MPs welcome call from PM, Advani for ‘new beginning’


New Delhi: The call of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Leader of Opposition L.K. Advani for a “new beginning” in India’s parliamentary democracy had a salutary impact on the MPs, as the 15th Lok Sabha’s first session came to a close Tuesday after nine days of business-like proceedings.

Support TwoCircles

Manmohan Singh, who delivered the concluding address, was happy that the house ran smoothly and said: “The tone of speeches on all sides has been highly constructive.

“And I think that augurs well for our country starting with the unanimous election of honourable speaker followed by unanimous election of honourable deputy speaker. We have made a new beginning.”

Members cutting across political affiliations were happy that the two top leaders of the ruling coalition and the opposition spoke of constructive relations between the two sides.

While Madhu Goud Yaskhi of the Congress said the call by the prime minister and the leader of opposition came from “their understanding of the needs and aspirations of the youth of the country”, Rakesh Singh of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said “this constructive step is for the overall development of the country.”

Manmohan Singh called for a “new beginning” as he entered the parliament house June 1 for the first session of the new Lok Sabha.

“We will make a new beginning – that parliament will be allowed to run smoothly, that dialogue, discussion and reason will prevail in our proceedings. And we will give all due respect to the opposition in serving with responsibility,” Manmohan Singh had told reporters outside parliament.

While participating in a debate on the president’s address to the joint session of parliament, Advani also called for a new beginning in government-opposition relations and said it was possible to reach such a “common goal”.

“We (BJP) are in the opposition. Our number has been reduced to 116. But it is not a small number. Let it be a new beginning of government-opposition relations,” Advani said.

Yaskhi, re-elected from Nizamabad constituency in Andhra Pradesh, told IANS: “Such a call by the two top leaders is very much encouraging. Healthy government-opposition relations mean fulfilling the political aspirations of the younger generation. Their aspirations and vision about politics and other issues related to the national interest are different.”

He said the youth of the country wanted to see an “inclusive” approach in the political empowerment too.

“The present leadership of the country knows about the need of our younger people, though there is a huge generation gap,” Yaskhi said.

BJP MP Rakesh Singh, re-elected from Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh, said: “The call by Advaniji is aiming for overall development of the country. If the government chooses the wrong path, the BJP would not tolerate it.

“Advaniji has also said let the government perform their duty and the opposition will do its duty. As he says, together we can fulfil the ambitions of people,” he said.

Muslim League MP from Kerala E.T. Mohammed Basheer said: “The statements (by Manmohan Singh and Advani) show the maturity of our democracy. It is like a silver lining in the cloud.”

But Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), which suffered its worst drubbing in the elections, had a different view.

CPI-M leader Basudeb Acharia said: “Call for a new beginning in the government-opposition relations is Advani’s approach, not ours.”

Acharia, who represents Bankura in West Bengal, said the Left parties would continue to oppose the Congress-led government’s “anti-people” economic policies and its promotion of strategic relations with the US.

“We will oppose the disinvestment policies of the new government. We will oppose the strategic relations with the US,” veteran parliamentarian Acharia told IANS.