Prime Minster Narendra Modi on Monday said the Opposition should ask the sharpest and toughest of questions during the Monsoon session of Parliament but asserted that the government should also be allowed to respond to them in a cordial environment.
The prime minister's appeal comes at a time when the Opposition is raring to corner the ruling dispensation over a host of issues, including handling of the second wave of COVID-19, rise in fuel prices, farmers' stir and the issue of an international media consortium report which has claimed that over 300 verified mobile phone numbers, including that of two serving ministers, could have been targeted for hacking through an Israeli spyware.
Speaking with reporters ahead of the start of the session, Modi said he wants meaningful discussions in Parliament over the Covid pandemic which has gripped the entire world.
The prime minister said he has requested all the floor leaders to take some time out Tuesday evening when he would like to give detailed information regarding the pandemic.
"We want a discussion in the House as well as outside the House with all the floor leaders. I am constantly meeting the chief ministers and all kinds of discussions are happening in different forums. So I also want to meet the floor leaders as House is going on and it will be convenient and we can talk about it (the pandemic) face-to-face," he said.
Hoping that the session is productive and dedicated to meaningful discussions, Modi said the government is fully prepared to give the answers that the people of the country want.
"I urge all MPs and political parties to ask the toughest and sharpest of questions but they should also allow the government to respond in a cordial environment as democracy is strengthened by conveying the truth to the people," Modi said adding that this increases the trust of the people and improves the pace of development.
Talking about the vaccination programme going on in the country, Modi said it was moving forward at a fast pace. He also urged MPs to cooperate in following all Covid protocols.
"Now this vaccine is applied on the baahu (arms), and when the vaccine is applied, one becomes a 'Baahubali' (strong man). And the only way to become a 'baahubali' is to get a vaccine jab on your arm," he said.
"So far more than 40 crore people have become 'Baahubali' in the fight against coronavirus. This work is being taken forward at a very fast pace," he said.
Noting that the pandemic has engulfed the whole world, Modi said he wants that there should be a meaningful discussion regarding the pandemic on high priority.
All practical suggestions given by MPs can usher in newness in the fight against the pandemic, if there are some shortcomings, they can be rectified, and everyone can move forward together in this fight, he said.