Tewari for smooth functioning of Parl., says 'Govt. ready for debate on any issue'

Last Updated: Sat, Nov 17, 2012 11:10 hrs

With Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh meeting senior BJP leaders at dinner ahead of a much-speculated stormy Winter Session, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari on Saturday said the Congress-led UPA Government is ready for debate on any issue in the Parliament.

"We have repeatedly said that the government is ready for debate on any issue. But we want that the Parliament Session should function smoothly. If the parliamentary proceedings are disrupted then it has an effect on the dignity and tradition of the House, but what is a more serious matter is that it also has an impact on democracy," said Tewari, when asked about the Prime Minister's meeting with the BJP leaders at dinner.

"So, we have appealed to the various political outfits that the government is ready for debate on any issue if the presiding officer permits, but the working of the House should not be disrupted," he added.

Tewari also asked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to play a more responsible role in the functioning of the Parliament.

The Prime Minister will meet top BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and LK Advani at a dinner meeting tonight.

The Prime Minister hosted a dinner for UPA allies last night aimed at firming up a joint strategy on various issues, including FDI in retail, which are likely to be raked by the opposition in Parliament.

According to reports, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, who is the leader of Lok Sabha, briefed the allies about the notices that have been given by various parties under different rules.

The Prime Minister's dinner came close on the heels of his similar interactions with leaders of crucial outside supporters as the Congress-led UPA Government faces the prospect of a motion entailing voting on FDI and even a possible threat of No-Confidence Motion.

Dr. Singh hosted a dinner for Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh earlier last week and followed it with lunch for BSP chief Mayawati on Sunday.

The government is facing the prospect of dealing with a opposition-sponsored motion entailing voting on FDI and even a possible threat of a no-confidence motion.

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar has convened an all-party meeting on November 21, a day before the Winter Session of Parliament begins, to discuss pressing issues.

BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad had earlier said that his party would strongly oppose the government decision on FDI in multi-brand retail in the forthcoming Winter Session of Parliament.

Asserting that the decision to approve FDI in multi-brand retail is not in the interest of the country, Prasad announced that that 'the BJP will discuss its strategy with other NDA partners and also get in touch with political parties which have reservations on the issue'.

Allies of the BJP-led NDA are likely to hold a meeting on November 21, a day before the Winter Session of Parliament.

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), a crucial ally of the Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre, continued the suspense over its stand on any resolution, which may be introduced in Parliament concerning the FDI in multi-brand retail.

The support of DMK, which is the second largest ally with 18 Lok Sabha MPs, is very crucial for the UPA after the exit of Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC).

The Winter Session of Parliament will begin on November 22. (ANI)

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