The MPs were told that the agenda of the ruling side should be to ensure that Parliament functioned and not “get trapped in the Opposition’s agenda to disrupt the House”, sources said.
Parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu speaks in Rajya Sabha during the winter session of Parliament on Monday
With the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill apparently on its mind, the government has issued an unwritten advisory to BJP MPs against getting provoked by the Opposition tirade in Parliament.The government had conveyed to the party that it needed to get legislations, like the GST, passed during the session and that it was the treasury benches which had a greater responsibility in the functioning of Parliament, according to informed sources.The MPs were told that the agenda of the ruling side should be to ensure that Parliament functioned and not “get trapped in the Opposition’s agenda to disrupt the House”, sources said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the face of Opposition-government standoff in the last session, business had come to a standstill in both Houses. This time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself set the rather conciliatory tone—first by reaching out to the Opposition in his speech during the debate on the Constitution and then through a meeting with his predecessor Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi to find a way out of the standoff on the GST bill.In Lok Sabha, Modi had said that consensus was more important than majority rule.The government has given top priority to passage of the GST bill, which could not be passed in Rajya Sabha during the last session. Anticipating disruption over the intolerance issue, the ruling side is to treading cautiously.That the government was not in any mood to rile the Opposition was apparent when Parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu told reporters on Monday that the government was ready to walk the extra mile to reach out to it. “A good beginning has been made for the session. We have to sustain this…. People want collaboration and not confrontation.”In the House, the intolerance debate did spark off a storm resulting in frequent adjournments after CPM’s Mohammad Salim tried to corner home minister Rajnath Singh citing an article in a magazine. However, with Salim refusing to take back his words, the Chair expunged the remarks, and the House resume business.In Rajya Sabha, where the numbers weigh in favour of the Opposition, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury has given a notice for a motion saying the House condemns “rising intolerance” in the country. The Opposition is likely to insist on voting on it or a House resolution, which the government is likely to reject as it would send a “negative”message about the country.While the issue is likely to come up in the Rajya Sabha later this week, Naidu expressed the hope that the “spirit of collaborative functioning” of Parliament will continue to prevail.”Prime Minister has made it clear that he rather prefers consensus based approach than going by the numbers of majority. Government has the numbers in the Lok Sabha while the opposition has it in Rajya Sabha. This dynamics of numbers highlights the need for collaboration in furthering the cause of the nation,” he said.Naidu also reached out to the Opposition by saying that the credit went to both government and opposition for any good work done by Parliament by way of passing important legislations.”This in essence means, both the sides have equal stakes and responsibilities in ensuring effective functioning of Parliament,” he said.
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