The JNU row is set to cast a shadow on the coming Budget Session as the opposition today raised questions on the issue at a meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for ensuring smooth running of Parliament but Congress put the ball in government’s court.
In the first-ever exercise initiated by Modi against the backdrop of repeated stalling of sessions, the Prime Minister reached out to them, seeking their cooperation saying “I am not the Prime Minister of BJP alone but the entire country”.
He expressed the hope that Parliament will function and assured opposition parties that the government will work to address their concerns.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said there was a general consensus that Parliament should run smoothly. The session begins from February 23.
Today’s meeting was dominated by the JNU issue with the Congress and the Left questioning the filing of sedition case against JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar.
They also wanted the government to rein in BJP leaders and those holding the constitutional posts who are “vitiating” the atmosphere in the country.
Opposition leaders gave notice that they will raise issues like JNU, Arunachal crisis and the suicide of a Dalit scholar in Hyderabad Central University and farmers’ problems.
Briefing media after the meeting, Naidu said the Prime Minister said the government was open to discussion on all issues.
“We will respond to the issues raised by the opposition and address them... I hope the congenial mood here will be translated into action in Parliament,” Modi told the meeting.
Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad made it clear that his party “disassociates” with students who shouted slogans at the JNU against India’s unity and Constitution but insisted that there was no proof of sedition against Kanhaiya Kumar. The Left parties concurred with him.