Government wants discussion in parliament on all burning issues: Naidu

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New Delhi, Feb 22 (IANS) The government said on Monday it is prepared for a discussion in parliament on all burning issues, including the JNU row, the Jat agitation for quotas and the unrest in Hyderabad university following the suicide of a Dalit student.

“Several parties want discussion on issues such as reservations, JNU and Hyderabad University. We are prepared for it,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu told reporters after an all-party meeting ahead of the budget session of parliament that begins on Tuesday.

Urging the opposition parties to cooperate in running parliament smoothly, Naidu said everyone would have an opportunity to raise issues but discussion should take place according to rules.

There should be debate, but without disruption, said the minister.

Naidu said Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill and real estate bill were key reform legislation that need to be passed in the budget session.

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He said the government has been trying consistently to make parliament function smoothly, as reflected in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting last week with leaders of political parties.

All parties had said that the house should function normally so that legislative bills could be passed, Naidu said.

Smaller parties complained that they do not get opportunity to raise their issues if there is tussle between larger parties, he said.

The government was also keen on discussion on issues that generated heat in the last few weeks, such as the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) controversy.

“We want a detailed discussion on JNU. People should know what really happened there, the cause and the consequence of the act,” he said.

The minister said there will be 32 items of business in the forthcoming session, including the GST bill.

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Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said that Congress would extend its support to the bills based on their merit.

Running parliament was the responsibility of the government and the opposition could not be blamed on the issue, Azad said.

He said Congress would raise issues concerning terrorist attack on Pathankot airbase on January 2, JNU, and Hyderabad University.

Referring to the violence at Patiala House Court where JNU students’ union leader Kanhaiya Kumar was produced on the charge of sedition, Azad said the government was not able to prevent the violence.

He said generations of Congressmen have been making sacrifices for the country and the party does not need lessons from the BJP in patriotism.

Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said the government has not accepted the party’s demands on the GST bill.

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Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury accused the government of “continuously spoiling the atmosphere in the country”.

Yechury said the government should fix time for discussion on all important issues.

The JNU has been on the boil after a police crackdown on students accused of shouting anti-India slogans.

There has also been unrest and violence arising out of demonstrations in Haryana by members of the Jat community to demand reservations in education and jobs.

Earlier, Hyderabad Central University had erupted into protests against alleged harassment of Dalit students following the suicide on January 17 of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula.

Among those present in the meeting were Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav, and Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay.

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