Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said the Opposition need not “bother about their numbers” as every word of theirs was “valuable” for his government.
Speaking to the media at Parliament House before the commencement of the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha, he said, “The role of an opposition, an active opposition, an effective opposition is a pre-requisite for a parliamentary democracy. I hope the opposition would not worry about their numbers. Whatever number the people of the country have given to them…..has been given to them. But, their every word…every feeling is valuable for us,” he said.
Flanked by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, and Minister of State, Parliamentary Affairs, Arjun Ram Meghwal, the Prime Minister said, “When we occupy our seats in the House, we sit in our capacity as MPs….This spirit is more important than the spirit of “paksh” (treasury) and “vipaksh” (opposition). I believe that instead of getting divided by the boundaries of the treasury and opposition, (the MPs) would work in an impartial manner, give a priority to public welfare and strive for the enhancement of the dignity of the House during the next five years.”
He said, “We had begun our journey with the principle of ‘sabka sath, sabka vikas’. People reposed a lot of faith in it. Keeping that faith, we vow to strive for the realisation of the expectations of the common man,” he said.
The Prime Minister added, “A government has been re-elected with a full majority after several decades and given an opportunity to serve people. Our experience is that whenever the House has functioned…in an atmosphere of struggle….then very good decisions have also been made in national interest. On the basis of these experiences, I hope that all parties are moving in the direction of holding high-quality discussions and taking decisions in public interest and (for) fulfillment of wishes of people.”
“What are the special features of the Indian democracy we experience in every elections?” he asked, and then answered, “This election was marked by the maximum polling and the election of maximum number of women since the Independence.”
The Prime Minister requested the media to pay attention to members who present constructive views and enlivened discussions even if they did not “match their TRP requirements”. “The democracy gains strength if a member gives a logical critique of the government and it reaches the country,” he said.
This is the first session with new members, he said, adding that there will be a flow of new energy and a new enthusiasm will be reflected in the House.