BJP firm on discussing all issues in Parliament, unsatisfied with PM's assurance

Kolkata, Aug. 3 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday lashed out at the UPA Government over Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh's remark that the Centre is ready to discuss any issue which may agitate in the Monsoon Session of Parliament, and said that the ruling Congress Party's actions are contrary to the statements made by its leaders.

"We have repeatedly been in favor of discussing all issues. It was the government who was not letting us speak, even not letting the Leader of Opposition put her point of view across. She was interrupted 60 times in one-and-a-half minutes. Then, if you want to bring in a particular business, they want that business to be discussed under certain rules so that that cannot be discussed thereafter. So, there are several issues. What the government says is contrary to how the government behaves," said BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi.

Commenting on the Food Security Bill, Lekhi said that the government was not ready for an open discussion.

"Will the government be willing to discuss the Food Security Bill? We have seen how they have brought in an ordinance. ... I think in parliamentary democracy, if the elected members or the government is accountable to the Parliament then the government better get used to the ideas and the condemnation of its acts by the opposition. But are they willing to? Everything which is spoken or said is how the business is conducted," she added.

The Prime Minister earlier in the day said that he looks forward to a constructive Monsoon Session of Parliament and respectfully appealed to the opposition to cooperate with the government.

"We look forward to a very constructive, productive session of Parliament. Lot of time was wasted in previous two or three sessions and there is lot of legislative agenda pending before the Congress, before the Parliament. And I sincerely hope that all sections of the house will cooperate in making it a very productive, very constructive session," Dr. Singh said.

The Prime Minister, who was talking to media here after the all-party meeting convened by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, said the government on its part is willing to discuss any issue which may agitate the opposition.

"But all that we expect fully is to ask the opposition to cooperate with the government in passing the essential legislative work, which is the primary responsibility of Parliament. Of all the ordinances, five or six ordinances which are before the Parliament and most important is Food Security Ordinance," said Dr. Singh.

"And I sincerely hope that the Parliament in its wisdom will find it productive, find it justified to convert that Ordinance into a Bill and an act of Parliament," he added.

The Lok Sabha Speaker had convened today's all-party meeting at the Parliament complex here to ensure smooth functioning of the house beginning on Monday to pass important legislations, including the food security bill and the land acquisition bill.

The monsoon Session ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls is important with several issues likely to be taken up for discussions. These include Uttarakhand floods, Telengana and other economic issues.

Political parties in their earlier meeting had assured smooth functioning of Parliament. (ANI)


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