Parl session set to be stormy; Oppn to raise ‘intolerance’

New Delhi: The Winter session of Parliament beginning tomorrow is expected to be a stormy affair, with the opposition set to raise the ‘intolerance’ issue and press for a resolution to condemn it even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the House should run meaningfuly and constructively.

Keen to pass key reform bills like GST and ensure a smooth session, government today reached out to opposition parties saying it “does not support or condone” such incidents and is aware of their concerns on “unfortunate incidens like Dadri and killing of M M Kalburgi”.

An all-party meeting held here in the backdrop of cine actor Aamir Khan’s remarks on ‘intolerance’ saw opposition parties making a strong pitch for an early discussion on the issue, insisting that the returning of awards by writers, artistes and filmmakers should not be taken lightly.

Assuring the members on this count, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said, “government is ready to discuss all issues including that of the so-called intolerance though it falls in the domain of states. We do not support or condone such incidents.”

“The government is particularly aware of the Opposition’s concerns over some unfortunate incidents that have happened in recent weeks including the Dadri incident, killing of MM Kalburgi. The government has condemned those incidents as they go against the traditional and highly cherished values of tolerance,” he said.

He noted that the Prime Minister has already said that such incidents are sad, undesirable and unfortunate.

“We are wise enough to appreciate that development is possible only in an atmosphere of peace and harmonuy. We have a vested interest in pursuing the case of development beyond considerations of caste, creed, religion and hence, do not condone such incidents,” said Naidu who hosted the meeting.

Modi, who attended the meeting briefly, said Parliament should run meaningfully and constructively to fulfill the people’s expectations.

Modi assured the Opposition leaders that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will talk to them to address their concerns, if any, on the key reform measure.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the all party meeting that Goods and Services Tax (GST) legislation is in the interest of nation and the Finance Minister will speak to parties concerned to address their doubts on it,” Naidu said.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, who was in Bengaluru, said, “We are going to raise the issue of intolerance. What is happening in the country is distrubing and the Prime Minister is silent.”

CPI-M General Secreatry Sitaram Yechury said he has given a notice in Rajya Sabha seeking passage of a one-line resolution by the House condemning the incidents of “intolerance” and asking the government to ensure that such incidents do not happen again.