Modi may speak on intolerance in Parliament to counter Oppn
At all-party meeting, govt declared it will allow separate discussion on issue
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will intervene in a rare parliamentary debate to commemorate the Constitution, an occasion he may use to speak on intolerance in India with the Opposition waiting to target him on the issue inside the House.
To placate opposition parties, parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu announced at an all-party meeting on Wednesday that the government was ready for a separate discussion in Parliament on the raging issue, accepting their clamorous demand. The government was also willing to accommodate the Opposition’s concerns over intolerance in a House resolution on Friday to commemorate the making of the Indian Constitution, reflecting its keenness to reach out to rivals ahead of the crucial winter session.
Modi, who joined the meeting midway, said, “If Venkaiahji is saying everything is alright then something good has happened today.”
Several opposition parties announced they would press for debates on the burning issue with the Left and JD(U) even demanding a Sense of the House resolution—to reflect wider support across the political spectrum against mounting intolerance in the country.
“We are going to raise the issue of intolerance. What is happening in the country is disturbing and the Prime Minister is silent,” Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said in Bengaluru.
Indicating that the ruling party would not be on the defensive, Naidu said at the meeting, “The government does not share the perception that intolerance is on the rise. Some stray incidents that happened are in the domain of responsibility of state governments. We are wise enough to appreciate that development is possible only in an atmosphere of peace and harmony.”
The winter session, from November 26 to December 23, is expected to see fireworks as well as back-channel negotiations between the Opposition and the government that has limited time for its heavy legislative agenda comprising 38 bills to be passed.
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