Government to reach out to opposition to bring peace to Parliament

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New Delhi, March 22 (IANS) As Parliament remained paralyzed for the 14th consecutive day, the government on Thursday decided to reach out to the opposition parties to ensure smooth functioning so that the pending bills get passed in both the Houses.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel, who has been assigned the task to talking to opposition leaders, met Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad for a brief discussion. He will again meet him to discuss the issues in detail.

The Minister said he would also meet leaders of the TDP, AIADMK, TRS and other parties.

Ever since the second phase of Parliament’s Budget session began on March 5, disruptions have crippled both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on a number of issues including demand for special status to Andhra Pradesh, Punjab National Bank fraud case and setting up of Cauvery Management Board.

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The Congress, the Trinamool and some other opposition parties have been protesting against the banking fraud blamed on absconding jeweller Nirav Modi and his associates, while the TDP and the YSR Congress have been demonstrating for special status to Andhra Pradesh.

The AIADMK wants a board for the management of the disputed Cauvery river water. The TRS is demanding an increase in the reservation quota for jobs in Telangana.

“Only nine working days are left now after 14 wasted days. I request the opposition parties to ensure passage of important bills in both Houses. I am hopeful the opposition will cooperate,” Goel said.

“The government is in regular touch with the opposition leaders and I will meet them personally to ensure the smooth functioning of the Parliament,” he told reporters.

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The Minister said the government was ready to discuss each and every issue concerning the political parties including no-confidence motion against the government.

“In fact the opposition is running away from discussion. We are ready to discuss even the no-confidence motion. We have adequate numbers in the House.”

Earlier, Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu met the leaders of different parties in his chamber and sought their support to get The Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill passed.

The Bill was passed by the Upper House before being adjourned for the day, however, without discussion and despite order in the House.

The Lok Sabha was also adjourned for the day, amid protests as opposition members trooped near the Speaker’s podium, raising slogans and displaying placards.

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–IANS

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