regional parties favoured a smooth functioning of Parliament.

Even the Congress ally RJD opposed disruptions. RJD leader Prem Chand Gupta narrated how his granddaughter didn’t go to visit Parliament as “it doesn’t function.” SP chief Ramgopal Yadav said that due to disruptions, image of Parliament has gone down.

BJD leader Bhartruhari Mahtab said that parties should avoid “vitiating” the atmosphere by “magnifying one incident”. In a vast country like India, he said, many incidents happen but it should not be made an excuse to disrupt proceedings of Parliament.

Many smaller parties including the AIADMK, the TMC, and the NCP supported smooth functioning of parliament. TRS and the YSR Congress leaders argued that Telangana and Andhra Pradesh had a number of issues to raise in Parliament, which they were not able to do due to disruptions.

Opposition leaders raised a number of issues including suicide by a dalit research scholar, the arrest of JNU students and the imposition of President’s rule in Arunachal.

They said the Congress was prepared to cooperate in the passage of bills, but the government should make an attempt to remove “distrust” between the two sides. Congress leaders including Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma took strong exception to the attacks on Nehru-Gandhi family by top ruling party leaders. In this context, they referred to PM’s recent remarks blaming “one family” for disruptions in Parliament and also BJP president Amit Shah’s attack on Rahul Gandhi on Monday.

Objecting to Shah’s poser to Rahul Gandhi whether he wanted another partition, Sharma said that generation after generation, the Gandhi family made sacrifices for the country and Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi became “martyred”. CPI leader D Raja said that his party also wanted Parliament to function but the situation in the country was “scary because of your people”

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