Government willing to walk the extra mile, Modi tells opposition

New Delhi, Feb 16 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday told the opposition that his government was willing to walk the extra mile and discuss various issues of concern during the budget session of parliament.

All parties spoke in one voice that parliament should function smoothly, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu told reporters after a meeting convened by the prime minister to ensure a smooth budget session that begins on February 23.

“The prime minister told the meeting that the government is always willing to walk the extra mile and take up discussion on every issue,” Naidu said.

Modi expressed the hope that parliament will function smoothly with the cooperation of the opposition parties.

Naidu said the representatives of opposition parties present at the meeting also raised the issues concerning Jawaharlal Nehru University and Hyderabad University.

Modi also told the meeting that he was not the prime minister of a party but of the entire country and that the government will take appropriate measures on the issues raised by the opposition.

Modi said there should be a discussion on these issues and the government will give its reply.

Naidu said some parties asked how sedition charges can be levelled against a student leader of the JNU.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, present at the meeting, said that highly objectionable slogans were raised on the campus and an inquiry into the matter should be allowed to be completed.

The JNU has been on the boil over Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar’s arrest on Friday.

The controversy erupted when some JNU students organised a meet on February 9 to mark the anniversaries of the executions of parliament attack convict Afzal Guru and Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front co-founder Maqbool Bhat. Anti-India slogans were reportedly raised at the meeting.

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