Modi seeks opposition's cooperation in Parliament session (Lead)
New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday sought cooperation of opposition parties for smooth running of Parliament during the monsoon session, saying the opposition raising its issues also gives the government an opportunity to get feedback, reconsider its position and move forward.
Modi, who was speaking at an all-party meeting here a day before the start of the monsoon session, said it is expectation and hope of the people that Parliament should run smoothly and there should be discussions.
Opposition parties raised their issues at the meeting with Samajwadi Party (SP) talking about a University Grants Commission (UGC) notification issued in March this year that "will have an impact on the reservation for weaker sections in teaching jobs in universities".
SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav told reporters later that the party will not allow Parliament to function if it does not get a positive assurance from the government on the issue.
He said the UGC notification, which mentioned that the number of reserved faculty posts across universities shall be calculated department-wise and not based on the aggregate vacant posts in a university, will drastically affect recruitment of weaker sections.
He said the policy being followed by the government will make it nearly impossible for a scheduled tribe candidate to avail benefits of reservation in jobs in universities and make it very difficult for candidates belonging to the other backward classes and the scheduled castes.
"The vacancies for central universities that have been advertised do not have a single reserve category post," he said.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar told reporters that the meeting was held in a very good atmosphere.
He said the Congress and other opposition parties said that they will cooperate fully in smooth functioning of the House.
Kumar said Modi, who spoke in the end, told the leaders that if they raise their issues in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, it will be beneficial for the country.
"If the house runs, it is a win-win situation for the ruling party, the opposition and the people of the country. When opposition will raise issues, ask questions, discuss, it will provide the government an opportunity to reconsider (its position) and move ahead," Kumar said citing Modi.
He said Modi told the leaders that every effort should be made for smooth running of Parliament.
Kumar said the government is prepared to address all the issues raised by the opposition. The government apprised the opposition leaders of its legilative agenda for the session.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)'s Jay Praskah Narayan Yadav said that reservation provisions are being attacked.
He said the party will also raise issues of price rise and lynchings, besides the demand for special category status to Bihar.
Aam aadmi Party (AAP) leader Sanjay Singh said he raised concerns of the Delhi government and asked "why the Centre is obstructing Delhi government's work".
"I asked PM Modi as to why, even after the Supreme Court's ruling, the Lt. Governor in Delhi is operating on his own. What is our crime? We only want to deliver ration to people's doorstep, install CCTVs and want to work for promotion of education and health. So, why are we not allowed to work?" he said.
CPI-M member Mohammad Salim said the government should bring a law against mob lynching, in line with the Supreme Court's recommendation.
"Nowhere lynching can persist without the tacit support of government of the day," he said and added that when the issue was raised in 2014, the government did not respond.
He said earlier it was on rumours of beef or child lifting, and the incidents were rising. "This is what majoritarianism of politics means?"
Referring to TDP's demand for special category status to Andhra Pradesh, Salim said the government has failed to address the issues that led to disruptions in the second-half of Budget session.
The monsoon session will have 18 sittings and conclude on August 10.