New Delhi :
Parliament reflects the supreme will of the people, President Pranab Mukherjee said today in a strong criticism of disruption and obstruction and called upon all MPs to discharge their responsibilities in a spirit of cooperation and mutual accommodation.
In his customary address to the joint sitting of both the Houses of Parliament outlining government’s agenda in the coming financial year, he also declared that the government will constantly strive for smooth and constructive conduct of Parliamentary business
“Our Parliament reflects the supreme will of the people. Democratic temper calls for debate and discussion, and not disruption of obstruction.
“My government will constantly strive for smooth and constructive conduct of Parliamentary business. I urge all Members of Parliament to discharge their solemn responsibilities in a spirit of cooperation and mutual accommodation. Let us all collectively endeavour to build a flourishing and prosperous India,” he said.
The President remarks assume significance in the context of repeated disruption of business on various issues, loss of time of Parliament and the stalling of legislative business in Rajya Sabha where the government lacks majority.
The 20-page speech was heard in rapt attention by members in the central hall of Parliament whenever he spoke of the government achievements and new announcements.
“Let noble thoughts come from all directions, should be the spirit behind the debate in this temple of democracy. Being a member of this great institution bestows great honour as well as important responsibilities,” Mukherjee said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi today reached out to the opposition in Lok Sabha on the first day of the Budget Session by walking up to them and exchanging pleasantries.
As soon as the House adjourned for day, Modi walked up to the opposition benches greeting leaders like Mulayam Singh Yadav (SP), Jai Prakash Yadav (RJD), P Karunakaran (CPI-M) and leader of the Congress party in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge.
Before the Prime Minister walked up to the leaders, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her deputy Rahul Gandhi had left the Lok Sabha chambers.
Earlier, Gandhi and Rahul were seated on the last row in the opposition benches but later moved ahead.
While Modi was shaking hands, some members from the Kerala unit of Congress were seen handing him a letter.
The Prime Minister also exchanged greeting with leaders of NDA allies TDP and Shiv Sena before leaving the chamber.
Indications of a tumultuous beginning of the Budget session had emerged at the all-party meetings convened by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu yesterday with the Opposition accusing the govt of “setting the agenda for disruption”.
Issues like the JNU row, suicide by a Hyderabad university scholar and reservation system are set to dominate the proceedings.