Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the Opposition on Thursday to let Parliament function “peacefully and responsibly”, invoking Congress stalwarts Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.
“The House is a place where debates are to take place. When Parliament sessions are not functional, the nation suffers,” Modi said in Lok Sabha.
The Congress had mounted pressure on the government in monsoon and winter sessions over issues such as political and religious intolerance, dealing a blow to key reform measures, including the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill.
The crucial budget session that began on February 23 also saw uproar over Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula’s suicide and a controversy over anti-India slogans being allegedly shouted at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Invoking Rajiv Gandhi
“Parliament is a forum where different viewpoints 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 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 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 said.
Watch | Modi invokes Rajiv, Indira for peace in parliament
Invoking Indira Gandhi
“In 1974… Indira Gandhiji said that we shouldn’t portray our nation as weak,” Modi said.
The Congress accuses the NDA government of being a ‘suit-boot ki sarkar (read elitist)’ and ignoring the welfare of the poor.
“No one will deny that if Congress would have helped the poor in 60 years, the poor wouldn’t still be facing trouble,” Modi said.
I nvoking Jawaharlal Nehru
Modi also referred to India’s first prime minister Nehru and his speeches in Parliament, urging the Opposition to help the government pass crucial legislations, including the GST bill.
“If House maintains decorum, we will be able to put our point of view in a better manner,” Modi said.
Somnath Chaterjee was there too
Modi also referred to Left leader Somnath Chatterjee, who was the 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.”
With inputs from Agencies